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How to choose a CRM for recruitment

May 14, 2024
6 min read

As a recruiter, you have a lot to juggle. Building and sorting talent pools, matching candidates to jobs, managing relationships with the candidates in your database, even breaking into new markets.

On top of everything, the UK is experiencing a loose labor market with greater competition for fewer vacancies. As a result, companies are receiving more applications than ever. This is a good challenge to have, but a challenge nonetheless. Now is ideal time to invest in a CRM for recruitment to help you manage today’s influx of candidates — and build a rich talent pipeline for tomorrow.


What challenges are UK recruiting teams facing? 

Greater competition for fewer vacancies

Over the course of 2023, employers have seen the labor market loosen. Job vacancies are falling and the growth in payrolled employees is slowing. While this means an abundance of candidates for employers, it can also mean a surplus of applications for recruiting teams to sort through. There are only so many hours in the day, and recruiters need to be equipped with tools that help manage this workload — manual recruitment processes alone aren’t going to cut it.

Market volatility and resource constraints

We are in a time of economic uncertainty. In the UK, inflation rates rose to 3.2% in March 2024 and the cost of living crisis continues to be high. While the individual bears the brunt of this, companies are feeling the impact too. Budgets are being cut across businesses to account for lower sales, meaning recruiters are being asked to do more with less. Limited resources are putting a strain on internal teams and hitting those recruiting targets may seem harder than ever.


Key features of a CRM for recruitment

Marketing automation

Automating processes is the first step to increasing efficiency for recruiting teams. Robust automation capabilities, such as dynamically updating candidate statuses, running workflows and automating repetitive tasks help improve efficiency. With tools like iCIMS Marketing Automation, recruiting teams can deliver personalized experiences for every candidate. Learn how behavior-based automation can nurture your entire candidate database, across multiple channels, without spending a large amount of time and budget.

Intuitive data and analytics

A CRM built for recruiting provides a lot more than basic tables and spreadsheets. Intuitive data and analytics dashboards help recruiting teams get a full-picture view of metrics like open positions, source of hire, cost per hire and time to fill.

In a time where reporting is everything, it’s important to have a full picture view of information that delivers the information you need at both the process and executive level.

Applicant tracking system

Some organizations might feel that they need only a CRM or an ATS. The truth is strategic recruiting teams power their on-demand recruiting and workforce planning with the combined capabilities of an ATS and a CRM.

Your CRM should integrate with job boards and social media platforms to help recruiters source candidates, as well as provide applicant tracking functionality to manage the hiring process. Discover how tools like iCIMS ATS make managing, automating and streamlining your recruiting workflows a breeze.

Integration capabilities

Spending the day logging in and out of multiple dashboards may have been tolerable in the past, but today it’s crucial that recruiters can operate their various recruitment solutions with ease. Just like candidates, recruiters expect efficiency.

Your CRM software should work how you work, seamlessly integrating with your existing tools and HR systems, like your ATS and HRIS. When all your platforms speak to one another you can build connections between them, speed up internal processes and get real-time updates. By integrating your recruitment applications, you can provide a comprehensive and connected recruitment solution.

Candidate management

Like everything else, today’s candidates are searching and applying for jobs on their smartphone. We shop on our phones and reply to emails at the tap of a screen, and the job search is no different. A recent survey showed that 86% of job seekers start their job search on their mobile device.

If you want to reach as many candidates as possible, connecting with them on the platform of their choice is imperative. Your CRM should provide features that help communicate with candidates more effectively and manage the candidates in your database by scheduling interviews, track interview progress and facilitate the overall interview process.


How CRM optimizes the recruitment process

Better candidate experience

As a recruiter, you know that candidates searching for a new role aren’t always able to do so in a leisurely manner. Fitting the job search around a full-time job and other responsibilities is no easy feat. In fact, iCIMS data shows that 42% of Gen Z job seekers in the UK expect the entire recruitment process to last 3-4 weeks which is about half the actual time (6 weeks).

The modern job seeker expects companies to offer a swift recruitment process. So, it’s critical that recruiters have tools in place that help manage the hiring process and get candidates to hire as fast as possible. Your CRM for recruitment lets you efficiently manage candidate data, including resumes, contact information and job preferences so that every candidate encounters a seamless experience with their potential employer. See how iCIMS’ CRM can help you foster stronger relationships with the right talent and find the best candidates faster.

Secure data management

Verizon’s 2024 Data Breach Investigations Report recorded 10,626 breaches. Of those, ransomware and extortion techniques accounted for 32% of all breaches, and vulnerability exploitation of an IT system nearly tripled (180%) over the year before. If your CRM software vendor isn’t proactive about cybersecurity, it could open your organizations up to attacks and data breaches.

Your CRM software must have strict data encryption procedures, up-to-date certifications, and detailed security policies to keep your candidates and employees safe. CRM platforms help recruitment agencies maintain compliance with data protection regulations, such as GDPR, by implementing data encryption, robust security measures and access controls. Discover more on this in our Trust Center.

Job posting and advertising

Job boards are one of the top sources of hire, which means it’s essential that your CRM system helps you maximize their value. CRM software enables recruiters to create, manage and track job postings across multiple channels, including job boards, social media and company websites.

You can put time back on your calendar by automating job advertising and posting with your CRM. Learn how your career site can integrate alongside your CRM so you can boost organic applicants and save ad spend.


The future of recruiting CRMs

Research from the World Economic Forum found that AI roles such as machine learning specialists and data scientists were in the top 10 UK jobs expected to grow fastest between 2023 and 2027. As advancements in algorithms and machine learning develop, it will enable CRMs to better match candidates to job openings, drawing insights from large datasets to identify the most qualified and suitable candidates.

But what does this mean for recruitment teams in the UK? Not only will it make for more efficient and reliable candidate sourcing, features that mitigate unconscious biases will continue to grow allowing recruitment teams in the UK to enhance their diversity and inclusion efforts.


Elevate your recruitment with cutting-edge iCIMS solutions

By embracing advancements in recruiting CRMs, talent acquisition teams can streamline their operations, enhance candidate sourcing and engagement, and ultimately improve their overall hiring outcomes in the highly competitive and dynamic job market.

Learn more about our recruiting CRM here.

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About the author

Rachel Findlay

Rachel is responsible for bringing the iCIMS brand to life with compelling copy in the Northern European market. Based in Scotland, Rachel has a knack for storytelling and enjoys writing global content. After earning her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh Napier University, Rachel spent a number of years marketing products and services in the tech and recruitment spaces leading her to iCIMS.

When not writing, Rachel enjoys playing trad music on her violin, learning new languages and spending time with friends and family.

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