SmartRecruiters Hiring Success Journal

Why Candidate Relationship Management IS Candidate Experience

See how recruiting is taking a page from sales’ playbook by adapting strategies to keep talent pools stocked with prospects.

No recruiter likes hurrying candidates through the hiring process, and no candidate wants to feel they’ll never hear from that recruiter again. These kinds of negative experiences directly affect a candidate’s impression of a company’s image, and companies need to take notice. Forty-two percent of candidates claim a poor experience would prevent them from applying to another position at a company, and 22 percent say they’d tell their friends not to bother.

At the same time, 82 percent of working professionals admit to being open to new work opportunities. Capturing their interest requires proactive strategies and a standout employer brand. Candidates open to new opportunities want to see measurable value in another company, something organizations communicate through their Employee Value Propositions (EVPs). The task of engaging passive candidates, measuring their readiness, and converting them to active applicants falls on recruiters.

One practice that talent acquisition borrowed from sales is Candidate Relationship Management (CRM), a tool becoming increasingly popular among TA professionals. With current numbers suggesting that a majority of the workforce is open to new job opportunities, recruiters and hiring managers are charged with managing a healthy recruitment function, and a CRM model ensures that businesses have an engaged, enthusiastic, and high-impact talent pipeline ahead of demand.

Rather than letting candidates slip through the cracks, a CRM model allows recruiters to make good on their promise to revisit and reconsider candidates who may have been passed over previously. This turns the recruitment function from a one-off execution into a relationship-building model that nurtures passive candidates over time. Speaking to SAP, Kyle Lagunas, Research Manager of Emerging TA Trends & Technologies at IDC, said that “by embedding candidate relationship management functionality into the core recruiting offering, candidate relationship management becomes an organic part of the talent acquisition operation — and this is proving to be a key driver of adoption.”

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS), for example, offers recruiters an overview of where active candidates are in the hiring process. Within the platform, integrated CRM technology automates communication processes with talent pools and pipeline, creating workflows that speed up recruiter efficiency, encourage candidate engagement, and improving their connection to an organization. If an ATS is crucial for sourcing and tracking candidates, then CRM is vital for long-term relationships that lead to faster, better placements in higher numbers.

At the most basic level, CRM helps shape candidates’ impressions of—and interactions with—an organization. Recruiters can use CRM to:

  • Build personalized talent communities, organized, sorted, and managed to retain high-quality talent
  • Organize and manage large recruitment campaigns
  • Build custom career pages
  • Create targeted campaigns to capture interest and assess candidates’ readiness to convert
  • Build and deliver branded email, social, and web campaigns
  • Share impactful content (i.e. videos or employee testimonials)

Each touchpoint is another opportunity to build rapport, increase talent pools, and maintain passive candidates. Recruiters who maintain their talent pools with CRM strategies know their candidates’ levels of interest, and can easily categorize their skills, experience, and education to make data-driven hiring decisions. And because CRM nurtures strong relationships with past, current, and future candidates, speed and efficiency are built in when it’s time to hire.

Scott Wardell