Doing ‘more with less’ is de rigueur for businesses to succeed in the current economic environment. Established businesses lean towards pursuing higher productivity in less time - and with fewer resources - and make the effort to build a sustainable workforce that thrives. Take a look around and you will see this playing out as organizations build leaner enterprises with optimized day-to-day operations by embracing the digital transformation journey.
The advantages of digitalization, such as connected global operations - help employees achieve faster production and shorter fulfillment times. It also inspires more innovative product or service offerings across various industries. Digitizing repetitive, manual tasks and unifying data by implementing the latest tech solutions helps companies improve relationships, scale their business seamlessly, and better support staff.
Take for example, Pfizer’s multi-year digital transformation journey. The company replaced disparate legacy systems with a centralized platform and automation technologies. These improvements, which allowed the company to manage manufacturing processes more efficiently, ultimately helped Pfizer exceed vaccine production estimates during the pandemic. Toy company Lego also took steps, starting in 2004, to transform every business unit from its supply chain to customer engagement. These efforts saved them from bankruptcy and led to some of its most successful innovations in recent years.
Just like manufacturing and product innovation, talent acquisition leaders have a lot to gain from adopting new technology solutions. According to IBISWorld, the value of the global HR & recruitment services market grew by an average of 2% each year between 2017 and 2022 - and it is now worth USD772 bil.
As hiring needs grow, small, in-house recruitment teams are turning to recruitment agencies in greater numbers to fill job vacancies with top talent. Agency professionals confirmed this in a recent survey by Staffing Hub. Nearly 70% of agencies reported that they expected their business to grow by 11% or more in 2021.
More agencies are opening to meet HR departments’ hiring needs so that they can focus on managing internal initiatives like employee onboarding, training, and retention programs. The increase in engagement with recruitment agencies is likely based on the expectation that they have stronger relationships with more qualified candidates - particularly in niche industries.
Access to more qualified candidates allows agencies to source candidates faster for companies. Additional HR responsibilities and pressures to hire top talent are also fueling the recruitment industry’s expansion.
Recruiters need advanced hiring tools such as an applicant tracking system (ATS) and recruitment CRM to meet the demands of the job market. This need for advanced tools is reflected across the entire software as a service (SaaS) solutions market, which is expected to continue to be a hot area of enterprise IT investment. In CIO magazine, Accenture executive Ashley Skyrme specifically identified value chain digitization as a key spending area for enterprises going into 2023. The adoption of cloud-based managed services is also described as an opportunity for enterprises to, “get more done, especially in a tight IT talent market”.
For recruiters, adopting SaaS solutions to automate candidate sourcing activities and optimize hiring process management improves overall talent acquisition efforts. Adding a recruitment CRM to the technology stack empowers agencies to gain a 360-degree view of their business - the team’s recruiting effectiveness as well as the state of relationships with clients.
Despite the understood value of adopting more advanced technology solutions, companies don’t always get the most value from their investments. The Project Management Institute learned that although the pandemic pushed organizations to accelerate the pace of planned digitization projects, just over one-third of project managers admitted failed projects with budgets lost in 2021.
This means their organizations were not able to extract value from their investments or take advantage of changes in the market. A significant reason for these digitization projects falling short is poor planning, which contributes to the following issues:
- Poorly-defined project requirements,
- Insufficient deadlines to complete the project properly,
- Unrealistic expectations of how long the implementation will take,
- Problems with technology implementation.
A workplace culture that is resistant to change, employers providing minimal employee training on newly deployed systems, and employees with outdated digital skills also threaten the success of deployments as well as its intended impact on the business.
The consequences of striking out on a technology investment can be costly for organizations. An estimated USD 700 billion in digital transformation spending falls short of delivering the desired results each year. That is more than the combined net worth of the world’s four richest people.
Failed technology deployments also make organizations less capable of adapting to market changes and innovating to meet customer demands. For recruitment agencies, the most valuable investments will be in hiring tools that fulfill two key goals - one, allow their teams to optimize daily candidate management tasks and two, provide better client experiences.
