If your company hires a large volume of people, or wants to do so in the future, you need a way to manage and understand potential candidates. A Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) system – often called a Talent CRM or Recruitment CRM – is the ideal approach.
What is a Talent CRM?
A Talent CRM is a place for recruiting teams to store and engage with qualified talent, keep a record of any interactions, and view useful recruitment-related analytics. The best CRMs not only track information on applicants, but also help recruiters build and nurture long-term relationships with job seekers.
While the system is designed with job seekers and candidates in mind, it’s also hugely useful for sourcing teams and Talent Acquisition (TA) professionals. A modern Talent CRM lets you create talent pools, keep in touch with “passive” talent, and engage talent networks at scale. It helps you to keep track of where candidates are in their career journeys, manage communications dynamically, send campaigns, and share your open roles to job boards.
When used correctly, it can help you turn passive talent into highly engaged applicants, and ensure you have qualified talent identified, and engaged with your business, before you need them. With a more efficient sourcing and recruitment process, you can see many business benefits.
How is it different from an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a repository for applicants, and it helps manage the application process. Your ATS is a workflow and compliance tool that manages applicants, while your Talent CRM is an ecosystem of all passive and active candidates, as well as everyone who has previously applied to your company. Luckily, the two can often work together beautifully to improve the talent experience for candidates – and make life easier for HR teams.
How a Talent CRM helps recruiters…
Be more proactive
A good CRM lets you take a more active role when it comes to your recruiting efforts, rather than posting a job ad and hoping people apply. With a Talent CRM, you can plan and pipeline talent: target the prospects that are already engaged with your employer brand (maybe they narrowly lost out on a role in the past), and those that would be the best fit for a role – and most likely to accept.
Proactive recruitment helps you fill skills gaps quickly and stay ahead of the competition. If you know what departments, locations or skill profiles you will need in the future, you can start collecting insights on ideal candidates now, and keep them warm until they are needed.
Be more organized
Leave behind the spreadsheets and sticky notes, and really stay on top of candidate data. A good Talent CRM will ensure candidate data is easily accessible and – most importantly – up to date. It will show you the status of every relationship in real time, and tell you if colleagues have spoken to a candidate in the past. It allows you to set up rules to automatically group candidates together in talent pools, making it easier to identify suitable candidates for open roles.
Your team should be able to share notes, track candidates, and document activity collaboratively and transparently across your entire organization – to avoid wasted time and effort.
You can often also schedule interviews and collect candidate feedback from within your talent pipeline, so there’s no need to rely on other tools and workflows.
Be more effective
While some roles always get floods of applicants, many positions are harder to hire for – and more and more, TA teams are measured on the quality of hires made, not the quantity. A good Talent CRM ensures you can find the ideal candidate for each position, and get some help on those harder-to-fill roles.
Being able to build a pipeline of candidates, get a holistic view of the talent in your database, and nurture relationships means it’s more likely you’ll have a great person ready to step in for interview and, hopefully, primed to accept a position – and with the application of explainable AI, a modern Talent CRM can provide smart recommendations that may be overlooked by a human.
Moreover, your CRM should be able to surface candidates with the skills you need and the potential to grow, and perhaps have skills to ‘match’ existing high performers at your company.
Be more efficient
Modern CRM systems automate much of the tedious processes and admin that recruiters spend so much time on, and can automatically pull in all your ATS data so you can focus on targeting the best of these previous applicants for open roles.
Automating the categorization of candidate data reduces manual effort, and frees up recruiters to focus on higher priority issues – like conducting interviews and considering the future needs of the business. It reduces the chance of manual error too – and ensures all your candidates go through the same process when they enter your system.
Be more accountable
ROI from careers fairs and online campaigns is tricky to measure. We know they are great ways to attract passive talent, but without proper tracking, the value of the event is hard to prove.
A good CRM will track attendees to your events and prospects from your campaigns automatically. It will help you nurture those fledgling relationships and give you the numbers you need to prove exactly how valuable the initiatives are.
With centralized reporting, you can track the ROI of different channels and sources, manage team performance, and forecast results.
A modern Talent CRM helps you identify pipeline and engage candidates with the right skills and potential to become high performers, and help recruiters find best fit talent faster and reduce cycle times. Used as part of a wider Talent Lifecycle Management approach, you can use your Talent CRM to understand employees as well as candidates – creating a holistic view that helps you spot and fill opportunities efficiently and effectively.