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4 Steps To Success With A Talent CRM

What is a Talent CRM?

“CRM” originally meant Customer Relationship Management – a system for sales and marketing people to keep track of customers and clients. This would include a record of where they are in the buying process, all communications and touchpoints between them and your business, and of course all related data (their contact information, their company size, industry etc.)

It can also stand for Candidate Relationship Management. This is the HR version of CRM that is becoming more and more popular; a place for fully understanding candidates. A Talent CRM gives you and your teams a view of job seekers and potential employees.

It’s the engine that drives your sourcing team, lets you create talent pools, and helps you build and nurture relationships with passive talent.

Why use a Talent CRM?

A lot of HR teams are relying on an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to manage candidates, but these systems are only focused on applicants. If you are sourcing candidates as well as handling applications, you may need a tool to manage that. Spreadsheets will only take you so far, especially in a larger company where recruiters are not working alone.

Furthermore, if you’re hiring for difficult-to-fill roles – leadership positions or technical roles, for example – you really need to build a pipeline of candidates and nurture relationships. Posting ads and waiting for applications won’t be enough.

As well as automating a lot of the manual tasks involved in the modern TA function, a Talent CRM helps you build a talent pool of non-applicants that fit your culture and open roles.

Getting results from a Talent CRM

Step 1: Get all your contacts in the database

Clearly, a Talent CRM works best if it has people’s details in it! No database works without data. The first challenge is to get all the relevant insights – candidate contact details, skills and experience information, and requisition history – into the CRM. Once this is done you will have a single source of truth around candidate data.

Of course, most organizations will struggle to gather up all this data. One thing you might want to consider is setting up a Talent Community as a first stage in this process. Start collecting data from people who are interested in working at your company, but aren’t ready to move yet, or haven’t spotted the perfect role.

Even then, there may be some missing pieces and incomplete data. If you decide to kick off an apprenticeship program, do you have likely graduation dates in there for each contact, for example? With Beamery, our smart Forms feature helps you collect up-to-date information and new employment preferences as quickly as possible, on an ongoing basis, to keep your CRM current. Check that your vendor can help you fill those data gaps efficiently.

Step 2: Automate processes

A good Talent CRM isn’t just a big bucket of candidate data. It will allow you and your team to group candidates together in talent pools, and indeed set up rules to do this automatically, making it easier to identify a number of relevant suitable candidates for the roles you are hiring for.

This will improve efficiencies amongst your recruitment or Talent Acquisition team. Having automation around categorizing and organizing contact data reduces manual effort, and frees up HR professionals to focus on higher priority issues – like conducting interviews and considering the future needs of the business. It reduces the chance of manual error too – and ensures all your candidates go through the same process when they enter your system.

Step 3: Engage candidates

Your Talent CRM should offer a range of options when it comes to staying in touch with those in your talent pools, in order to keep them engaged, and excited to one day join your company.

As well as bespoke communications (emails that you send to specific people), you should consider sending marketing campaigns to targeted groups, keeping them abreast of open vacancies (relevant to their skills), news about your company (your employer brand) and any awards or accolades you want to brag about. It’s a competitive talent market out there!

Your aim is to keep these leads warm, so that when you send that email asking them to apply, or telling them about that ideal role, you don’t have to sell them on working for you. They already know who you are and how great it would be to work at your organization.

Step 4: Proactive recruitment

The ideal ‘end state’ for power users of a Talent CRM is that they can become proactive recruiters. In other words, they don’t start from scratch with every new open vacancy. With a CRM, you can have tens of thousands of warm leads: contacts who are engaged with your brand, and contextual data about their skills, interests and how closely they’ve been following your employer brand updates.

Proactive recruitment means you can plan for the workforce of the future: if you know what departments, locations or skill profiles you will need (en masse) in 12 months, you can start collecting insights on ideal candidates now, and keep them warm until it is time to fill those roles. It is likely you will not only find the right workers quickly, the hiring and onboarding process could be smoother, especially if they are ‘silver medallists’ or alumni, and have gone through the process before.

This is when the tool really delivers impressive ROI.


You can no longer rely on word of mouth and direct applications in this competitive talent landscape. Collect meaningful data around your potential employees, and keep them up to date on the great things going on at your organization. A good Talent CRM allows you to attract and recruit candidates in a seamless and effective way. What are you waiting for?

Read more about attracting top talent to your company. And watch our webinar with Human Resource Executive on demand, to learn how to get the most out of your HR tech stack.