An ATS takes care of the critical candidate sourcing and management aspects of the business. With a recruitment industry-tailored CRM solution in the technology mix, agencies have visibility into their client services activities and the ability to deepen relationships to catalyze business growth.
As competition in the hiring market intensifies, recruitment agencies that make the effort to get the most value out of their CRM solution can improve customer loyalty and retention as well as earn more revenue.
Read more about how ATS solutions simplify candidate sourcing and management here.
The race for talent
Today, talent acquisition and employee retention are crucial elements of rebuilding future-ready enterprises, as organizations begin to recover from pandemic disruptions. Rapid digitalization has pushed professionals to acquire a new set of skills to succeed in the digital economy. Employee training and continuing education opportunities help professionals prepare for changing resource needs but this alone is not sufficient to realize the value of investments.
Companies also need to attract new talent. Long-term talent shortages in high-skilled professions such as software development and data science have grown into more significant challenges for employers across industries.
Back in 2018, Korn Ferry predicted that by 2030, there would be a global talent shortage of more than 85 million people, resulting in USD 8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenue. The COVID-19 pandemic made this problem worse as businesses accelerated digitalization plans to adapt to the situation and new post-pandemic realities. ManpowerGroup reported in 2021 that the talent shortage had reached a 15-year high in spite of high levels of unemployment and workers voluntarily leaving their jobs.
Employers have quickly realized that attracting and retaining the right talent will mean giving them more flexibility, trust, and career growth opportunities. Many organizations have introduced policy changes that reflect concern for their employees’ wellbeing, and have increased internal communications and management training to ensure that the organization’s values and culture are universally known and upheld.
HR departments have also taken additional steps to monitor employee wellbeing and engagement to ensure that they are kept motivated and do not suffer burnout, which can affect productivity and lead to high turnover.
Recruitment agencies of all sizes have felt the pressure to close job vacancies for clients quickly and efficiently. In 2020, when the pandemic was in its darkest days, the UK’s Recruitment & Employment Confederation reported that the industry still contributed GBP 35.9bil in gross value to the economy - only a slight dip from the previous year. Smaller, more tech-savvy organizations may be more capable of reacting to sudden market changes and have deeper relationships with candidates in niche industries, but larger, traditional agencies can draw from a much more comprehensive database to source candidates for job vacancies.
To strengthen and grow their business, recruitment agencies of all sizes should seriously consider investing in a recruitment CRM solution. Manatal integrates a CRM solution into the ATS platform, which consolidates and streamlines technology investments to make recruitment activities more data-driven and efficient.
What is CRM and why is it so important?
Another evolution in the business world is the hyper-focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences as enterprises understand how the ripple effects of positive interactions (e.g. a positive review or referring a friend) connect directly to their bottom line.
To manage how employees engage with customers along their purchase journey, enterprises have turned to customer relationship management, or CRM, tools to streamline these activities and improve interactions. CRM.org describes it as software that collects customer interactions across channels in a centralized platform, which allows businesses to, “improve customer experience, satisfaction, retention, and service.”
Large organizations may have had the resources to adopt CRM solutions first; however, small recruitment agencies are also realizing important benefits from investing in this technology. While mainstream CRM tools are made to support sales, marketing, and customer service operations, industry-specific solutions like Manatal have emerged to cater to the activities of the recruitment industry.
CRM solutions allow users to store customer information, including contact details and records of interactions, manage leads and sales, execute marketing campaigns, and enhance customer service and experiences.
In the recruitment industry, a CRM solution enables agencies to focus on the client relationship throughout the sales process - from the prospect stage to each hiring campaign.
Learn more about why a recruitment CRM is an essential tool for agencies here.
Making the effort to deepen relationships with clients can improve collaboration efforts, boost customer acquisition and retention, and also lead clients to increase their spending as agencies build credibility and trust. However, when selecting and deploying a CRM, some common errors can negate the intended advantages.
The first error is investing in the wrong solution. If the tool is too difficult to use, does not complement your organization’s business needs - or aid users in completing their work more efficiently - internal stakeholders will not use it and the technology investment will go to waste.
