Thinking of Changing your Recruitment CRM?

Lisa Joneslisa-jones is a Director of Barclay Jones, a consultancy working with agency recruiters on their recruitment technology and social media strategies. Prior to Barclay Jones she worked in a number of Recruitment, IT, Web and Operations director-level roles. She is a technology and strategy junkie with keen eyes on the business process. You’ll see Lisa speaking at many recruitment industry events and being a recruitment technology and social media evangelist online. Lisa works with some of the large recruitment firms, as well as the smaller, agile boutique agencies.

In this guest blog post, (originally posted on the Barclay Jones website) Lisa addresses the daunting task of changing your recruitment CRM system.

Thinking of Changing your Recruitment CRM?

It’s a little like a heart transplant!

Lots of recruiters are planning on updating / migrating their recruitment CRM this year – and to be fair it’s about time. So many of you have changed shape, size, offering – but your systems and processes have stayed the same.

Social media is kicking butt and giving your clients great opportunities to give recruitment a go (isn’t it simply advertising, after all?) Before you step into the potential abyss of business change, have a think about what you need to achieve.

My business has seen some great recruitment CRM implementations over the years, but to be fair we have witnessed some pretty bad ones too. These tend to be because:

  • IT see the project as a business one. The business sees it as an IT project!
  • The reasons for changing / upgrading are not clear and have not been mapped out.
  • It joins to other systems (job board posting, websites, finance systems, etc.) and these have not been spec’d up as part of the project.
  • Lack of consultation – the CRM is inflicted upon the workers…. Or worse…
  • So much consultation project creep begins to manifest itself and the thing hasn’t even come in the front door yet! Consultants are distracted with beauty parades coming out of their ears and criteria questionnaires.
  • The CRM provider had a little too much bravado and not enough foresight to adequately explain to you what your role would be in the project (warning, if they don’t think you need a project manager, you need to get a handle on why… and what they’re planning to do to bridge the gap).

Some ideas to help you think about recruitment CRM more strategically (and thus a higher chance of getting it right):

  • What’s the job of the CRM?
  • What’s its reason for being? If it were human, you’d have a job spec and something to back you up if you wanted to discipline it / fire it. Do this for your CRM – have a firm idea of what it’s job is and have an expectation that you have marketed to your team.

What’s the reason for your change?

  • Financial?
  • Technological / innovation
  • Strategic – your business has changed shape/location/size and your current CRM is not hacking it (it’s not you, it’s me!)
  • Don’t, I repeat, don’t be afraid of cloud. And beware providers who can’t explain it / or who berate it.
  • If you don’t have simple, tangible KPIs or a clear business process, you need to nail this down. Your CRM can only replicate yours (or standard) recruitment processes… it’s not a miracle worker!

If you give yourself time to really think about it (give it a go, it won’t hurt!) you’re less likely to:

  • Replace one problem with another
  • Ensure that your CRM is totally worthless
  • Encourage staff to use LinkedIn as it’s easier (don’t get me started on the risks associated with that!)

Terrible analogy alert: CRM should be a little like your heart. Pretty critical, hidden away but damn busy. Take care of it. And if you’re planning on changing it, spend time to get a decent match (and make sure that you get the right team to put it in).

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