At any point in time, organizations face different challenges in their journey as they strive to fulfill their mission. If you consider the top problems in recent years, they may be around product, engineering, marketing, or sales. However, irrespective of the specific hurdles faced, there is one consistent priority that takes precedence over all other factors for companies, regardless of their size or industry: "hiring the right people”.
Without people, the ideas are just ideas. Especially in today’s world, team building has been identified as the most crucial and difficult part for companies and CEOs. In this modern era, the needle has turned towards the candidates, and recruiters are witnessing more competition than ever to hire top talent from the job market.
As factors such as remote work opportunities, employee well-being, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and competitive compensation packages gain prominence, candidates now have a wider array of options when it comes to selecting companies that align with their skills and interests. Consequently, organizations find it hard to attract and secure their desired talent amidst stiff competition from their industry peers.
In this environment, what actually makes a company get attention among the talent crowd is the speed of execution and proper communication. That is what the recruitment CRM actually helps recruiters do. In this blog, let’s delve into the world of recruitment CRM (candidate relationship management) software and explore how it can significantly contribute to achieving your hiring goals.
What is a recruitment CRM?
As you’ll know, CRM (customer relationship management) software is a widely recognized tool used by businesses to manage relationships with leads and customers, primarily for the sales team. The primary purpose of CRM is to cut down on all the manual tasks involved in the communication process with customers and make data-driven decisions.
In a similar vein, the concept of CRM extends to the realm of hiring as well. Recruitment CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) software is used to hire top talent by managing relationships with your candidate pool using personalized workflows and automation. It also acts as a central repository to organize all your recruitment-related data in one place, which enables personalized communication with candidates at various stages of the hiring process, nurturing relationships, and providing a positive candidate experience. Recruitment CRM software also helps a lot in saving time by eliminating the manual tasks in the process like email followup, providing updates, data scraping, etc., through automation.
Is recruitment CRM more than an ATS?
"Modern problems need modern solutions".
The ATS has been a breakthrough and, indeed, a valuable tool for the recruitment industry. But, primarily, the tool is designed in an old-fashioned way, catering only to inbound recruitment problems.
Inbound recruitment is the only way that has been followed over a long period, where you post the vacancy on job boards and candidates apply for it. But the recruitment landscape is now shifting in the other direction, which is more candidate-centric and where recruiters rely on outbound hiring. In outbound recruitment, you go and search for potential candidates on various professional sites and engage with them directly.. Therefore, if you’ve thought ATS is just enough for your recruitment, then you are covering only one side of the coin and missing out on the huge opportunity on the other side.
This is where recruitment CRM software comes into play, working in tandem with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to effectively handle both inbound and outbound recruitment strategies. To fill job openings, recruiters often find themselves sourcing thousands of applicants and reaching out to hundreds of potential candidates simultaneously. Manually sourcing candidates by going through multiple platforms and extracting the candidates’ data is an impractical task. Also, it’s a cumbersome process to manually frame the communication process using an Excel sheet and engage with candidates every day.
Recruitment CRM tools are designed in a way to address all these problems, which eventually impacts increased productivity for recruiters to achieve their hiring goals.
How does recruiting CRM software work?
A good start is half the job done. Effective sourcing helps to close the right candidates without spending much time and effort on unfit candidates. Recruiting CRM helps to do this step effectively by searching potential candidates across various channels, including social platforms, job boards, and the existing candidate database.
In addition to this, you can also take advantage of search features like keyword search, filtering by targeted skills and qualifications, location-based search, etc., to find the top-matching candidates for your demands. Once you start picking the potential candidates, you can easily organize and save them in your candidate database with relevant tagging.
Automated nurturing and engagement
This is what you can’t do with an ATS. With hundreds and thousands of candidates in your database. It's almost impossible to manually reach out to all of them via their respective platforms with a personalized message. This is where recruitment CRM software plays a vital role.
Once you’ve filtered the potential candidates, you can easily automate the outreach messages and start engaging with them. This includes conversations and chats through emails, LinkedIn messages, and even WhatsApp. Consistently nurturing your candidates will lead you to create a solid talent pipeline with potential candidates for different roles.
Track your engagement
With recruiting CRM, you can easily track all the conversation history with your outbound candidates. Based on their responses and replies, the candidates are automatically moved to the next step in the interview process. By utilizing metrics like open rate, response rate, and engagement ratio, you can measure how your outbound efforts are working and iterate your messaging to get the maximum response rate from the audience.
For Talent Acquisition teams, collaboration and communication features available in recruitment CRM software are valuable, along with the tracking features. Because it helps to avoid embarrassing situations like multiple people in the same team reaching out to the same candidate without having proper visibility of their outreach effort. Right tracking always guides you in the right direction, saving you time and effort.
