What a Candidate Pipeline Has to Do with Flossing & Dental Hygiene


Candidate pipelines are great except we never really think about them until it’s already too late. Building a talent pipelines is a lot like flossing. You always forget and don’t do a good job remembering to take care of your pearly whites until that dental appointment looms on your calendar just two short weeks away.

With the current technology available, building a talent pipeline are less expensive and less time consuming than they ever were before. Back in 2007, I built my talent pipeline using a referral network using email, an iPod prize giveaway and an Excel spreadsheet.

I hate going to the dentist although I’ve never had cavity problems with my teeth. It’s the flossing, the mouth washing and tooth brushing that wasn’t a chore. But once I discovering things like water picks and electric toothbrushes, I was more productive and effective with 4 minutes (2 in the morning and 2 in the evening).

Building a Talent Pipeline is Just like Flossing

Dental hygiene is just like talent pipeline’s in that the strategy is a preventative one. Finding and recruiting great talent at your company will never be going away. It happens on occasion, and when that time comes, recruiters and hiring managers who take a strategic approach to building their pipeline of candidates before an opening comes to fruition make for happier employees, managers and recruiters because there are time for things like expectations and understanding.

Recruiting Candidates is a Moving Target

Recruiting and staffing numbers are a moving targeting making scaling a priority. Scaling in situations when it comes your talent pipeline are certainly a concern as I mentioned when your staffing numbers for the upcoming year or quarter are constantly fluctuating. This fluctuation is the reason that recruiting teams should really consider an ongoing recruitment funnel regardless if there is a job opening now or at a future point in time at your company.

Make candidate pipeline building a regular part of your strategy

  • Make constructing a candidate pipeline a regular component of your plan because we are in fact “always recruiting” and must of our position openings are cyclical, predictable and yet ever changing.

Schedule regular check ups with your hiring managers 

  • Set up frequent follow-ups with your hiring supervisors and division leaders for staffing planning, checking in and understanding their own numbers forecasting.

Preventative approach is best.

  •  I personally, always feel a little guilty when I meet with the dentist or hygienist fully knowing I just starting flossing last week.  While I’m a fan of adrenaline and the rush you get when you meet and exceed deadlines, I’m not a fan of doing interviews the day after Thanksgiving because our staffing headcount changed by 75 December 1.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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