Recruitment can be a complicated process. In recent times, the balance of power has shifted from recruiters to job seekers, and there were over 10 million job vacancies across the US in August 2021. 

For any good recruiter, managing candidates from first contact to eventually finding them a role is crucial. You may choose to save contact details if you use phone systems for small businesses, but you also want something more than that. This is where candidate relationship management (CRM) becomes an essential part of your recruitment process. 

Just what is a recruitment CRM? How do you ensure you’re using it properly and you have a rounded process that treats everyone as equals? Let’s find out. 

What is a Recruitment Candidate Relationship Management (CRM)?

A recruitment CRM helps you nurture relationships by leveraging automation in your hiring pipeline. For instance, you can set up automated email sequences to notify candidates about their application progress, upcoming interviews, and more. A recruitment CRM helps recruiters build relationships with both candidates and clients. Think of it as a powerful tool that takes the legwork out of your mundane processes – sending emails, texts, alerts, etc. That way, recruiters can focus on what matters more and improve their hiring processes instead of getting stuck with manual, repetitive tasks. 

It creates a useful database for your recruitment agency that can streamline future recruitment drives and even eliminate advertising for a new position altogether. It also allows candidates to remain connected with you from day one, meaning you can access top talent directly rather than advertising a role afresh. 

What’s the difference between CRM and ATS?

Many recruitment agencies use automated tools in their recruitment process. This makes it easier to track current and future applicants and to store the important details (such as skill sets and experience) of each candidate. 

A recruitment CRM system can track and attract potential candidates for future positions by letting your agency engage with candidates, store them in the system, and track candidates even when they’re unsuccessful. 

An ATS (applicant tracking system) is meant to make the selection and hiring process a more streamlined process. It does this by eliminating many routine admin tasks and improving areas such as speed of hiring, budgets, and net hiring scores. 

How a Recruitment Candidate Relationship Management System Works

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Discovering Potential Talent Easily

Once you have a CRM solution integrated into your recruitment processes, you will find that you have a (potentially ever-growing) pool of talent that has previously applied for positions. 

CRM is not just about capturing a snapshot of candidates during any initial recruitment drive, though, it’s also about tracking what they’ve done later.

For example, let’s say that one of your clients’ senior staff is retiring. You can look at the people captured by your CRM solution and see how their careers have progressed. You may even have stayed in touch with them. It’s like how marketers deal with customers; you can think of that potential employee as a subject of mail retargeting; someone you can reach out to again.

Attract Top Talent 

While the focus in recruitment used to be solely on the candidate selling themselves to the company looking to hire, the evolving job market now means that the shoe is on the other foot. A positive candidate experience makes candidates 38% more likely to accept a job offer. By focusing on delivering a great candidate experience, your staffing company can stand out. Using a recruitment CRM can make sure you engage with your candidates effectively – without losing your time or resources in manual follow-ups.  

Engage Qualified Leads Quickly

If the hiring process takes too long, you run the risk of missing out on the best candidates for your clients. A Recruitment CRM can help avoid that scenario by highlighting those people ideal for any available position and letting you engage with them quickly. In most cases, you will have had ongoing engagement with those candidates, and it is just a case of stepping things up a gear. 

Check out our blog on how to reduce time to fill

Nurture Your Leads and Clients

By communicating, and staying in touch, with unsuccessful candidates, you demonstrate to them that you value their skills and experience and that they will be the first to be considered for future vacancies. Even if you have undergone a number porting process, your contact details remain the same so it’s easy to stay in touch. 

This openness also demonstrates to clients and candidates that you promote positive company cultures. This can not only make them enthusiastic about remaining in your system, but it can also maintain that same enthusiasm for future vacancies. This enthusiasm also extends to your clients who see that you maintain and nurture great talent for future vacancies. 

Streamline Hiring Process

Within your recruitment agency, you probably have a streamlined workflow process to maximize efficiency. Good CRM technology can help achieve the same outcome by providing analytics on every candidate touchpoint so you can see if you’re doing something wrong (or could do it better). Through analysis, you can improve your recruitment process as a whole. 

