StrategyChallenges Recruiters face while creating Candidate First Recruitment Strategies

November 2, 2021

On 29th of October 2021 we had the opportunity to present our understanding about recruitment and our vision about Talent Pipeline at Sibiu Innovation Days. We are happy to share with you our presentation in the video below and the transcript in the text of this blog post.


Hello, everybody!

My name is Catalin Vacon, I am happy to join this panel! If you will like this presentation I look forward to connect with you on Linkedin where I share content about #recruitment #talentpipeline #employerbranding #mystartupjourney and #productdevelopment.

Before we dive in my topic for the day which is Future of Matchmaking in Recruitment, I would like to present my self. Therefore please hear my story which is very strong related to this topic.

In short: I spent 13 years in recruitment as a Consultant working with more than 50 employers and managing together with 2 recruiters a portfolio of 12 active clients each year.

What I can say about myself today is that we (Talent Pipeline in partnership with Ropardo) are building products to digitalise Recruitment Agencies.

How I ended up doing so?

Well … in 2007 I graduated Psychology at Lucian Blaga University from Sibiu. Having a sense of antrepreneurship and being ambitious I found Recruitment as a begining for me to understand more about businesses. At that time, there were no books to prepare you for being a Recruitment Consultant. I started my first job and learned how to find candidates and employers interested. I learned on the job and managed to learn other collegues to do what I knew.

In 2015 I was not just a Consultant, I was the Administrator and shared a small equity in the business. I wanted to make our work smoother and decided that we should find a partner to help us put our work into a digital system. It was a long year … and the most dificult part was to find somebody who can build what we have invisioned. The way we worked was completely outdated and finding recruiters to stay within the company was a challenge. Another challenge was to document what we want in order for a software / web development company to understand it and build it. I didn’t realise back then … that year my journey as a Product Manager has began.

In 2016 the product was ready and we started using it. It came with other challenges, making our colleagues understand it and use it. Since I didn’t knew what I was doing (Product Management), I just rolled with it and we managed to use it at its capacity. We had 3 rounds of new requirements. It was a success because in 2020 when I left the recruitment agency, the people who were working with us in 2016 were already specialist within the company.

In 2020, I founded Talent Pipeline. When Covid hit us I realised that back in 2016 I have began my journey as a Product Manager.

Today, in partnership with Ropardo we are a team of 5 people and we aspire to change the recruitment landscape by digitalising Recruitment Agencies.

We look at matchmaking from a recruitment point of view, but also from a business model perspective.

War of talent ended! Talent won. – Josh Bersin, 2014

Let’s consider some of todays trends:

Candidate centric – Employee Centric – Human Centric

The world evolved and nowadays brands, technology, products, businesses are focused more than ever on the human side of their existence.

When we talk about recruitment, we can see how the employment market has changed and this is just the beginning. Businesses have difficulties in adjusting to this new world which evolves around Talent.

They focus on developing their Employer Brand, but they forget about the Talent Brand.

Recruitment is no longer about the JOB

Do you still remember that room in movies where people would wait their turn to participate at an interview? Where is it now? Recruitment and Hiring can lead into a covering a job opening or a long term investment. When the result is a long term investment, you get to hire the person that resonates the most with your employer and talent brand (culture, values, work environment, ethic, mission and vision).

Generating engagement only based on Job advertisement or direct approach will become more and more unlikely.

Recruitment is about Employer Brand Talent Brand

Yes. The Employer Brand is important, but the Talent Brand is magnetic. The difference is the source of information. If the message about the Employer Brand is real, the employees will prove it and amplify the message. The real challenge facing Hiring Teams is making the transformation from promoting the work that needs to be done (JOBS), to promoting the satisfaction it brings in the organisation (Talent Brand).


Two models are well known in approaching recruitment:

Employer perspective and Candidate perspective.

Let’s take a look at how they are:

From the employer’s perspective recruitment starts when the need is communicated and it is handled like a project. Meaning it has a deadline. The need is solved when the selection is made from the people available in the time gap between beginning and the end. This is the way recruiter work by using 3 methods: advertising the job, asking for referral and direct approach. It works just like SALES.

From the Candidate Perspective recruitment starts when the Candidate is looking to make a change. The Candidate starts to notice that his NEED can be covered by other employers. His interest will grow for some of them and decrease for others based on the information he receives about them. This is an interest game. It resembles the stages in dating. We get to engage with the people we like, share our interests, values and can help us in our development. Research shows it takes time, about a year for a Passive Candidate to apply. In That stage he is available for 2 weeks.

