Thinking of changing your CRM system? Toby Conibear, Business Development Director, Bond International Software offers five tips to consider…
Overhauling the business’ CRM system is no easy feat, yet many recruitment consultancies underestimate the scale of the task. Indeed, many are under the impression that they can simply unplug one CRM system and seamlessly move to the next. A dangerous move when the potential risks to the recruitment business can be devastating.
For instance, if decisions are rushed on which particular CRM system to implement, or configurations are made without an appreciation of exactly how the business requirements will be met, the system will not meet the recruitment consultants’ needs, will not be used and productivity may be reduced.
Quite a dilemma therefore, for recruiters who are constantly trying to keep ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing marketplace.
Here are some top tips of things to consider when making the change:
Define your business case at the outset
Before recruitment businesses can decide what new CRM solution they want to implement, they need to identify exactly what it is that they want to achieve. If business objectives are not spelt out from the beginning for instance, it is likely that the end product will be entirely different to what was envisaged – and needed – at the outset. This will prove to be hugely costly for the investors, and frustrating for the consultants on the front line.
Technical expertise will get the job done
Whether project managing in-house or through the supplier themselves, seeking technical advice from someone who can translate the key business requirements into a functional specification will make it easier for the system provider to configure the right areas of the software in the correct fashion first time.
Generally speaking, recruiters are not IT experts, but they need to ensure that the tools they are equipping themselves with are sure to deliver their requirements. Take advantage of your supplier’s technical consultancy and expertise to give yourself the greatest chance of meeting your needs and therefore improving your processes and ongoing performance. In identifying the business requirements, organisations need to understand just how technical it can get, and so leave the job to the experts, by putting your trust in experienced heads that can translate those needs into meaningful technology deliverables.
Invest the time to define your objectives
Recruitment agencies must be prepared to dedicate sufficient time and resource to changing the CRM system, and before the project is even started, they must consider whether they can indeed afford to spend such time away from the main business.
People often underestimate the amount of time that they will have to dedicate to ensure that the project is a success from the outset. Putting the hours in is essential, so start early, define your objectives and confirm your initial selection and configuration processes.
All CRM systems will claim to offer you the best functionality and tools for your business – the trick is working out what the business actually requires to run in the most efficient way, focusing less on the latest bells and whistles and concentrating on the principle requirements of the CRM – function, ease-of-use, flexibility and scalability.
Opt for flexibility and ease of configuration
In such a volatile and fast-moving market, recruiters must take a flexible approach to their processes and therefore their CRM systems to maintain their competitive edge. Configurations therefore have to cater for current and predicted needs. Selecting a CRM package that can be immediately configured in any area of the software or workflow possible will allow the recruiter to stay ahead of the curve, deploy the latest technologies and offer their clients the very best of services.
Make intelligent investment decisions
Recruitment businesses can get bogged down by always aiming to have the latest technology and software updates, but unless the investment delivers true value to the consultants actually using the product, there is little point in purchasing so frivolously. Instead, have open conversations with your teams and investigate what would make their lives easier and more productive – their involvement in the process helps deliver a useful end result, and ensures their buy-in from the outset.
So don’t just invest in CRM systems for the sake of it – the economic instability we find ourselves faced with today determines that “nice-to-haves” are no longer an option. Instead, identify the solutions that are guaranteed to directly benefit the individual consultant and the ways in which they are working, and make this intention the motto of the entire project.