Recruitment CRM is Marketing AND Sales


We know recruitment marketing and recruitment CRM are the hottest topics in recruiting right now. Recent research by Aptitude Research Partners and Brandon Hall Group points out the importance and the demand for these crucial capabilities.

We've compared recruitment marketing to traditional marketing in the past and the parallels hold up. But the analogy doesn't stop there. When it comes to recruitment marketing, there's a strong sales analogy as well.

Most of the organizations we engage with at Talemetry have some level of desire to move to more proactive recruiting practices. As we covered in the Recruitment Marketing Handbook and in the CRM Handbook (Predictable Hiring), your CRM, and the centralized talent pool that comes with it, form the foundation of all your recruitment marketing capabilities.

Sales organizations use their CRM to manage and engage prospective customers (leads), and your CRM is designed to do the same for candidates. Of course, marketing uses that same database to engage and nurture leads as well, but we'll address that later.

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Your sales team uses CRM to do some basic functions to make themselves more effective. Among these functions are:

  • Acquiring contact data. CRM is no good if you don't have potential leads to engage. Sales teams will acquire leads through data services, or harvest them manually through LinkedIn and other public contact data sources. Of course, past customers and leads generated by outbound marketing will also populate their CRM. Sound familiar? In the recruiting biz, we call this sourcing, and sourcers use resume databases, past applicants from their ATS, LinkedIn, and other sources to acquire candidate data.
  • Segmenting and creating target lists. Sales teams segment their CRM lead database in a number of different ways. First, most create territories, assigning the contacts within a territory to a specific sales person or team. Then they create lists of leads they think will be most responsive based on what they know about their product/service and what they know about their target contacts. They measure the results of their outreach against these target lists and refine their approach. In recruiting, we match the candidates in our talent pool (CRM) to criteria for key job families and send emails, or call candidates we think best match the job requirements of the position we are sourcing for.
  • Executing sales plays. Sales teams develop specific offers by matching the value of a specific aspect of a product/service to the needs of a specific segment of their target leads. These sales plays make it so that a company like IBM, for example, can sell recruiting software to one segment of their leads, while at the same time sell IT consulting to another. In recruiting, we create pipelines of candidates that fit job criteria and source for each of those different jobs, with different value propositions for each.
  • Engaging leads. Sales teams use their CRM to send emails and/or call their leads on both a one-to-one basis and a one-to-many basis. Recruiters and sourcers do the same, utilizing their CRM and candidate pipelines.
  • Tracking activities. Sales teams use the analytics in their CRM to understand which sales people are doing what activities. They use this data to set goals for activities and to refine those activities to be sure they are getting the proper coverage of their contacts, as well as to refine which activities are generating the best results. Recruiters and sourcers can do the same to ensure they are actively engaging enough of the qualified candidates available for a specific role to meet their hiring goals. They can also make sure that they are focusing most of their energy on the outreach activities that are providing the best results.
  • Monitoring pipelines and conversion rates. Sales leadership uses the analytics to understand the results of their sales activities, manage and refine their sales activities, and build forecasts for meeting revenue goals. They know that in order to close $X amount of business, they need to contact X amount of leads and generate X amount of solid engaged opportunities. Recruiting leadership can do the same by monitoring their recruiter/sourcer activities and analyzing applicant/hiring conversion rates from each recruiter/activities. This data is invaluable for refining sourcing activity and forecasting their ability to meet future hiring demand.Download Free Predictable Hiring Handbook

Recruitment Marketing and Sales

So on the branding, mass marketing, nurturing and candidate experience/conversion side of the recruiting process, recruitment marketing is most like traditional marketing. And just as in traditional marketing, both sales (sourcing) and marketing (recruitment marketing) work together, sharing the same database, to create the perfect blend of outbound sourcing and inbound marketing.

In today's environment where even semi-specialized talent is getting harder and harder to find, recruiters would do well to take their lead from traditional sales and marketing to build a fully aligned system of inbound and outbound talent acquisition programs. Because as we know from traditional sales and marketing, it's the best way to achieve efficient, predictable channels to new hires.

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