Taking a look at 2 recruitment models that shaped the candidate experience we can see how different they are:

Their foundation is different;

The skills required are different;

The path is different;

The outcome is different.

This could be an example of the Candidate journey and his process to approach an Employer.

What is considered a match in recruitment?

While in classic recruitment we look at candidates as matching criteria of experience, education, skills and we always relate them to jobs. In modern recruitment the candidate is choosing the employers and is asking himself which employer has the culture, values and mission fit with growth goals, personal values and working style and preferences.

Matching takes place when there is a fit between a candidate and a employer. It doesn’t have to do so much with JOBS. It is about finding compatibility between them.

Let’s take a look at the recruitment landscape

How these pillars can work together to speed up the recruitment process?

At the core of recruitment we have Employers and Candidates. Recruitment should always be about them and bringing together those that match.  But how? Getting hired has become more difficult and also more stressful.

… because matchmaking is about timing and communication and you can’t force either of them.

This is where technology  SHOULD step in. Technology solves problems for employers in the management of data but doesn’t do much to make the candidate journey smoother. We will discuss the issues in this journey in the next slide.

Agencies are in the landscape the place where as a candidate you want to find support. They are in the middle of the landscape. They understand the candidates and the employers, but they are controlled by the employers. What they do best is act in the landscape like employers. In fact they are very different, but they don’t have the technology to find jobs for people. Therefore what they know best is to find people for jobs.

As technology is generating more ways for candidates and employers to engage, you have to ask yourself:

Where should I begin my candidate journey?


Social Media?

Job Platforms?

Employer Career websites?

Recruitment Agencies?

Career fairs?

… the list can go on.

How can I apply?

You may need an account to apply – recruiters would you like to do so.

You may complete a form – but how can you access your data?

You may chat using whatsapp, facebook messenger or a chat app – it’s a never ending communication process.

You may chat with a chatbot – but this communication goes only one way.

Pick any of them and hope it works for you.

But each time you chose something this question appears for the candidate:

What happens with my data?


Matchmaking is not just a perspective on recruitment. It is also a business model approach.

In our matchmaking model we have on one side an agency who has access to a very valuable candidate, but less opportunities to Match. On the other side we have other agencies who don’t have access to the candidate, but have more opportunities to match.

Bringing them together is what we consider our matchmaking model.

Matchmaking puts technology in the hands of agencies to speed up the hiring:

Candidates are in the center and what it means for them the best experience?

One account – all the opportunities to match

Agencies can take more advantage in their position as middleman in the recruitment landscape. Being more candidate centric can lead to more placements for them. One account means a candidate is a client who is receiving a service, not just a job. Once a candidate, always a client. Matchmaking is what a candidate is looking for from someone who knows and understands growth path. For candidates, jobs are milestones in their professional journey. One employer is a collection of milestones, the agency can become the journey for the candidate.

As a candidate why begin your search on Google and Social Media when you can receive information about Employers who are well known by agencies, which you can follow and who will engage with you when the timing is right. It is easier with one account.

One account – a talent pipeline managed for you by all the agencies

As recruiter part of the hiring team, taking a look at a list of CVs is the scariest thing. Everybody and nobody fits. It would be easier to take a look at a presentation and a short profile prepared by someone who has interviewed the candidate already. Even better, in stead of an ATS where you record each candidate, by each agency, or head-hunter. Managing all this process gets harder as the number of providers is bigger. Technology can make it happen. There is a difference between a CV and a Candidate. The Candidate is alive. A clean pipeline is one where you only have candidates interested in your company, verified by someone and who are available when you access your account. Is these the a pool of candidates who are ready to fill a position that your hiring team is looking for?

Matchmaking – a digital way for recruitment agencies to become Talent Pipeliners

Consultants can stay focused on Employers and on Candidates at the same time with the proper technology. The technology that allows them to match candidates interviewed with employers. This is their gateway to multiple pipelines. We know, making a match takes time until the right opportunity occurs. The goal is to have the flows that make this matchmaking process smooth and easy. Matchmaking requires timing and there is not that much we can do about it, but we can make the process easier with the help of technology.

In Talent Pipeline we are building the technology to unify these pillars in the recruitment landscape:

We begin by digitalising the agencies who can use our product to match candidates with Jobs and Employers.

We will continue with creating a platform where they can share Candidates with other agencies to create more opportunities for Shared Candidates to be matched.

We believe this is the basis for our clients to add more value in the recruitment landscape. We are happy to share this with you here in Sibiu and tell you our story.