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Data is the lifeblood of any recruitment business. So why is it that the number one complaint I get from recruiters is they can never find the right candidates on the CRM? Or recruitment management have no idea what activities their recruiters do to make them money!?

Dirty recruiters make dirty data!

Candidate data is by far the most problematic for recruitment businesses. Which one of the following best describes your business?

  1. We add EVERYTHING on the CRM – We’re bound to be able to place that stunt car driver at some point (no joke, a stunt car driver did apply for a job of mine many moons ago and yes… I added him to the CRM!)
  2. We add data to the system when we really need to. For example when the client asks for a CV. The candidate gets parsed in and their CV attached and that’s about it.  Or the client record contains their name, organisation and email address (what more do you need?)
  3. We are very selective as to what we put onto the system.  We have a culture of speaking to every candidate application and assessing if they are good enough to be added to our CRM.
  4. We are all of the above?!

OK, the last one probably describes the vast majority of recruitment businesses and here in lies one the biggest challenges facing recruitment CRM Systems…

"Recruitment Companies don’t have a CRM data quality strategy and hence the consultants don’t see the value in the CRM."

Good recruiter intentions

Many recruiters have good intentions about their data and try to add quality data. They spend time correctly categorising each candidate, ensuring all activity is logged and hoping that someone else doesn’t alter the codes and change the good work they have done. These recruiters are able to source talent and clients quickly and might use hot lists as an alternative to Excel spreadsheets for the really speedy workflows.

Likewise, many recruiters also don’t see the value in good quality data and will throw anything and everything onto the CRM, thinking that “More Data = Better Chance of finding the right Candidates”. What they don’t do, is spend any time coding the data and hence when they run key word searches, their search result contains thousands of records. This actually elongates the time to sift through and establish “is this person good enough for me to be calling?” In many instances, when a really good quality candidate does land on their desk, they have no way of identifying the best clients to speak to.

Finally you have people who don’t really want to use the CRM system, they have their own systems such as Outlook, Excel and LinkedIn. Recruitment leaders don’t understand where they get their business from (and in many instances neither do their consultants!). Only at the last minute will the recruiter be forced to add the candidate, organisation, contact and vacancy records onto the CRM. This is typically very late in the recruitment lifecycle at CV Send, Client 1st Interview or even better (!) at placement stage, and often with very little additional data. These people do not see the benefit of adding any quality data to the CRM and they will never experience the benefit either. Vicious Circle?

These recruiters who can place a candidate in 30 seconds (the time it takes to get the candidate on to the system and place them through an action) seem like a great hire, but in reality can cause recruitment leaders all sorts of issues (which are often not restricted to their lack of usage of the recruitment software).

Current recruitment CRM software strategy?

If you have a mixed up strategy then you end up having mixed up search results, mixed up engagement with the CRM and ultimately, less placements. Some recruitment consultants benefit from quality data, others are wasteful and take too much time finding average candidates to send to clients. Not often enough are times to source, and ultimately time to hire, measured to help identify where the issue lies.

Everyone loses!

The biggest loser in all this is recruitment management. They don’t use the CRM as a tool for growing their businesses due to the unreliable informationthe CRM contains. Hence someone in the business spends days collating information from multiple sources, and multiple timelines, which is wasteful and inefficient, and only gives a snapshot of the past. 

Systems like Cube19 and Saber Analytics (and others…) are really good at helping businesses understand their data and developing better data quality and predicting the future.  But the single most difficult challenge is understanding the data which comes out of the system as their mixed data quality strategy results in mixed management information. Crap in crap out is an annoying cliché but exists for a reason.

Thanks to APSCo for publishing this blog 

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  1. Excellent article Wayne! One of the key questions to ask recruitment businesses is why do you have a CRM? For those with poor data management and who get all candidates through adverts - the honest answer might be "We don't". They could save themselves the money, and a fair amount of overhead (at least for the consultants that do use it) by ditching it altogether. If agencies go back to the original benefits case for the CRM, there are usually a few clues as to why you need both CRM and data management....

    Guy Deterding

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