You got the pile of resumes in your candidate database from job board applications and outbound efforts. The automated screening feature in the talent CRM software analyzes your predefined criteria and requirements and matches them against the candidates’ resume details. Once this is done, based on the suggested scoring, like % fit for your role, you can easily shortlist and focus on the most promising candidates from your database in minutes.
In addition to this, you can also conduct one-way interview rounds through automated screening. You just need to enter a few relevant questions to test whether the candidates match your criteria or not. Based on the scores, the candidates will be automatically shortlisted to proceed to the next round.
Automating the referral network
If you're not capitalizing on your employee network as part of your recruitment strategy, you're overlooking a tremendous opportunity. It can be challenging to manually implement and track the entire referral program across your organization. It requires consistent nurturing of relationships with both employees and potential candidates to successfully harness the power of referrals.
You can automate this referral process using talent CRM software by implementing a separate referral portal for your employees. With this portal, your employees can easily provide details about the potential candidate and other supporting information. By setting up an email workflow with the respective trigger events, your referral process will run automatically without much manual intervention.
For instance, when an employee submits a candidate's information through the portal, an automated sequence will promptly send an acknowledgement email to the employee. Subsequently, the employee will receive regular updates at each stage of the candidate's hiring journey, ensuring they stay informed throughout the process.
Gamifying this referral program in your portal can encourage other employees to participate, which will easily fulfill your candidate requirements in a short time, compared to external sourcing. With regular review and analysis of metrics such as number of referrals made, offer rate, time to close, etc., you can tweak the process by iterating, which will help you create a sustainable referral engine for your company’s recruitment in the long run.
The core value of a recruiting CRM in hiring is to execute a proactive approach instead of a reactive one. ATS helps you deal with the reactive approach. Proactive hiring is simply building the talent pipeline, even before the availability of job openings.
It needs various efforts like outreach, regular nurturing, building relationships with potential candidates, enabling multiple channels to source, etc., Recruitment CRM acts as a single source of truth for talent acquisition teams to carry out all these processes at one place seamlessly using automation.
By fostering relationships and building your set of candidates, they are more likely to prefer your company because of their familiarity with the organization's values and the positive experience they had with you.
Features you shouldn't miss in your Recruitment CRM
Easy accessibility and collaboration
Regardless of the features your recruiting CRM offers, if it lacks usability for your team, it will not yield desirable outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial to have an intuitive system, with a sleek user experience. This ensures that all team members, whether it is an intern or chief people officer, can navigate the system and and carry out their tasks easily.
As mentioned earlier , recruitment is no longer a single-person game; it’s a pure team effort. In team collaboration, numerous small tasks will often arise, such as sending regular updates, instructing someone to take an action, task allocation, etc. An ideal recruiting CRM should possess the capability to automate and eliminate these manual tasks, enabling seamless collaboration within the team and facilitating a streamlined hiring process. Due to the employees participation in your referral program, they should also get dashboard access with a smooth user experience, so that they can monitor and track the progress of their referred candidates.
Today’s recruiter must hang out where their candidates are spending most of their time. It may be Stack Overflow, Github, Behance, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, or even Instagram. Talented people are expressing their work and portfolio across different platforms.
Your recruitment CRM software should be capable of reaching out to potential people across platforms, if not at least the top professional platforms. Outbound recruiting is driven by reaching out to potential candidates even before they know you. Therefore, a multi-platform messaging feature is a must to fuel your outbound efforts.
Customizable sequences and rules
Recruitment is a field where a "one size fits all" approach simply doesn't apply. It is influenced by several dynamic factors, including company size, organizational structure, talent acquisition team size, number of job openings, dependencies, and the types of roles being recruited for. As a result, different companies employ distinct processes and workflow styles tailored to their specific needs and requirements.
Thus, it is a must for a recruiting CRM to be flexible and adapt to the team’s requirements to deliver the desired outcome. To achieve this, "customization" is a much-needed feature for recruiters. Whatever automation feature the CRM has, it should be able to be customized according to your workflow needs.
For instance, consider that one of the steps in a TA team’s workflow is to update all the team members and hiring manager if a candidate is scheduled for a direct interview. In this case, the recruiting CRM should be able to create a custom sequence, that is, send automated notifications to all the team members, if a candidate has crossed ‘X’ step, which is a triggering event.
As mentioned earlier , recruiters need to hang out on various platforms, where their candidates are. A browser extension is vital to simplifying their sourcing efforts with a tap across any platform. In this way, with little effort in their everyday browsing time, a talent pool is collected in their recruiting CRM, where it can be easily screened to filter out the potential candidates.
It’s not just applicable for sourcing; it's also applicable for other use cases like updating a candidate’s information, sending a message, checking the previous actions taken for that candidate, etc., all without juggling between the recruiting CRM and your browser. An extension acts as a bridge to connect your research efforts to the source, which is recruitment CRM.