Why should recruiters consider onboarding a CRM system?

It Helps You Access Large Pools Of Talent Quickly

With an efficient recruitment CRM system, you build an ever-growing pool of talent over time. This makes any future recruitment process simpler and quicker as you can highlight individuals who have the prerequisite skills and experience that fit the current vacancy you need to fill. 

It Highly Improves The Candidate Experience

Candidate satisfaction is as important as customer satisfaction. Just as a business would track CSAT metrics for customers, you must track and improve candidates’ satisfaction with the experience you provide. A recruitment CRM helps you streamline every recruitment process and stay in touch with both successful and unsuccessful candidates seamlessly.

It Automates The Busywork For Recruiters

In recruitment, there are many administrative tasks that can take up a lot of time. A CRM system automates repetitive tasks, allowing you to focus more on human interactions with identified candidates. This means your agency can both streamline any recruitment process but also deliver a stellar candidate experience. 

It Increases Hiring Speed While Maintaining Quality 

In the field of recruitment, speed can be everything, but you don’t want that speed to mean cutting corners when it comes to quality. A recruitment CRM allows you to speed up the process by only focusing on those candidates who are the perfect fit for the vacancy you’re currently looking to fill. 

It Streamlines The Hiring Process For Both Clients And Candidates

The hiring process in normal circumstances can be drawn out and convoluted. With an existing pool of talent, some steps in the hiring process can be eliminated; something that’s beneficial for your candidates and your clients. 

It Boosts Productivity And Hiring Efficiency

Having a recruitment CRM means that you may have a select number of candidates you know right away are suitable for a new position offered by one of your clients. This means that your agency can work faster and offer those candidates to the employer. With candidates already in place, the hiring process can be more efficient, and successful candidates can be onboarded quickly. 

Features Of A Recruitment CRM To Look For

Automated hiring pipelines

Rather than searching through a large database, your CRM should include automated hiring pipelines that identify the ideal candidates when you enter the relevant criteria for a vacant post. It should also allow you to see the entire hiring process on one screen and what stage any recruitment process is at. 

Recruiter profile

The ability to construct a comprehensive profile should be part of any efficient CRM. It allows a recruiter to instantly access all pertinent info including previous contacts, social media reports, and other info. It allows recruiters to make instant decisions about whether to move a candidate forward in a recruitment process. 

Talent pool categorization

You want to be able to quickly identify suitable candidates and categorization helps achieve this. Choose to categorize candidates by various factors such as industry, qualifications, experience, and location. 

CRM also helps to segment generational demographics and can help you identify the needs of each grouping and what they can offer to businesses. This can be especially important when looking at Generation Z entering the workforce.

Campaign management

CRM allows you to construct campaigns that guide candidates down any relevant funnel. This helps automate the non-human aspects of engagement and lets you update the status of candidates based on levels of engagement.


One of the primary purposes of CRM is to automate many of the manual tasks that take up your staff’s time. To do this efficiently, your CRM should not only integrate with existing tools you use such as ATS but also with the relevant sources of candidates you may access such as LinkedIn or other job boards.

Analytics and reporting

You’ll always want to know how your particular strategies for identifying and recruiting candidates are working. That means you need real-time analytics that reports on the key metrics that concern you, such as where the majority of your quality candidates are being sourced from. 

Look For A CRM System That Suits Your Needs

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Your recruitment agency could have very varied needs. You may be in a specialized area that only recruits for certain industries or you may cover multiple sectors. Using up-to-date technology, CRM can help you source the best candidates for the executive positions your clients have vacant.

You want to be able to demonstrate to candidates that you represent good employers with a positive working environment and that they include policies such as avoiding overworking employees in their company culture. By demonstrating you represent good employers, you’re more likely to attract a higher caliber of candidates in the future. 

Guest Author – Grace Lau, Director of Growth Content, Dialpad
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform offering enterprise-level UCaaS to video conference solutions for small businesses for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies and partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.

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