The recruitment, hiring, or staffing industry has undergone many sea changes in the past 5 years alone. One of the biggest evolutions: the use of technology to smooth out and speed up the entire process. From using comprehensive Applicant Tracking Systems and job boards to leveraging social media and online interviewing tools, technology has proved a boon for what can be a very tricky process.
With three stakeholder groups (recruiting organization, applicants, and your agents), you can use every bit of your tech stack to get the maximum ROI on your efforts. Often, it can be a mandate from your clients to see the best results. According to the 2018 Staffing Buyer Study, 67% of hiring managers felt it was very or highly important for their contracted staffing firms to use the latest technology.
A recruitment agency, thus, needs to consider investing in an excellent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Here’s why.
Why CRM For Recruitment Agencies?
Here are two broad areas that you can deploy your CRM software for as a recruitment agency.
Managing Relationships with Clients
If your mainstay is fulfilling deals with recruiting organizations by handling an end-to-end process for them, then nurturing your associations is paramount. As recruitment agencies are dime-a-dozen and firms gravitate towards those offering the biggest value, it’s entirely on you to build long-term relationships with well-thought-out CRM workflows.
You can use your CRM platform for:
1. Client Pool Expansion: You have to constantly keep an eye out for potential deals and proactively seek pitches and sales. Your CRM software can help you tap into the various pools of industries you are targeting. You can leverage it to actively prospect by scanning companies’ social media activities. Go for a tool that integrates an extension to mine data from multiple publicly available points, such as emails, news reports, social media, and other sites.
2. Deal Management: Once you have netted a good number of clients, your priority should be taking over the entire recruitment process or figuring out where exactly they need help. An essential element of justifying your retainer or commission is ‘fulfilment’. This would not only apply to closing out the vacancy in question but also to any nitty-gritty they have in mind.
It’s important you keep track of individual requirements. You can use the ‘deal management’ feature of a well-rounded CRM tool to mark specific client asks against the profile.
3. Growing Reputation: In the currently crowded marketplace, the need to stand out can’t be stressed enough. As a recruitment agency, you have to seed and grow an online reputation at every turn. Bank on your CRM tool to follow up with clients and seek their reviews. Every workflow should be targeted towards closing the loop in a sense and populating sufficient positive feedback.
Ensure you’re generating a good amount of online visibility. You can also employ your CRM to scan social media to identify, address, and prune any negative reviews and track competitor trends.
Augmenting Agent Performance
1. Make Their Work Simpler: With agents typically juggling multiple client requirements and applicant processes, a CRM comes in handy to automate, simplify, and streamline the workflow and task management for them. From the first couple of steps of reaching out and registering applicants, your CRM software can help your agents track and sync every part of the workflow.
A ‘tags’ feature, for instance, can help them optimize contact management, including for your clients. Try and get a software that allows you to create custom fields and tags for hassle-free process management. Also, while the best CRM platforms offer standardized pipelines, you should be able to set up a few custom pipelines to manage different stakeholder processes for clients and candidates.
2. Optimize The Pipeline: With multiple clients, it can get challenging to juggle and synchronize various pipelines towards the set deadlines. The tool can help you keep a hawk-eye view of each pipeline and ensure its completion by using the calendar module to schedule events. This will also help amp up your agents’ task-tracking capability.
From a big picture perspective of pipelines, a good CRM platform can also aid a recruitment agency in tracking different stages of every individual pipeline towards optimizing organization-level metrics. You can ensure each conversion stage of the funnel is always streamlined, both for process and numbers. This would refer to ‘pipeline velocity’, a key marker of an agency’s continued success. The larger the number of vacancies in each stage of the conversion funnel, the better your standing. The CRM can be leveraged as a diagnostic tool to review your pipeline, both by agent and channel. This will effectively help zone in on weak phases and course-correct in time.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
Make sure your chosen CRM product
- Is the most pocket-friendly option for you and fits your overall tech stack budget. Explore different plans before choosing.
- Seamlessly integrates with your existing systems. It should offer fool-proof compatibility from the get-go and, most importantly, be mobile-friendly.
- Has an intuitive UI with highly accessible features to ensure little to zero onboarding for your agents. It should integrate a host of crucial marketing and management features, including mass emailing capability and A/B testing for all email marketing drip campaigns.
- Integrate social media scanning and linking. As per the 2021 Future of Recruiting Study findings, social media and social recruiting software rank first on the list of recruiting channels and technologies employed by organizations. This is set to continue as a critical technology investment area for hiring in 2021.
Where Do Emails Come In?
Now that we have touched upon the topic of email marketing in the previous section let’s take a closer look at how emails play into the pipeline management and CRM functions of a typical recruitment agency.
Apart from the email drips that you can deploy at different stages of a typical pipeline (for client or candidate), such as intention, pitch, interview invitation, offer, hiring result, etc., a recruitment agency can also find newer, varied use-cases for emails, such as
- Educational Drip Campaigns to Inform Candidates
Seasonal and periodic email updates with the latest trends, industry overviews, best practices, etc., can go a long way in boosting the average candidate experience.
Indeed, for example, here has put together a crisp know-how template as part of its ‘career guide’ series.
For another standout example, check out this email by Authentic Jobs, which works as an excellent and comprehensive content marketing example, too. (Though Authentic Jobs is a large-scale jobs board, recruitment agencies can definitely adapt this template.)
- Personalized Communication With Clients
An essential part of the CRM with recruiting companies would be periodic and personalized updates to enhance your loyalty and customer service standing with them. These could pertain to key annual insights, data points of your deals, or recommendations configured as thought leadership pieces. From the transactional point of view, you should also keep them in the loop on any organization or system updates and current offers, as Authentic Jobs has done with the below email template.
- Seeking Feedback For Reputation Management: As mentioned before, brand and reputation management is an important CRM focus area for every recruitment agency. Here, emails can help you with a seamless stream of communication soliciting feedback, particularly from high-value clients. You can use your CRM software to set up automated and templatized emails seeking reviews to land up in your client’s inbox at the most appropriate time.
Make sure to test different email samples to improve open and conversion rates. You should also consider including direct links to the various review platforms and provide a short sample copy that includes keywords to guide your clients. Also, design your drip to include follow-ups with a polite and cleverly worded reminder with an ‘email read’ trigger.
Some Things To Make The Email Experience Better
- Start a dialogue
- Seek opinions
- Be considerate
So, there you have it – the long and short of CRM and email use cases for a recruitment agency. A versatile CRM software with complete email integration is definitely the way to go to get the right talent through the door, net the most optimum ROI, and, above all, ensure client satisfaction repeatedly. Looking for end-to-end email automation management for your hiring functions? Get in touch with our experts.