When asked by a highly stressed Recruitment leader, with a finite investment budget, what will give them the ‘biggest bang for the buck’, without hesitation the answer is simple – invest in a Recruitment Candidate Relationship Marketing (CRM) system.
With a talent space that has so fundamentally shifted in emphasis away from a one size-fits-all, one company career sell to a complex candidate landscape and a multi-company lifespan, then being armed with only a clunky first generation ATS and a bunch of siloed, recruiter-owned spreadsheets to go into battle with is the worst idea since someone yelled “‘yeah let’s take this suspiciously large wooden horse into Troy, statues are all the rage this season”.
For the small number of professionals who’ve still not heard, a CRM helps you manage your company’s impressions and interactions with potential and future hires in one place.
The technology, taken primarily from our marketing cousins, helps organise, automate and synchronize the attraction, communication and nurturing of talent. It drives a direct sourcing strategy, fosters team collaboration and provides a platform for drawing the wider business into the recruitment process.
Today, affordably within our grasp, is a game-changing recruitment technology enabler that creates enormous value. A single source of truth has been a silver bullet for our teams operating unproductively off siloed spreadsheets of unshareable data.
What changed is that the previously celebrated automation of recruitment records was never really good enough. Coupled with the fact that the user experience was relatively poor, there was little in the technology ecosystem that could tackle the evolving three issues that resonates with me in recent years:
1. Stop-start recruiting demand
Since the 2008 financial crisis, maybe earlier, recruitment has been used as a blunt instrument to signal business sentiment to a variety of key stakeholders. We’ve seen this tactic feature recently post-Brexit.
The reality at the coalface is there is no such thing as a total ‘freeze’ – employee churn needs catered for, a bureaucracy of weekly exceptions by board members who hold a rather simple view of how quickly it takes to ramp up when making a hire.
Without a CRM focused on the pre-applicant candidate, nurturing and engaging in a structured manner at the right pace along the funnel, then historically the by-product was posting to numerous job boards or using the painfully dumbed-down PSL for quick answers in small windows.
Quite often this distressed, applicant-led approach led to a poor quality hire. And round we went again.
2. From fulfilling jobs to nurturing candidates
We know the common beliefs in our system now – the candidate is king and success requires an approach based on sourcing the best fit, nurturing relationships with those interested candidates in places where they reside and with content that they can relate to.
Arguably the hardest part of the recruitment funnel we face today is keeping the interest of busy, talented people who you believe might add enormous value to your organization and treating them respectfully.
Only an effective CRM can help us develop engaging strategies to make these things a reality.
3. Value creation
Any investment needs to pass this litmus test but too often the first generation technology suite allowed us to only tick the compliant box.
As recruitment leaders a CRM places technology where it best helps and that is in freeing up the valuable commodity of time for sourcers and recruiters to actively engage with candidates and sell.
No more busy fools focused on manual data entry or agency negotiation but seamless sourcing, prospecting for future and repeatable roles, automation at scale without manual intervention, accessible talent pools and a better way of working that provides the basis for more reinvestment on the journey to excellence enlightened recruitment leaders want to pursue.
Whilst installing a cloud-based CRM solution is relatively straightforward, I’m determined to help my peers maximize the benefits of such a change given the enormous value our profession, people and the business can achieve as a result. Stay tuned over the coming weeks.
Until next time. What are you waiting for?