Recruitment is all about service and customer satisfaction. While Outlook is an excellent way to manage your contacts at the beginning, sooner or later you will need to get a dedicated Customer Relationship Management system (CRM).
By selecting the right CRM solution at the start of your business, you increase your chances of running your business effectively and give you the support you need to deliver a high level of customer satisfaction, at any time.
But with hundreds of CRM solutions available in the market, not all of them designed for Recruitment Companies, it is hard to decide which one is suitable for your business. Recruitment in a Box has selected the most important criteria to consider before making your choice.
1- Licensing and Costs
You might be able to purchase the software for a reasonable price but be aware that licensing is where software companies can make their money. Take the time to understand the impact it can have on your business by checking carefully the cost of adding users to avoid any big surprises later.
A lot of providers will charge a premium for setting up your CRM and for providing the training for you and your future team to be able to use it. Check with them exactly what it costs for set up and for being shown how to use it. A number of suppliers will roll everything up into one monthly cost – it might be cheaper to pay separately for set up and training initially and have a smaller monthly cost going forward.
A good CRM won’t break down of course but there will be times when you need some additional information or explanation of features from a knowledgeable source – you need support.
Find out how this is provided – is it via a live chat facility, by email, by phone? Do they provide support outside of office hours? Is there an extra cost for getting the support that you might need?
You want to receive good customer service and not feel that you are bothering them by contacting them for help nor do you not want to call them and end up not using the system properly if their support costs put you off.
Your software needs to integrate easily with all the tools that you are using or intend to use within your business. Does it synchronise with your social media accounts and advert posting, does it interact with your website and can you create a registration form that embeds into your website? Does it synchronize your calendar appointments, address book contacts and tasks and integrate with Outlook? Does it connect with timesheet software you are using or any accounting software that you or your accountant uses?
Will they be able and willing to import any existing data that you have in Outlook or Excel? Can they get all of the data across or will you have to manually enter some of the data separately after they have finished importing? Will they charge you for this? How long will it take to do this exercise.
The more features you get, the less time you may potentially have to spend on the administrative tasks and therefore the more time you will get to make your sales calls, contact your clients and place your candidates.
Whilst you may be tempted to get a Recruitment CRM system that has more features than you can shake a stick at – you have to be able to use them all easily and intuitively. If you have to refer to your training notes or instruction manual to get even the basic amount of data entry done then the CRM is failing in its basic task of making your life easier.
Remember the whole point of a CRM is to make you more efficient and accurate in what you do so keep things simple so that you can achieve this goal.
Make sure that it is easy to enter and retrieve the important data you need on your candidates, leads, clients and vacancies and that it is equally as easy to have each of these records interact with each other to manage the sales and the recruitment processes in full.
4- Recruitment specialist
There some very good generic CRM systems available at relatively low cost and some are even free to use if you are a business requiring less than 3 licences. Whilst these are tempting to use when you are starting out you need to be mindful that they are designed to be used primarily for sales processes and do not reflect the cycles of activity that are required in running a recruitment business.
It is therefore recommended that you choose a dedicated Recruitment CRM system from the start. There are 3 reasons for this:
- You don’t have to change to a dedicated Recruitment CRM at some stage later and have to learn a new system as well as pay to have existing data transferred from one to another.
- You become an expert in using the system so that you can train others.
- You are able to maintain uniformity in your processes as your business grows and can manage your business more effectively as a result.
Dedicated Recruitment CRM systems have the following features over and above a generic Sales CRM:
- can handle thousands of resumes
- can track all communication activities, across all departments, in one simple view
- can allow you to search simultaneously your internal candidates alongside your subscribed job boards
- provide a pay/bill solution to enable the online submission of timesheets and generation of invoices for temporary workers
- can automate the recruitment process by sending and receiving templated documents
- can produce detailed reports on activity across all departments
5- Try Before you Buy
Do some research and read reviews given by other Recruiters where you can. Supplier guides in Recruitment Magazines are often paid for entries and do not necessarily reflect the suitability of product for you. Likewise any endorsements by trade bodies may have an element of bias so make sure that you shop around everywhere to get a wide ranging view of what is available.
Once you have done done your shopping we would recommend that you choose 5 Recruitment CRM systems that you like the look of. Make sure that you get to road test them personally by asking for a free trial from each of these 5.
If anybody doesn’t offer you one of these then it is fair to ask yourself why and reject them as a possibility.
If you have some data already stored elsewhere then ask them to load it into their system before you have the trial so you can see what it really feels like to use it within your business.
When on the trial don’t just follow their tried and tested demo as they are set up to show you the best of the system only. Ask for access to play with it yourself without them directing you as you will get a much better feel for what it is like to use it on a daily basis.
A good Recruitment CRM system can be attainable for as little as £70 per user per month and an outstanding one can go well over £100 per user per month. What is important is that you decide which one works for you and that you wholly commit to using it in your business.
You may have used one previously at another company and this is what you are used to but do not be afraid to look at other options – remember that this is your business and it will have different objectives to the one where you used to work.
Many a recruitment business can underperform through not taking advantage of all that a CRM can give you. The old adage of rubbish in and rubbish out still applies so do choose wisely and use wisely to get the maximum benefit for your recruitment company.