With AI features, the recruiting CRM should be capable of learning from the data and providing valuable insights to reduce the time spent on decision-making and research for the recruiters.
Example:For instance, an AI-powered candidate scoring feature can utilize a percentage match metric to suggest the most relevant profiles from your existing database. So that, if an opening arises, the recruiter has no need to scout every profile in the database manually. By quickly glancing at the score, recruiters can efficiently shortlist the right candidates within minutes, saving valuable time and effort. Likewise, the same AI workflow applies for other use cases like the overall health of outbound engagement, pipeline status, alarming factors to consider, etc.
Data tracking and analytics
In the current trend, if your recruitment efforts are not tracked and reflected through data, then you are following an outdated process. Your recruiting CRM should be able to monitor every action that a TA member takes in the CRM. It should offer organized data charts periodically to help them uncover insights and track progress.
Monitoring the following metrics will help you keep a healthy talent pipeline: time to hire, source and channel analytics, candidate engagement metrics and ratios, diversity and inclusion analytics, job posting performance, and talent pool analytics. Visualizing your recruitment efforts through these data metrics helps you ensure your direction and take the right decisions at the right time before an issue occurs.
Presenting the important metrics concisely on a single screen, in accordance with the criteria and needs, is finally what a TA team is going to see every day and kickstart their work. Organized few data points speak a lot more than huge unorganized data.
Thus, presenting the whole talent acquisition process on a single-screen dashboard is a significant thing for your talent team to do efficiently. It’s like watching a scoreboard at different times every day and encouraging everyone to march towards their goals.
Smooth integration with your ATS and other tools
The majority of companies have already implemented an ATS to streamline their recruitment process. Recruiters are using various other productivity and communication tools in the recruitment process. Your recruitment CRM should be flexible and capable enough to integrate with your ATS and other important tools that are part of your existing process. A healthy integration can uplift your recruitment process from the level you are already at instead of building from scratch, which is not feasible.
The modern recruitment landscape
Transformational change happens across all sectors, and recruitment is not an exception. In the past, it would typically take a decade or more for the market to change and align with current needs. However, this transformation is happening much more quickly today due to economic changes, technological advancements, and shifting human dynamics, frequently within just a few years. The COVID outbreak has been one of the major reasons for the shift to a remote-first work culture and, of course, the recent talent shortage. More than that, the needle has been naturally moved to the candidate's side, and the market today is more candidate-driven than ever before. The increasing number of emerging companies with greater vision has led to a surge in demand for top talent, necessitating faster hiring processes that can be completed in weeks rather than months.
Traditional recruitment was incredibly tedious and involved a lot of manual tasks, which made it highly time-consuming to get an outcome. To solve this problem only, ATS has been introduced. But the thing is, ATS has solved a part of the problem, but it’s still not reached that complete end-to-end solution mark for recruiters.
The rise of social media and professional networking sites has changed the way recruitment works. Here are five key considerations for adapting to the modern recruitment landscape and fulfilling the talent requirements of your company.
- The present economy has become a completely candidate driven market. Due to this change, business leaders are in a position to provide the proper compensation and benefits that candidates are demanding, but they also face the difficult challenge of increased competition for the best potential candidates.
- Both employers and employees have evolved to a new idea of getting things done regardless of where you are and how many hours you are working. It is now a standard practice to offer candidates flexibility and remote work; they are no longer optional.
- Skilled people are scarce, and they are the ones who actually get things done for your company to reach its goals.
- Whether you are a startup or a conglomerate, work culture has become a top priority for talent. The way you treat them, transparency, employee well-being, diversity, inclusion, meaningful work, etc. are the top things you should offer to maintain a healthy culture across the company.
- Last but not least, even though you’ve covered all the above things, without creating a smooth and faster recruitment cycle with a good candidate experience, you are going to lose the competitive advantage of closing the right talent at the right time with your competitors.
Top benefits you can get from recruitment CRM
Smooth and efficient hiring process
Recruitment CRM can act as a single source of truth by organizing all your candidates information in one place. This enables recruiters and every member of the team to access and carry out their recruitment tasks easily by eliminating manual and repetitive tasks in candidate management.
Recruitment is a pure team effort. Recruitment CRM facilitates easy collaboration across team members when closing a role. In each step of the hiring process, the responsibility shifts to different people when closing the rounds. CRM offers flexibility for multiple users to access, update the necessary information, offer feedback, and collaborate on final decisions. This helps to avoid the use of multiple tools and miscommunication and ensure a smooth process across the team at one spot.
Better candidate experience
A CRM system enables recruiters to effectively manage candidate relationships throughout the recruitment process. With this, a recruiter can track the whole communication history with the particular candidate and act upon it. Automated messaging helps even more to regularly nurture and update the information at the right time through follow-ups. All of this together offers the candidates a more positive experience with the brand.
