Choosing a software provider for your recruitment business is about more than just ‘buying a system’ – it’s about choosing the right long-term business partner who can work with you to reach your goals. It’s about finding a great recruitment agency software that’s right for your business.
Finding the right recruitment CRM system for your recruitment or staffing agency is a big decision.
Not only will it be your core business-critical application helping you run your business, but it will also be the main tool that you and your team use on a daily basis.
A CRM platform is much more than just a storage of data and record activity.
The right one is an active revenue driver within your business and a competitive weapon for your sales team.
It’s also the place you and your management will look to derive critical insights about how your business is operating. And it will serve as the hub which all other teams (such as finance, back office and operations) connect to in order to deliver and optimise their work.
Simply put, for successful recruitment businesses their CRM is the ‘central nervous system’ of the company. It links everything together and enables the business to grow and scale to its maximum potential.
So, with so much at stake, what do you need to consider when you buy (or change) CRM provider?
Not all CRMs are created equal
There are many systems to choose from, with both generic and recruitment-specific CRM providers offering a wealth of options.
Thinking that all CRMs are ‘basically the same’, however, is deeply misleading.
CRMs vary hugely in cost, features and complexity. It’s a mistake to assume they’re all essentially the same because they attempt to solve the same fundamental business problem. It means overlooking many important differences that will have a direct impact on the growth and profitability of your company.
Across functionality, usability, integration and support, no two CRMs are alike. And it’s worth every minute of your time to find the right one.
You are buying much more than a database
Even if we allow for some obvious, shared functionality across CRMs, there are differences that go far beyond each system’s basic ability to store and organise your data.
A well-chosen CRM platform will contribute measurably to your recruiters’ performance. It will accelerate the pace with which they carry out their daily tasks, cutting out the unnecessary repetitive admin tasks and using intelligent features to pro-actively position them to capture more revenue from the market.
A great recruitment agency software will feed them with prompts, insights and actionable alerts that turn them into super-recruiters. They will work faster and with better accuracy than their competitors, delivering client-candidate matches consistently powered directly by their technology.
You do not have to put up with poor service and functionality
Many recruitment business owners rush into buying their first CRM after a sleek demo and without sufficient due diligence. Then inevitably they feel condemned to ‘live with the consequences’ once the features and support from the supplier fail to meet expectations and begin to slow the business down.
In some cases, this goes on for years – and with potentially huge costs to the business.
Revenue opportunities are missed, thousands of pounds of potential fees go unclaimed as data within the system isn’t effectively monetised. And – in more cases than business owners like to admit – great recruiters leave the company to earn their commission at an agency with better tools.
Whether it is slow or incomplete product support, low-quality training or daily run-ins with much-needed things that the system simply can’t do… businesses aren’t shackled to their CRM platforms. As the most important technology determining the company’s success, it’s damaging to remain loyal to an under-performing product or supplier.
Security should come as standard
Robust data security has grown in importance in recent years. Ransomeware attacks can cause huge damage to your business. Attackers can hold your data hostage and steal confidential information.
Hence, there’s an increasing focus on both personal data privacy and protection from cyberattacks.
Both recruitment agencies and their customers are looking for an ecosystem of connected partners who can each guarantee the highest levels of security for the data that moves between their businesses and processes.
In this climate, enterprise-grade security, regular data backups and disaster recovery solutions should come as standard with any modern CRM.
Some recruiters are still experiencing nightmarish supplier failures where their data is hacked, stolen or they are simply frozen out of their own systems.
As the world continues to place an ever-growing emphasis on security, it should neither be a blind spot nor an optional extra in a professional CRM platform. Thus, a great quality recruitment agency software comes complete with security and risk management against any form of ransomware attacks.
Your CRM supplier is a partner, whether you like it or not
It can be tempting as a business owner to dismiss the significance of the dynamic you will have with your CRM supplier.
Purchasing a CRM is not a one-off transaction when you sign on the dotted line and never speak to your supplier again.
The reality is, that your CRM supplier is a partner, however much you’d like to just buy login access and get on with business.
Getting the best out of technology requires commitment and effort – configuration, training, workflow development, integration with other tools, uploading and structuring of data… All to ensure the best return on your investment.
Using a CRM is a true partnership between the technology provider and the end-user. And the best dynamics work hard towards a single shared goal – the profitability and growth of the customer’s business.
Ease of use is key
Even with the world’s most comprehensive functionality, the software is next to useless if recruiters don’t engage with it.
Dazzling systems with head-spinning complexity might have the potential to revolutionise your business. But it counts for nothing if your team never gets their head around the basic interface and navigation, and fails to get any benefit from the platform.
Recruiters make money from data – that’s the bottom line.
They need quick, easy access to it, and need to work as part of a collaborative digital environment where data can be easily found and processed by a range of users in a range of functions within the business.
The better your CRM can give each user what they needed to find, the faster you’ll see climbing ROI.
Do not be wowed by the demo
Choosing a great recruitment agency software to build your business on should not be a quick process.
As a minimum, there’s an initial contract that will tie you to the service provider. You will quickly start investing time and resources in configuring and attempting to get the best out of your platform.
Finding out that it is not what you thought it was – or cannot do important things you simply assumed it would be able to – is both frustrating and damaging for your business.
It is an easy trap to fall into, however.
Sales demos are designed to highlight attention-grabbing features and sell a high-impact vision of a product. They resonate emotionally and drive potential customers to sign up without a deep-dive review of functionality and support.
However exciting the initial overview may be, nothing beats a detailed evaluation of genuine usability for calculating whether or not a tool truly is the right answer to your business challenges.
Check the reviews
If demos are the fireworks designed to grab your attention, reviews are the reality left behind once the smoke clears.
Every CRM supplier will tell you that they have a great recruitment agency software. That, in fact, theirs is the best recruitment CRM system in the UK. And they will back it up by a few client testimonials or case studies.
However, a small selection of hand-picked customer referrals is no substitute for a trusted public review platform, such as TrustPilot. If your potential technology partner isn’t featured… why not?
As with any other major financial decision, it’s hard to replace the testimony of people in similar situations who have been there before you and can share their stories, guiding your decision-making with honest feedback.
Your CRM is the backbone of your business. Selecting the right one is a critically important move, and one that must have comprehensive, rational grounds.
Don’t rush. Don’t take risks. And don’t make any assumptions which could be incorrect, causing huge problems for the business down the line.
It can take time and effort to evaluate your options. But settling on the right long-term partner is among the most high-value strategic decisions you can make for your business.