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Choosing the Best CRM for Recruiting: A Roadmap for Recruitment Agencies

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Whether you’re building or re-evaluating your tech stack, a CRM platform is essential recruitment software. CRM (Client Relationship Management) software’s basic function is tracking and improving the way your agency works with clients. And in-house, it improves team collaboration and productivity.

So how do you know which is the ideal CRM for recruiting? The only answer is that there is no one “perfect CRM,” just the right choice for your business.

To help make this choice, take a look at our guidelines on choosing the right recruitment software. In this article we’ll go over:

  • Defining your business’ needs
  • Choosing the right CRM features to find solutions
  • Evaluating CRM vendors

Get started by reading on for our recruitment CRM evaluation guide.

How to define what your recruitment business needs

A recruitment CRM can improve what’s already going well at your agency. Or it can improve the not-so-great workflows.

Try answering the following questions to define what the right CRM will do for your business.

How will a CRM help the business?

There might be a few pain points in your business today that could be helped with tech. Even if your agency’s already doing well, there’s always room for improvement.

Some ways a CRM can help operations are:

How will the business scale?

Agencies usually have a plan to move up in the world. When it’s time to enter a new market or make more hires, you’ll want a CRM system that can grow with the business.

Scaling can also mean opening a new desk. But not all CRM features apply to the needs of different specialisms. For example, Perm recruiters wouldn’t worry about a shift scheduling function. But if your agency opens a Temp desk, it’s a necessity.

Look for a CRM that’s flexible on features and licenses as your business grows. Many platforms - especially those that operate on a SaaS model - will let you switch it up.

Additional resources: Starting a recruitment agency: from scratch to scale 

Helpful recruitment CRM features by specialism

CRM features for any recruitment business

Some CRM features are well-suited to any business. To have the basics covered, the best recruitment CRM would have:

After that, there are other features that might be helpful depending on your specialism.

CRM features for Perm recruitment

Perm agencies can use CRM platforms to hone in on top talent, work closely with their clients, and improve operations.

Features that can help are:

CRM features for Temp recruitment

Temp-focused features should help consultants fill shifts quickly and find more candidates with a couple of clicks in case of no-shows.

CRM features great for Temp work are:

  • Geotagged search to find more qualified candidates fast
  • Booking notices to update clients when shifts are successfully placed
  • Portals to send pre-boarding and compliance documents to clients

CRM features for Contract recruitment

Like in Temp recruitment, Contract recruiters can use tech functionality that reduces time-to-hire.

The must-have CRM features for a Contract desk are:

  • Contract auto-renewal notices
  • Candidate Automatch to find the right talent
  • Automated compliance and verification checks

CRM features for Exec Search recruitment

Executive Search recruiters will want features to show off their high-value candidates, improve client collaboration, and add value.

Some features specifically useful for Exec Search recruitment might be:

  • 24/7 client portals to share documentation and move the hiring process forward (like the LiveList™)
  • Retainer invoice management
  • Direct LinkedIn sourcing to find top talent and client contacts

Evaluating recruitment technology vendors

Once your product requirements are set, vendor evaluation is the next stage. To start your own evaluation process, take these considerations into account.

Evaluating the product roadmap

Recruitment technology should never stand still. At the early stage in your CRM purchasing process, take a look at the vendor’s tech plans.

Your first question should be, is there a public product roadmap? It’s harder to justify tech investment when you don’t know where it will end up.

Second question, can the people who use this CRM give feedback? The vendor should know how the platform is working for users, and take suggestions for product development. If not, you might be stuck on a non-responsive tech platform that doesn’t work for you.

And the final question, will you have to use add-ons or third-party apps to get the features you need? With your list of CRM features, it should be simple to check if a platform has the right functionality. 

But if there are missing key features and you have to invest in outside solutions, the platform might not be the right fit.

Choosing traditional software vs. SaaS platforms

Many CRM platforms are moving toward the SaaS (software as a service) model. It’s worth considering both traditional and new tech, depending on your needs.

Traditional software is a program that gets installed on individual computers. It requires your business to maintain physical systems to support it.

Maintaining traditional software can be intensive, but there are benefits:

  • More customizability
  • Stronger on reporting and queries

Though there are also downsides:

  • Need to maintain the software, server, and operating system
  • Can be more expensive

By contrast, SaaS are web-based applications hosted on the cloud and accessed online. They usually charge a monthly subscription fee based on number of user licenses and features you use.

The benefits of SaaS tech are:

  • Competitive on price
  • Can adjust licenses and features more easily

And the downsides are:

  • Lack of ownership over the tech
  • Higher risk of security breaches

In general, traditional tech solutions are best for enterprise agencies with strong in-house IT support. Other agencies might choose SaaS for its flexibility, ease of installation and use, and benefits to business cash flow.

CRM Data migration and implementation

Moving over to a new CRM can be scary for any business. You’ll want to find a trusted tech vendor to work as a partner and guide your agency through this process.

Here’s a short list of questions to ask your tech vendor before you commit:

  • Will the data migration be done in-house?
  • What are the project timelines?
  • How will old data fields be mapped onto the new system?
  • Are there any personalized training or learning courses available?
  • What customer support options do they have?

Additional resources:  CRM Implementation: A 5-step guide for recruiters 

Making a final decision

The ultimate decision will be up to your business. Consult with leaders from different departments and set an implementation plan before you go all-in.

One article can be helpful, but won’t be enough to finalize your CRM choice. There are too many factors to consider, and too much at stake, to leave it up to chance.

At Vincere, we’ve designed a CRM platform and managed implementations for recruitment agencies around the world. Based on that experience, we’ve put together an expert guide on finding your business’ right CRM match. Go more in-depth with our CRM Buyer’s Guide for Recruiters.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right CRM for recruiting might be a challenge. But it’s necessary to improve client experience (and candidate experience by extension), streamline in-house collaboration, and allow your business to grow.

To start your CRM search, there are a few stages to go through:

  • Sort out what processes and pain points your agency needs to improve
  • Define the functionalities that will help your specialism
  • Evaluate different vendors’ offerings and roadmaps

Much of the decision will come down to the specifics of your business. But by starting with this guide, you should have a few ideas about where to get started in the CRM purchasing process.