With robust reporting and analytics features, recruiters can get complete visibility into their candidate pipeline and analyze the recruitment metrics for every action taken. By regularly monitoring and leveraging data, they can evaluate the effectiveness of their recruitment strategy and make necessary optimizations to ensure the desired results are achieved.
Visibility over your recruitment efforts
By generating the talent pipeline with the data from ATS and CRM actions, recruiters can get an overall view of their hiring funnel. It helps to identify, role-wise and regionally, how the process is going and gives clarity on the needed actions to be taken to reach the target goals.
Track your recruitment ROI
In the end, it all costs time, money, and effort. Talent acquisition teams are unable to derive a recruitment ROI because of the scattered process and unorganized data. Recruitment CRM software helps to organize that in one spot so that you can measure your ROI with ease.
Apart from the above, recruitment CRM offers various other benefits like workflow automation, integration, support and scalability, data security, etc. for seamless hiring progress.
How do you choose your best recruitment CRM?
- Identify your recruitment challenges
A recruitment CRM can offer a wide range of features and functionalities. But if it doesn’t meet your unique challenges, then there is no point in implementing it. Therefore, the first step is to clearly analyze and list all the top challenges and bottlenecks that are holding you back from achieving your recruitment goals.
Every company faces unique challenges because of various factors like industry type, product/service, company size, etc. Thus, clearly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here in recruitment.
Have a collaborative discussion with every member of the team, such as the hiring manager, recruiter, department leads, head of talent acquisition, interns, etc., that can lead to deep brainstorming, understanding, and prioritizing of the top challenges not only from your end but from every team member's perspective. As recruitment is a cross-functional team effort, collaborative discussion can only reveal the deep issues that your company is facing.
In most cases, the following are the top challenges faced by talent acquisition teams,
- Poor collaboration between the team members leads to a broken, inefficient hiring process.
- Recruiters waste the majority of their time on manual and repetitive tasks and juggling between multiple tools and Excel.
- Because of the above two factors, candidates are getting poor experience and consuming a lot of time on interview rounds.
- There is no visibility into recruitment efforts due to the sporadic nature of the environment and the tools that have already been set.
- Lack of a data-driven approach leads team members to make decisions based on assumptions most of the time.
2. Classify your immediate and long-term goals for recruitment.
Having clarity over the immediate and future goals of your recruitment helps to easily classify the effort vs. impact and consecutive actions that need to be taken.
For example, the immediate goals can be to close four openings within the next 3 months, enable team collaboration, reduce time to hire, and future goals are like to improve employer branding steadily, succession planning, diversity and inclusion, etc.
It is a must to consider both aspects when choosing your recruitment CRM. Defining immediate goals will help you solve the present issues and get an instant outcome on the effort you are delivering now. Considering the long-term goals, recruiting CRM should assist in scaling your efforts and adapting to modern recruitment trends in the subsequent stages.
- Map the required features needed to solve your challenges.
By doing the previous steps, you will now have clarity on what needs to be done, which helps you identify the top features needed to solve the challenges. In addition, by having a discussion with your team about their day-to-day operations, workflows, existing solutions, etc., you can understand them even more deeply and select significant features.
Classifying the features into 2 segments of "must-have" and "nice-to-have’ will help you select the best-fit CRM that you are targeting.
- Integration with our ATS, job boards, and other tools.
- Talent pipeline
- Extension for easy sourcing
- Automated messaging
"The above features are necessary to carry out the recruitment process. If the CRM is lagging in any of the above features, you should ignore it and search for another tool."
Nice to have features:
Following are the features that are not essential, but adding them will improve the core process and give the team more possibilities. In a much simpler way, you can execute your work without these features, but including them will lead to a more efficient process.
- Messaging templates
- Resume parsing
- Customizable career page
- Chatbot support
- Fix an optimum budget for the tool
Most of the recruitment CRM tools charge for user count and the features you choose. So, it’s your job to balance the budget and get the required features to fall into place at the right sweet spot. Humbird AI is an AI-powered recruitment CRM that offers a wide range of features to meet all of your contemporary hiring needs and is simple to integrate with your current ATS. Automate all your repetitive tasks, reduce bias, gain valuable insights, engage top talent effectively, and gain a competitive advantage over other employers with Humbird AI. Ensure the selected CRM has any hidden charges or not, how the pricing will go while scaling your recruitment team, and the customer support, etc.
- Consider getting a demo or free trial to explore
Getting to know all about the features and functionalities without experiencing them in real time is a bit hard. Our recommendation is to get a demo or free trial and analyze all the aspects to determine whether it meets your top requirements or not. Make sure the CRM is satisfying your needs with both must-have and nice-to-have features.