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My mantra for recruiters in 2015 is “Love your CRM”.


2012 - 2014 was about social media in recruitment – everyone went nuts for it. I think that this year, 2015, is the year of the Recruitment CRM.

Yes, social recruiting is still on the agenda of the average recruitment leader, but social media is also still classed as suspect tech by many.  You need to do lots of it to gain traction and the people running the business never needed it in their day – hence it’s the thing that every recruiter is doing, can often not measure, and very few recruitment leaders take seriously.

Recruitment Software and the Recession

CRM has been a little on the back burner in recent years.

This is what I have seen over the last 15 years, and I was sober and right in the middle of some substantial recruitment businesses, right before, during and after the recession.

Recruitment tech pre 2008 was pretty crap! (Sweeping statement)… and even if it was any good it was really poorly used.  We didn’t really “need” it.  Our talent needed us more than we needed them, and the same could be said for our clients.  We had more control over our markets.  Our markets were smaller – global and international recruitment was often by accident, not design.  Our competitors were obvious and easy to dismiss.

LinkedIn enters our lives in 2003 with not so much a boom, as in a What? Facebook and Twitter came along during the dark years of recession and still we watched from the side lines. I moved from being an IT Director in Recruitment, to running my own Recruitment Tech consultancy in 2008 and watched as social recruiting became something that recruiters became rabid dogs for, as did their own clients.

Recruitment Tech pre 2008

The Recruitment CRM purchased pre 2008 was still sat on the server of the recruiter and was often pretty ineffective.  The data old, messy and hard to find. The role of the Recruitment CRM deteriorated even more during the recession as workflows went in the bin and the 30 second placement model dominated.  What is the 30 second placement model? It is “get it on the system, I need to send an invoice”…

Recruitment Tech Post Recession

Social media becomes the new black.  Data, big data (lots of data!) becomes the need of every recruiter.  Jobs are spammed, not posted or pitched.  Clients buy the tech that every recruiter either has or wants. Candidates can apply for jobs sat on the toilet in a onesie (imagine that!)

Recruitment CRM became the mad aunt at Christmas.  The parents (recruitment leaders) invite her as it’s the right thing to do.  The kids (recruiters) talk to her because they have been told to – no-one takes her seriously – she talks out of context and offers no value.

Falling in Love with Recruitment Software?

Then last year I noticed a slight shift.  I saw more and more recruitment leaders lifting their heads, opening their wallets and planning their business strategies.  PHEW!  They’re back in the room!  And so is recruitment software…


Social Media has Levelled the Playing Field

Has social media created too level a playing field?  Clients and recruiters (and candidates) are all competing with each other, using the same tech and the same data.

Yes, recruiters can claim that their processes are unique (who cares?). In essence its first past the post and everyone seems to have the same (very fast) car.

Recruitment CRM could (and should) be a USP

Recruitment CRM is potentially the only USP of the average recruiter has and that’s why I think that this should be the year of the CRM and why you should give your CRM unconditional love.

If you have the data (the candidate) you have the market. I don’t mean you should have 350,000,000 “candidates” on your database like LinkedIn – I mean you may only have 1% or only a 10th of that.  You need quality data – valuable and useful data. You simply need “enough” teachers, engineers, doctors, IT sales specialists, hr professionals and so on.  You need a great process to keep them happy, and a fabulous content plan (and I include adverts in that plan) to engage active and passive talent – and you need to use recruitment CRM to run this process, turn it into an asset and then milk it!  Your clients will buy this from you!

Love your CRM!  It’s a sure thing!

(Thanks to Bullhorn for originally publishing this blog.)

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