Proactive vs Reactive vs Just in time vs Pipelining!!

So one thing I have been hearing a lot of is Proactive vs reactive vs just in time vs pipelining. Or more specifically what do they mean. So here we go;


Proactive; when someone, usually a staffing professional, proactively goes out and searches for candidates. Of course you are still publishing the position every place.


Reactive; when the only thing done to find candidates is you advertise or place your job description someplace it will be seen. Usually in this case no one is in a big hurry to fill the position, or the planning around the opening was really bad.


Just in Time; this means you wait till you have a need, this usually happens when an unforeseen event takes place.


Pipelining; to find candidates that meet both current and future needs, and these needs are usually constant.


So what does it all mean? Well, if you are using mainly proactive staffing, you are out their looking, trying to proactively find the best and brightest. Usually your time to fill is much lower and you are adding value.


If you are using reactive staffing, you are not being proactive, instead you post and wait for someone to come to you. This is usually a byproduct of hiring managers not being in a hurry, or not wanting to be bothered or even the recruiter themselves thinking the Company name will bring the people to them or even the recruiter not knowing how to be proactive. We also call this post and pray. This is the least affective way to recruit. It also usually has the worst candidate satisfaction.


Just in time staffing means you wait till there is a need and then try to fill it.  This is very prevalent in the business world. This should be the exception not the rule and should only happen sporadically when something happens you can’t account for. This is different than reactive in that with this you can still proactively go find candidates.


Lastly is pipelining, this is when you recognize a continuing need or forecast an upcoming need and start looking in advance.


So another way to look at it this


Pipelining, Just in time and proactive all can have both job postings and being proactive


Reactive is only post and pray


Now which is best? That depends on the situation. Which should you use? Again, depends on the situation. However, in a healthy, thriving company with a good staffing function you should be using at least 2 of the 4. Mainly it will be Proactive, and Pipelining. The 3rd Just in Time should be rare and only in special occasion when there was no way to foresee something coming. The 4th reactive is not a good thing. It is usually is a sign of a problem within the company. It means that the company is not doing a good job of planning, of having plan. It also can happen with companies that bid on projects and the people doing the bidding are not including recruiting in the process. This can create a large number of issues such as not having enough viable candidates due to location or pay.


In the end we should all be striving for Proactive recruiting, with pipelining as part of it and just in time a rarity. With no reactive recruiting.

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