Talent Relationship Management: CRM Hits the Recruiting Industry

By Ronny Cheng

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Talent Relationship Management (TRM) is a relatively new term, but it is similar to one that we all know: Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM is defined as follows: “Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.” Just like CRM solutions help companies to develop customer relationships and drive customer retention, TRM solutions help companies to develop relationships with candidates and retain the interest of candidates beyond the hiring cycle. Talent Relationship Management technologies are a platform for employers to manage and connect with candidates. It's more than just a candidate database. If this sounds similar to what an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) does, then you’re on the money. However, there are some key differences between these two solutions that is making TRM look like the future of candidate management.

The Role of TRM Software

Talent Relationship Management software is a fairly recent development in the hiring world, but talent relationship management is a principle as well as a tool. The principle is that talent relationships, just like customer relationships, are essential to the survival of any company and must be maintained. It's more than just headhunting or playing the numbers game. The competition for candidates who excel with niche skill sets or have high levels of seniority has never been fiercer. In a candidate driven market (which 90% of recruiters say we’re in) the relationships that you can build with top talent will play a crucial role in your ability to recruit that talent.

According to a recent study from Glassdoor, 47% of declined offers in the second half of 2015 were due to candidates accepting other jobs, up 10 points from the first half of 2015. What this indicates, is that high quality candidates are receiving a veritable sample platter of job offers and having a relationship with a candidate will make the difference between hiring them and not.

Building Candidate Relationships

You still need to follow best practices for communicating with candidates (being friendly, providing value, etc.) but TRM solutions cover the most important communication practice of all: staying in touch. This need to engage in a back-and-forth with candidates arises as soon as they express interest in your company or job and lasts for as long as it takes to recruit them. It may take years to develop a relationship with executive talent or an applicant who takes another job, but TRM technology makes this correspondence process more like clockwork than a long-distance relationship. Before, the task of maintaining communications with promising candidates from each round of hiring was incredibly time intensive, and most runner up candidates were only sent closing emails that encouraged them to re-apply in the future. Now, with TRM, it is a simple matter to automatically send messages to promising candidates from previous rounds of hiring. Whether you’re sending them surveys, job listings, industry reports or just asking how they’re doing, automating these communications will maintain the relationship until the time comes for your next, relevant job opportunity.

TRM for Recruiting

TRM technologies are highly advantageous for recruiters who hire on the executive level. Executives generally hold their jobs for longer periods of time, which makes the automated communication features of TRM the perfect tool for nurturing relationships with executive candidates. Given the demands on executive candidates, it is important for both recruiter and executive to know what they’re getting into, and a strong relationship will absolutely aid you in these discussions. Recruiters who hire for positions that have important, requirement/experience nuances will love the ability to create specified talent groups. When small details mean the difference between a qualified candidate and a semi-qualified one, this expanded data collection will ensure that only suitable candidates are presented to clients.

The ability for many TRM solutions to support social media integration is also a godsend for recruiters who like to use professional networks or social marketing for job promotion and/or candidate sourcing. A strong employer brand is built on a strong social media presence, and TRM software makes posting to these networks a breeze. Additionally, these technologies can empower the employee referral programs of clients, making it easy for employees to share jobs with their online contacts and networks. So, what is talent relationship management? It is maintaining crucial candidate relationships and this essential practice is being empowered by the next wave in candidate tracking technology. Instead of just tracking candidates, TRM software gives you the tools to engage with these candidates and lay the foundations for a successful hire in the future. TRM is also being commonly found in executive search software and solutions for different specialities and niches in recruiting.


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