chapter four

Getting started with CRM

At its core, a CRM solution should empower recruiters through a number of sourcing tools that enable better, faster, and more cost-effective hiring. Chief among these features is the ability to build specific talent communities.

Beginning with clean and organized data, CRMs allow recruiters to build out databases that can be automatically updated and enriched with relevant—and specific—candidate information. Past experiences, current location, education, age, and seniority level can all be stored in the CRM to build personalized talent communities. These communities can be organized by any designated shared characteristic—graduating class, industry, functional meetup, diversity targets, etc.—which can then be sorted and managed so that recruiters have ready access to talent for conversion into prospect pipelining. With a pre-assembled community ready for prospecting, sourcing time is reduced dramatically.

Once recruiters build these talent communities, the next step is to nurture candidates through messaging. With CRM, recruiters can communicate with candidates individually or en mass through targeted messaging that strengthens these relationships. HTML email campaigns with unique calls-to-action, social media and web campaigns, impactful content (i.e., videos or employee testimonials), and intelligent advertising spending can be created, customized, and delivered to each of a recruiter’s targeted talent communities.
Between 70-80% of recruiting happens during the pre-applicant stage, so delivering the right messaging to the right people at the right time is critical to attracting passive candidates.

CRM is fundamental to recruitment marketing, and all efforts can be organized, scheduled, and delivered through CRM, eliminating the need for unnecessary team maintenance, and ensuring that a maximum number of talent is converted for each campaign.

An ideal recruitment marketing campaign is unique to each candidate, but still conveys a strong employer brand throughout. For large, global organizations, the struggle to standardize branding across all channels often means little control over their employer brand. With 75% of job seekers considering an employer’s brand before even applying for a job, creating a positive, candidate-facing company image should be top priority in recruitment marketing campaigns. Through CRM, recruiters can ensure that their branding remains consistent across all email, social, and web campaigns.

Maximizing the effectiveness of candidate outreach campaigns means recruiters also need to know which of their efforts are working and which are not, and top CRM solutions offer flexible reporting backed by analytics. Through intelligent reporting, recruiters can:

  • Measure open rates, click throughs, and gauge candidate interest
  • Better customize sender and reply-to emails to improve open rates
  • Replicate successful campaigns or edit existing ones to streamline outreach efforts

Good Design = Strong Functionality

A feature-rich CRM is only as good as its design, which means the best solutions not only offer the flexibility that recruiters need, but can be integrated with existing workflows while meeting regulatory compliance—all through a simple, intuitive user experience and interface.

Too often, CRMs are packaged as aftermarket add-ons to an existing ATS, requiring third-party integrations that often lead to clunky experiences. Multiple portals that require numerous logins is time consuming and frustrating for both recruiters and candidates. Modern talent acquisition suites have streamlined this by offering a no-integration solution that combines an ATS and CRM on a single system.

A single-system solution also means that all candidate data as well as the interface remains consistent throughout the entire hiring process. In the wake of GDPR and local legislation like California’s Consumer Privacy Act, today’s employers must shoulder the burden of responsibility when it comes to knowing and complying with all data compliance laws. Legacy systems and/or third-party integrations are often rife with non-compliant and disparate data.

For candidates, CRM should make it easy for them to manage their data all in one location. Rather than collecting personal information from candidates for each application, a modern CRM solution should offer a universal candidate record for all their job applications. This makes it easier for candidates to ensure their data is always current, empowers them to decide exactly who has access to it via easy opt-in and opt-out consent, and ensures all data is current, compliant, and readily available.

A Smart CRM Helps Solve Talent Shortage

Superb candidate experience will soon become par for the course thanks to modern and intelligent CRM solutions, especially as more organizations from the enterprise level to startup stage adopt end-to-end talent acquisition platforms that unify multiple technology tools into one platform. These comprehensive solutions empower recruiters and hiring managers to make better, faster, and more cost-efficient hires.

Most importantly, these hires will happen as a result of building relationships with talent ahead of demand. As the economy shifts from a job-centric to a candidate-centric model, more effort will be placed on pre-application processes, with CRM solutions leading the charge towards hiring success.