How to Maximize Candidate Relationship Management Software to Attract Top Talent

Learn how CRM software enhances sourcing, engagement, diversity, and ongoing improvement for effective talent acquisition.


Businesses have never faced a more volatile labor market, with record-level turnover, and job openings just below 10 million combined with inflation, drastic interest rates, and pockets of layoffs in specific industries. While organizations are navigating a challenging labor market primed for a slowdown, finding quality talent will remain difficult for some time. It is reported that 61% of HR decision-makers believe it will be challenging to hire new employees for the rest of 2023.

With 60% of recruiters across various industries anticipating making more hires in 2023, recruiters will have the most success by leveraging their candidate relationship management software, designed specifically to engage candidates and build stronger talent pools. Here’s how recruiters can maximize their investment in candidate relationship management (CRM).

Automated Sourcing
Sourcing is a time-intensive process and one of the most fundamental areas of talent acquisition. And according to Aptitude Research, 75% of companies are not satisfied with their approach to sourcing today. That’s not surprising when many recruiters’ sourcing processes lack things such as automation, in-house expertise, and proactive engagement strategies that at times are filled with bias. By the time the average recruiter has a solid list of candidates, there is a good chance at least a few of them have already been hired elsewhere.

Companies need to think differently about their sourcing methods. This is where CRM software can make a significant difference for recruiters. By maintaining information on candidates in a CRM system, recruiters can help ensure the flow of applicants is robust enough to fill the company’s open positions.

A CRM system can segment talent pools based on specific skills or certifications necessary for the role or whether the candidate needs to be in specific geographic areas, which can drastically reduce search time.Setting up auto-searches that can automatically search and download candidates from selected job boards and your CRM database is crucial to deliver ready-made lists of viable candidates.

Additionally, automating sourcing efforts will greatly benefit your recruiters, providing them with a more manageable workload that they can then scale up and down as hiring needs fluctuate. Benefits that can be experienced include freeing up valuable time to do more such as analyzing won and lost candidates and using that data to drive changes to their approach; prioritizing your company brand and enhancing the candidate experience; and increasing process visibility to across the organization. Furthermore, in a recent Employ Quarterly Insights report, three out of 10 recruiters reported feeling less overwhelmed when they have resources such as automated candidates sourcing available to them.

Engagement does help recruiters build a pipeline of candidates that are available when they open reqs/start to hire again but it also helps to attract the passive candidate who may not have been interested. Candidates today are expecting more from recruiters and the process. They aren’t just looking for money and a job, but a strong culture and a place where they can grow. Targeted messaging to different groups of candidates can help highlight what your organization has to offer.

Additionally, recruiters and sourcers have a little more time on their hands so they can plan and execute their engagement strategy. They can use automated/drip-marketing campaigns to set it and forget it for the coming months.

Using a drip-marketing approach for a recruitment program also helps ensure recruiters aren’t starting from scratch every time there’s an open position. It helps funnel qualified candidates—even those who may not be actively looking for a new position right now—to application and career pages, ensuring there are qualified candidates that are already familiar with the business and excited about its work when an opening arises. It may even help recruiters identify passive candidates who could be swayed by the right outreach and the right offer.

Along those same lines, recruiters can use CRM software to send automatic, targeted messages to quality candidates in the pipeline. Based on candidate preferences tagged in the CRM record, recruiters can leverage those profiles to send relevant updates or future job openings that may be of interest. Customized campaigns can keep candidates informed and engaged even when they are not actively looking, with little hands-on effort from recruiters.

There’s more to engagement than getting the initial bite. It also means meeting candidates where they are and being communicative throughout the process. More than half (55%) of applicants say great communication with the recruiter makes them view an application process more positively. However, what that means varies for different demographics.

According to the Employ study cited above, candidate communication preferences have shifted over the past year:

Email: After losing some ground, email regained some of its popularity among candidates, with 41% of candidates preferring to hear from recruiters via their inbox (up from just 28% in 2022).

● Phone calls: Talking on the phone is also popular among job seekers with nearly one-third (32%), saying its among their preferred communication methods.

● Texts: Most job seekers say they don’t appreciate being texted about their applications, with just over one-tenth saying they prefer this method. However, of the more than half of workers (52%) that reported that a recruiter had texted them to schedule an interview, most (65%) said they preferred this approach to being emailed or called about scheduling. <This divergence may be related to the types of work respondents were seeking as those applying for hourly positions are more likely to respond to texts than other types of outreach.>

● In-person meetings: Unsurprisingly given the landscape, the popularity of meetings during the application process has dropped from 26% in 2022 to just 9% in 2023.
The right CRM software enables recruiters to engage with candidates quickly and through various channels, ultimately improving their response times and shortening the hiring process.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is an ongoing journey. It requires people, processes, and technology to work together to mitigate conscious and unconscious biases at every step, create opportunities for underrepresented communities, and build strong teams based on talent and demonstrated skills. It’s common knowledge that diversity in the workplace increases a company’s bottom line and is imperative for building a strong employer brand and attracting the best employees to your company.

Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.

As organizations increase their focus on diversity and inclusion, a CRM database is a valuable proprietary asset that can help cultivate diverse teams. Taking steps to proactively develop diverse talent pools comprising prior applicants that may not have been the right fit at the time helps recruiters meet organization-wide diversity and inclusion goals. It also gives recruiters the ability to segment candidates and run targeted, relevant campaigns based on diversity-focused criteria. Recruiters may want to develop ads that highlight their commitment to supporting inclusion to relevant groups or promote the ways that they support employees from underrepresented backgrounds in the workplace.

Optimizing for Ongoing Improvement
Despite hiring slowdowns and fears of a recession, finding quality talent will remain difficult for the long term. And hiring teams not using CRM software will be placed at a significant disadvantage, as Aptitude’s research report on moving from a legacy ATS shows talent acquisition teams will prioritize investments in CRM technologies in 2023.

Businesses that choose not to engage with these tools may find themselves losing out on quality candidates to those with robust CRM capabilities—today and tomorrow. Early adoption strengthens data-based tools adding richer context to records over time and guiding more precise applications.
The good news is that it’s not too late to get started, and the companies that start now will be positioning themselves for long-term success.

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Michelle Stone,

Director of Enterprise Customer Success at Jobvite

As the Director of Enterprise Customer Success at Jobvite (and Employ, Inc. brand), Michelle leads a team of customer success managers who work with large enterprise organizations to implement, optimize, and demonstrate the value of their Jobvite solution across the Evolve Talent Acquisition Suite. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in the recruiting and talent management field, with a passion for creating successful and innovative customer experiences. She joined Jobvite in early 2022 to help customers achieve their talent goals.