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The Evolution of the CRM: What is Candidate Relationship Management Today?

Written By
Maud Carette
Sr. Associate Editor

What is Candidate Relationship Management?

Candidate relationship management software used to do a single thing: help large companies source top talent ahead of a requisition. It cut time to fill and cost per hire. But, nowadays, with the landscape fundamentally changed – first by the rise of the candidate-driven market and then by the COVID-19 pandemic – a CRM has become a secret weapon. And yet, less than half of the Fortune 500 companies have one. Whether seen as too big of a risk or investment, it underestimates the impact of the top CRMs today.

So, what is candidate relationship management and what can it do for your organization? There are three key components to a comprehensive CRM: sourcing, candidate engagement and recruitment marketing. It was thanks to Avature CRM that:

  • Mondelez was able to save $5.7 million on recruiting each year
  • Siemens cut time to hire fivefold
  • ABB was able to grow its talent brand index by 10 percentage points in a single year

If you’re interested in fostering relationships with candidates, read on to discover the power of the CRM and how it can help in current times.


Automating Functional Tasks

Traditionally, recruiter and sourcer roles consisted of spending hours finding and contacting potential candidates and manually inputting their information into spreadsheets. With modern recruitment technology, this spec is technically obsolete. There exists an array of smart automation CRM tools that can not only do this work for your team – but in seconds!

A Fortune 1000 financial services company, for example, uses Avature WebSources to run automatic searches at night for insurance agents by zip code so that they can stay on top of new active candidates. They are automatically imported and linked to an outreach workflow that sends an email invite to an information session. Candidates use the timeslot portal to select the time and date that works best for them. This approach has empowered the organization to engage 100 percent of 10 million candidates.

Building and Growing Targeted Pipelines

It’s common knowledge that recruiters are increasingly having to also be marketers and every marketer knows that the first step to being successful is identifying and honing in on the target audience.

That’s where CRM segmentation and talent pipelines capabilities come in. You can set up different pipelines depending on your short-term and long-term recruiting and business objectives using advanced filter options. These will differ depending on your CRM capabilities, but a good platform should include at least personal and professional resume details, such as location and university degree.

Total Visibility to Drive Results With Data and Analytics

Data and analytics CRM capabilities are invaluable in giving talent acquisition teams visibility of where they are and what they need to focus on to meet their recruiting strategy objectives. Perhaps a company wants to drive diversity or needs specific technical talent. Modern CRM technology has the capacity to automatically gather this data and showcase it on individual and team dashboards. The best CRMs allow organizations to choose the metrics they want to measure and display.

Candidate Engagement

Creating a Consumer-Like Experience

Customer, client, consumer…candidate. Is there an actual difference? The lines are blurring, but the key word is ‘relationship’. Candidates are expecting a consumer-like, candidate-centric experience and the modern CRM is just the platform to achieve this. The best CRMs today are flexible and agile, enabling recruiters to adapt on the fly to send targeted and consistent content to its different pipelines. Cisco and Booz Allen, for example, both added their COVID-19 response to their drip marketing workflows to keep their talent pools in the know.

Personalizing the Candidate Experience

In today’s market, sending personalized, branded and mobile-optimized content is no longer negotiable. Studies have shown that click-through rates are 14 percent higher and conversion rates are 10 percent higher when marketing emails are personalized. But personalizing candidate engagement has evolved to be more than that.

CRM career page technology can actually make recommendations to candidates based on their career site searches, selected interests and even their resume or profile. Finding a job can be quite stressful and COVID-19 has made this even harder. Personalized recommendations could be the nudge top talent needs to take that first step.

Leveraging Video Engagement

Using video capabilities is also a great way to encourage top talent to get engaged. Whether it’s recording a few short videos to introduce themselves or inviting them to virtual events or a casual coffee chat during the pandemic and beyond, they’re a nifty tool to show candidates you’re ahead of the curve.

Recruitment Marketing

Adding ‘Marketer’ to Your Talent Acquisition Bow

Recruiters nowadays are increasingly expected to implement dynamic recruitment marketing strategies that help boost employer brand positioning and candidate perceptions. While all this sounds great in theory, it’s also time-consuming and not (yet) necessarily part of every recruiter’s skillset.

But the results are undeniable! Take Phillips, for example. They wanted to grow their HealthTech pipeline by targeting candidates that are currently working for non-traditional competitors, such as Amazon, and increase employer brand awareness. They used Avature CRM to create a landing page that included a short pre-assessment quiz to determine fit versus Philips and their HealthTech pipeline. Successful candidates who want to learn more receive dynamic email campaigns on a regular basis with beautiful branding and interesting content – rather than just jobs. The end result: open and click-through rates are almost twice as high as the industry average and Philips grew the HealthTech pipeline by 225 percent in a single quarter. The percentage of qualified applicants also increased by nearly a third during this time period.

Being Agile With Recruitment Marketing Tools

Whether it’s using a combination of emails and SMS to make sure the message cuts through the noise or or sending consistent and hyper-personalized content based on candidate behaviour and set conditions, the modern CRM equips talent acquisition teams with the easy-to-use tools that make being a marketer possible.

Lockheed Martin’s Talent Engagement Strategist, Marvin Smith, conducts his own desk research on target audiences to get content inspiration. His team then uses its Avature CRM to set up distinct drip marketing campaigns to maximize impact. Content is automatically triggered based on a candidate’s level of engagement (e.g. whether they opened or ignored the email). “The idea behind using Avature is to build trust and a relationship with the target talent, to keep them in orbit around our employer brand until the timing is right,” explains Smith.

With that in mind, Avature is excited to release the Theme Builder functionality in 2020, that will include WYSIWYG (drag-and-drop editing) capabilities for creating branded content and the ability to easily incorporate different types of media, both images and videos.

Recruiting Post-COVID

We are living in uncertain times and recruiting for many organizations is up in the air. But a hiring freeze or slowdown doesn’t mean no longer engaging candidates. On the other hand, it’s a great opportunity to focus on your candidate relationship management strategy. It is the companies with a strong employer brand and a wealth of qualified and engaged talents that will be in the best position to recover once the storm passes. So set sail with a truly comprehensive CRM and transform the candidate relationship.