CRM stands for Candidate Relationship Management, but that doesn’t tell you much about what it actually does. If you’re a business, trying to hire, you need to know exactly what it is. And when you try to research, you usually only find sales pitches.
There are a lot of important functions for a CRM software that your business could use. Here’s a quick introduction to what a CRM does and why you need one.
What is it?
The main purpose of a CRM is to streamline and simplify the application process, both for applicants and for companies hiring. How exactly it does that depends on the specific software you decide to use, but there are a few consistent elements. You can find other insights from articles like this one: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/how-to-hire-the-right-person.
Most CRMs include job posting, to start with. You can just plug in the requirements of your job and let the CRM automatically post to job boards with your information. The integration with job boards also usually includes pulling candidate information off of all the different places the job has been posted and putting them all together in one dashboard. If your CRM doesn’t automate job posting, it also might not automatically pick up and organize your candidates either, and that’s pretty much a deal breaker.
Many CRMs also feature “resume screening.” This means that they can scan the resumes of applicants and find out whether or not they match your job description. This is more difficult than it sounds, considering that people can use many words to describe the same skills. If you’re looking for someone organized, for example, their resume might list organization as a skill, or it might list time management.
Some artificial intelligences are good at doing things like understanding language, but most CRMs don’t have that kind of processing power. Instead, they’re usually just programmed with a list of equivalent skills, not a tool to understand language. Understanding language is always very difficult for a computer.
CRMs almost always have the ability to track candidates. They can show where each applicant is in the process—whether they’ve just applied, whether an interview is scheduled, whether they’re on their first or third round of interviews, and when they’ve been rejected.
Scheduling is also usually included. This is one of the most useful tools in a candidate relationship management software. Keeping your interview schedule all in one place, instead of spread out over email conversations with ten different candidates, is incredibly valuable.
Why Do You Need a CRM?
If all of that description of what they do wasn’t enough to convince you, here’s a little more information about the advantages a CRM staffing software can offer you. And don’t forget that all of these things are even more important with the current labor shortage.
No more surfing job boards. Are you constantly updating your postings? Trying to coordinate candidates who applied by any of a host of different ways—your website, two job boards, the classified section of the newspaper? Do you regularly find yourself accidentally scheduling two interviews for the same time slot? A CRM will solve those problems.
You’ll never have to reach out across different channels to get applicants into your system. You might have a system that sorts and organizes candidates that have applied, but a CRM will actively seek out candidates and encourage them to apply! That’s a huge advantage.
Do you have more than one person managing recruiting? If there’s only one person, they can probably get away with keeping track of everything in their head or in a personal spreadsheet, notebook, or whatever method works for them. If there are multiple people working together, though, you really need a smooth, well-functioning external system, or nothing will ever get done.
How is a CRM Different From an ATS?
An ATS, or Applicant Tracking System, does a lot of useful tasks. It keeps track of applicants and their progress through the pipeline, their current status, and their interviews scheduled. Sometimes, an ATS is included in a CRM; here’s an example.
If they’re coupled, everything is great, but they’re often not. If you only have an ATS system, you’ll have to put in candidate information by hand, which will take a huge amount of your time. And you’ll only have resumes to go off of, which you’ll have to look at yourself; your system won’t be able to parse them automatically.
If you only have a CRM without an ATS, on the other hand, you’ll easily be able to reach out and get applicants for each job, and pull out information on them, rankings for how well they fit based on your resume, and everything else, and put it anywhere you want—in a spreadsheet, another program, or just a list. But you can’t keep track of them easily and automatically afterward, through their interviews and either rejection or hiring.
You definitely need both of these types of software, preferably bundled into one, to save you tons of time and wasted effort.