Can Candidate Relationship Management Be Effective in Talent Acquisition Like It Has Been in Sales? Part 2 of 2

Author: Shahbaz Alibaig, Recruitment Technology Manager, GE | Source: HCI | Published: August 27, 2013

In my previous blog, I discussed that before embarking on a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) initiative, it is best to segment your jobs; identify rules of engagement (i.e. who, when and how CRM will be used) and finally develop metrics for success. In this blog, I shall share examples of how CRM may be used in talent acquisition.
Employee referrals: Study after study has proven that the most cost effective method of sourcing is employee referral. CRM may be used to capture and engage employee and executive referrals.
Another great source of hiring is alumni (i.e. former employees). Capturing information of alumni who were high performers and have given permission to your organization to reach out to them for future job opportunities can help you hire boomerangs and also get referrals from them.
Silver medalists are those candidates that scored high during screening and interview process, but for whatever reason were runners up. These are candidates who have already been vetted. These silver medalists can be quickly tapped to fill future slates of candidates.
As recruiters, our job is to find the right people and place them in the right seats. We may find the right people from research firms, job boards, social media, job fairs or other sources. The “right people” simply means that they’re people who possess our organization’s core values. Right people fit our culture, fit our values, but we may not have the right seats open for them at the moment. CRM may be used to keep such talent engaged and warm while we wait for the right seat to be either created or opened up for them. CRM effectiveness requires that users not only have traditional recruitment skills but also skills such as PR and marketing.  Passive talent mapping to keep the right people engaged until the right seat is available is also a necessary skill.
Companies not only battle it out for market share, but also for talent. Social media now makes it easier to seek passive talent working for competition. Once again, CRM has the ability to capture and manage information for such talent.
Strategic versus Tactical Use of CRM
A recruiter may use CRM to store, update and organize leads in CRM. As CRM grows, recruiters across the organization can search CRM when the need arises. Companies looking to improve its brand awareness can use CRM to promote its employer value proposition and brand. In fact, talent acquisition CRM may be used to promote and sell company products and services. It is important to ensure that data is up to date otherwise CRM can quickly become a database of obsolete data and will lose credibility.
Caution: data privacy is always an area of concern with social media and CRM. It is best to define CRM guidelines in collaboration with legal counsel and take local laws into consideration. Every country and region has different information privacy laws and every organization has a different threshold of risk taking and innovation.
In conclusion, my recommendation is to get started with CRM, use the 20/80 approach. Identify 20 percent of your roles which are the most critical or hard to fill and use CRM for those roles. Focus on those 20 percent of the CRM features that will be used 80 percent of the time. Develop guidelines but allow users to create their own unique work flows and use cases. Just like social media is used by different people differently, similarly CRM will be used by different users differently. Effective utilization of CRM will require both evolution and revolution within the organization. 
Shahbaz Alibaig is an accomplished Leadership and Human Resource Development professional with proven track record in learning, organizational development, recruitment, change management, strategic planning, and IT. He has passion for integrating people, technology and process to yield results – fast. Shahbaz is Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, PMP and Lead ISO and FDA Auditor.