The second error is not aligning the solution with business goals. Not considering how a new solution will integrate with existing technology and processes will create more complexity and delays during deployment. A solution that is incompatible with business objectives will also not achieve a reasonable ROI for business leaders.
The third error, not obtaining buy-in from your internal teams and would-be users of the tool, can be one of the most serious. This is most often the result of a lack of partnership among departmental leaders (i.e. IT, HR, and other functional leaders). When organizations do not make a concerted effort to get teams involved with the implementation of new tools - or secure their buy-in on the benefits of adopting new technology - the digital transformation project is essentially doomed from the start. Additionally, not getting the team to change established behaviors by not enforcing the use of new solutions limits the long-term effectiveness of the investment.
Getting it right when adopting new technology is incredibly important for organizations - and simply selecting the right technology is only part of the equation. Gartner sums it up well noting how digital transformation is, “a strategy to leverage technology to enable new business models, new products and services, and new strategies — and drive business growth.”
Getting the most value from CRM solutions
As recruitment agency leaders identify and deploy new solutions to improve business operations, it is also important for them to look beyond the initial days to ensure that the organization is getting the most value from their investment.
To get the most value from a CRM, agencies should prioritize the following best practices.
- Invest in the right tech solutions from the beginning: Taking the time to research and pilot new solutions as well as developing an implementation roadmap before plunging deep into a new solution will save significant time and money in the long run. Learn more about what to look for in recruitment technology here.
- Consider employees’ tech capabilities when selecting solutions: It doesn’t matter how good the solution is. If your IT team and intended users do not have the technical skills to use the solution properly, your organization will be unable to realize the full value of the tool. Look for hiring tools that are ‘easy-to-use and deploy’ to reduce IT maintenance requirements - as well as training time - and ensure that employees’ daily tasks are made simpler by the solution.
- Ensure that new solutions fit into your technology roadmap: Digital transformation is referred to as a journey, not a single moment because the available technology and its capabilities are always changing. This is why business leaders need to consider factors including a solution’s functionality, tech integrations, vendor support, and cost before making the purchase. Recruitment tools should contribute to a more efficient and productive workplace - rather than conflict with existing technology - so new solutions need to be accessed based on how it contributes to long-term digitization goals.
- Modify processes: Adopting new technology may also include changes to internal processes that can enhance collaboration, client communication, and simplify project tasks. However, if agencies do not look at investments in recruitment CRM holistically, it can actually hurt client relationships and undermine efforts to support recruitment teams.
- Prioritize user experience: No matter how advanced the technology, if users don’t have positive experiences they won’t embrace it. Customizing the solution to the needs of users - whether they are internal employees or external customers - is vital to the success of the deployment. Conducting training and tracking how the technology is being used can ensure that best practices are shared and that everyone is able to use the technology proficiently.
- Protect the quality of data going in to improve insights: The old adage that garbage in = garbage out is absolutely true when it comes to data. Therefore, when adopting new technology solutions, it is crucial to ensure that high-quality data is imported and can be easily mined for future insights. Data from a recruitment CRM can unlock insight into campaigns that convert prospects, identify what makes projects successful, and offer signals about unhappy clients. Learning about issues and applying best practices quickly can make all the difference in a competitive hiring market.
Manatal combines ATS and Recruitment CRM in a powerful platform
Adopting a recruitment CRM is essential for recruitment agencies to manage their business operations and relationships with clients. It also gives leaders visibility into the overall health of the organization and the performance of hiring projects.
Data generated by these systems provide crucial insight for leaders to use to improve their operations and market their business. Combined with an ATS, recruiters gain a centralized platform to see their team’s talent acquisition activities as well as overall business operations.
Manatal’s solution features an ATS solution and recruitment CRM so that agencies can streamline their technology investments and enhance the services they are offering clients. Job vacancies can be filled with highly-qualified applicants more efficiently through more effective collaboration between hiring managers and recruiters and automation, which speeds up candidate sourcing and simplifies the steps in the hiring process. The agility delivered by the platform allows agencies to scale and adapt seamlessly as client needs - and the global workforce - change.
Start a 14-day free trial here to see for yourself how our combined ATS and recruitment CRM solution can elevate your recruitment agency’s business.