Getting More from Your CRM: a New Use for an Old Tool

CRM, which hit the market about 10 year ago as straight Customer Relationship Management software, is seeing a kind of renaissance. As the underlying technology has developed, CRMs from all providers are becoming more flexible, and we’re seeing them stretched and modified to fit all kinds of business needs.
As a long time CRM reseller, I’ve been especially interested in watching what our clients have done to extend CRM’s role in their organizations from purely customer-centric processes to supporting their recruiting efforts.
I can only imagine that as more companies catch on to the emerging wisdom that maintaining ongoing relationships with candidates is vital to the successful recruiting, we’ll see more of our implementations evolve into double duty customer and candidate relationship management solutions.
Underlying this trend is a gestalt shift: coming to see recruiting as a sales process.
Though we might not have seen I that way, it’s always been a sales process: you find prospective candidates the same way you do prospective buyers – through word of mouth and media marketing. You have to qualify them and then sell them on your product, in this case a position.
Because of the tight analogy, repurposing sales process tools already built in to your CRM software is relatively simple. Here are a few suggestions for tools you should integrate into your recruiting process if you interested in extending your CRM…

Marketing:
When configuring the marketing element of your CRM, you want to make sure you build in these capabilities: creating lists from in-bound emails, automating marketing campaigns, generating automatic messages to specific kinds of candidates and targeting newsletters to candidates by elements like geography or field of expertise. You can also use your CRM to generate email content and call up boilerplate text.
You want to make sure that your system gives you the ability to capture all of the data about your candidates generated throughout the process (forms, tests, interviews, etc.) and that you have an input system that lets you use that data to specifically target candidates with follow up messages, newsletters and notifications of similar positions.
Of course, you’ll also want the ability to assess your efforts. Your CRM can be configured to track the effectiveness of your initial marketing and follow up by showing you response rates and drilling down into granular detail, like which kinds of messaging yields the best results.
Customer Service:
Admit it, the closest you come to customer service in your recruiting efforts is offering some stale coffee. With your reputation and the estimation of your potential hires at stake, this is one area where just about all organizations can improve.
The customer service tools built into your CRM can help you develop this crucial part of the recruitment process by guiding you through building and automating a candidate service plan.
A good CRM setup provides your recruiting team with instant access to all of your candidate’s information, which can be pulled up the second he or she calls in. You can even set it to suggested responses for your recruiters to use that have been pre-approved by management or your legal department.
Depending on the level of automation that makes sense for your business, you might automate responses to candidate emails or make part of your recruitment the process self-service. You can minimize hands-on scheduling and phone time while giving your candidates access to the information they want when they need it, freeing your staff focus on less administrative parts of the process.
Sales:
Getting your new team members on board require selling them your company.
When your recruiters make that critical sales call, it supports their pitch to have all of the candidate’s information in front of them. Just like you would do for a customer, you need a system to help you deal with questions that come up during the conversation by providing a notation system that triggers a follow up or giving your recruiters quick access to answers to common questions. If you want a high degree of control, you can even automate an offer script or offer letters.

By Lance McLean, Streamsol

A Microsoft Dynamics CRM reseller offering Hosted CRM and xRM platform software