SmartRecruiters Hiring Success Journal

Organizational Structure to Optimize CRM for Your Team and Candidates

Your team is ready to select a CRM, but are you really? Here are four points to discuss to get the most out of your tech investment.

To begin, a candidate relationship management system (CRM)  is all about creating a great relationship between your company and candidates – even before they know they’re candidates. It’s not as creepy as it sounds! As part of a Recruitment Marketing strategy, a CRM allows your recruiting function to create talent communities and deliver targeted messaging that builds and nurtures relationships with passive candidates.

So, when it comes time to fill an open position, you already have a pool of vetted talent waiting to apply.

However, much like a treadmill, a CRM only works if you use it correctly. Everyone has seen how a mighty exercise device can quickly become a clothing rack in the garage… it may still have a purpose, but it’s a degraded one. And, if a laundry place is truly what you needed, then you could have spent $5, instead of $300.

Unfortunately, without the right strategy, a similar fate often befalls business-tech solutions. An organization makes a big investment in a new tool, and expects it to solve everything, and, when results are lagging, people get frustrated and use the system at a diminished capacity or not at all.  

But “strategy” is an intimidating word, and we often think of it in the wrong way. So, before we get started, let me tell you three things it doesn’t mean:

  • Strategy doesn’t mean magically predicting the future.
  • Strategy doesn’t mean making every decision right now and you can never change.
  • Strategy doesn’t mean finding the one right way.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the buzzword and get back to the basics of strategy, define why you want this tech, what you want to get out of it, who will do what, and when will take time to assess/adjust.

Why CRM?

Talent is key to business growth, but it’s also scarce.

In a 2017 survey from GlassDoor, 76 percent of hiring managers found it difficult to attract the attention of qualified candidates. Given there has been a predicted labor shortage since the early 2000s, the only reason we are experiencing its effects so late is a consequence of the 2009 financial crises, which caused both a hiring slump and forced many baby boomers to delay retirement.  

And it’s not just a deficiency of skilled-workers, there just aren’t enough people in general. Even industries like hospitality and manufacturing are feeling the squeeze. Thomas Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, a private equity firm in New York, foresees the US to fall short by  8.2 million workers from 2017-2027.

All this means that employers have to work extra hard to be an employer of choice. The candidate is the new customer, and every touch-point has to be positive as well as purposeful so that your business can grow at pace with your goals.

 What do you want your CRM to do?

The desired capabilities and outcomes of implementing a CRM will be very personal to your team/organization. Once you’ve defined the need, this is a great time to bring your team together to ideate about wishes and goals. Here are a few common ones:

  • Boost communication: Information flow is going both ways, you are sending candidates updates about the company, as well as collecting refreshed data about them.
  • Activate talent communities: Without strategic campaigns, a talent community is just a dusty email list. Make sure you are nurturing candidates consistently with relevant information and check-ins. Have your team define what an active talent pool would look like to them with deliverable KPIs attached, like decreased time to hire or increased number of qualified candidates.
  • Track team efficacy: Once you have defined what success is, then you can start measuring your success. Pinpoint effective messaging and notice trends in your communities to make each campaign better than the last.

Who will do what?

Teams tend to break down CRM in two distinct ways, either sourcers manage the CRM and recruiters the ATS or sourcers build the talent pools and hand them over to recruiters to manage. There are pros and cons to both. Solution one works because recruiters tend to be more motivated by recs that are open now, and may find it hard to divert their attention to the groundwork of talent pool maintenance, which doesn’t have an immediate payoff. And solution two functions well because it asks the sourcers to do what they are best at, which is to scrape info and build talent pools, and doesn’t assume they are also marketers. Your solution will depend on the skills of your team, and remember, you can always adjust!

Learn more about native vs non-native CRM here!

When will you assess and how will you adjust?

Even if everything is going great, it’s still important to assess your progress with your team and give everyone a chance to say if they’re happy, and if they aren’t – why?

Don’t be afraid to experiment, but start small and get bigger. Now, that doesn’t mean small in terms of risk, it means small in terms of buy-in. If you are rolling out a new 10-page strategy every quarter, other departments, and even your team will start to ignore everything. So, if you want to change it up, find a few key stakeholders to run the test first and if it is successful, expand. That way you aren’t fatiguing the goodwill of your coworkers.

The final takeaway of these points is that you are investing in a tool for your arsenal, not a genie. So the best way to make sure CRM is effective is by getting your team to buy-in. Remember, these are the people who will use it every day so they have valuable insight into their needs and pain points, make sure to listen!

Kaya Payseno

Kaya Payseno