Recruitment CRM

How to Choose the Best Recruitment CRM For Your Agency

With 67% of recruitment leaders planning to re-engage their recruitment database this year, its crucial for agency owners to find a CRM that makes life easier and supports growth.

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Enterprise Recruitment Software

What is a recruitment CRM?


A recruitment CRM, or customer relationship management software, is a vital tool for recruiters where they can store candidate and client data and handle all of their operations in one place. Whilst a lot of recruitment agencies still keep their data in simpler systems or use Excel Spreadsheets, a CRM goes far beyond storage, enabling you to work more efficiently, automate manual processes, and keep your candidate database warm at all times, which leads you to faster and more accurate placements. A great CRM puts data at the heart of your agency, amplifying your growth.

Some of the main functionalities of a good recruitment candidate management software include:

-       Candidate management system: A good CRM will sort through the candidate data for you, suggesting top matches for each of your new roles, handling automated communications, and keeping track of any changes or developments. Instead of wasting hours after you post a new role on sifting through CVs and contacting relevant candidates, a CRM can automate large parts of a recruiter’s role, saving time and allowing you to focus on what’s important.

-       Client management system: Similarly to your candidate interactions, the other side of the recruitment coin is obviously your clients. Keeping all of their data, active roles, and preferences in one place is essential to improving efficiency and staying on top of your roles.

-       Recruitment compliance sy: One thingrecruiters can lose a lot of time on is compliance. With the right CRM, youwill be able to handle all your documentation from within the software, keepingtrack of your candidates’ and clients’ status, and even locking you from takingaction on an uncompliant candidate or client. Thissaves your agency from lost rebates and having to then struggle with payingback or trying to get your money back from unreliable clients.

Why should you use recruitment agency software?


Using the right recruitment CRM can increase revenue by as much as 29%, increase your team’s efficiency, and decrease the amount of human error within your work, ultimately impacting the quality of your results.  A highly tuned recruitment system can also increase your existing candidate engagement by as much as 85%, allowing you to operate CRM-first and save money.

Good recruitment software will keep your database warm, allowing you to decrease the time spent juggling manual admin tasks and communications. But another big influence a CRM has on your agency is changing the way you and your team go about making placements – with a warm database, you will make the CRM your first touchpoint, instead of going straight to job boards with each new role. This not only draws out the entire process but also costs you money you could have saved.

Top benefits of a recruitment CRM


A good recruitment CRM will not only increase your efficiency and reduce manual tasks, allowing you and your recruiters to handle higher volumes of work – it will also reduce human error, help you make decisions and set strategies based on data, which in turn helps your agency become more agile and enables you to maximise the return on investment from each candidate and client.

Here are some of the most important benefits of using a recruitment CRM, explained:

Streamlined candidate and client management

A good CRM automates a lot of the manual tasks surrounding candidate and client management, allowing you to focus on relationship building and handle higher volumes of work. This is vital to your agency’s growth and scalability.

Recruitment software not only stores your data but, more importantly, can also match the candidates with roles or clients; automatically showing you the best matches for the role you’re currently recruiting for. It will rank your candidates based on their engagement levels, making it easier to cleanse your database and keep it warm at all times. With active talent pools, you can divide your candidates by requirements like sector, salary expectations, and more, which then gives you a simple way to automate communications to different groups whilst maintaining a personal touch.

With task management, your CRM will remind you of any follow-up calls you need to make, and integrations with relevant communications platforms will allow you to set up BD sequencing and emails from within the recruitment software. This way, all of your information, notes, and communications on each client and candidate will go through the CRM and be easily accessible – and you and your recruiters won’t have to dig to find updates and relevant information. Your recruitment CRM will become the single source of truth for your agency, serving as the heart of all your operations and simplifying all of your processes.

Job management and applicant tracking

The heart of every recruiter’s job is obviously making placements – and that means writing job adverts, posting them on different job boards, sorting through applications, and more. It also means the more roles you’re working, the more admin work you have – and the easier it is to get lost in piles of information.

The right CRM will automate the entire process for you, from writing job adverts with AI-powered tools, to posting them automatically across job boards with one single click. What is more, it gives you the option to skip this step completely, because each of your new roles will be matched with a list of appropriate candidates already within your database – allowing you to save time and money.

Reduced human error

With everything going through your CRM, from candidate and client data to communications and notes from meetings, you don’t have to worry about any information ever getting lost. This not only streamlines your day-to-day operations, as you (and your recruiters) don’t have to waste time searching for data, but also protects your agency from unavoidable human errors, data losses, and forgotten clients or candidates.

Data-driven decision making

It’s vital for your agency’s growth to have a CRM that shows you real-time reporting data – because you’re able to see the effects of your strategies at all times and track your results. Instead of only reviewing the effectiveness of your strategies once a month or at the end of the quarter, you can track and make shifts on a regular basis. Seeing them clearly will allow you to make more informed decisions on any strategy adjustments and fix straight away, instead of waiting until the end of a slower month to realise you need to make some shifts in the month ahead.

Great CRMs also offer you the option to benchmark your agency against others in your sector, giving you insights into the market situation and allowing you to see whether lower results are due to a part of your strategy not working, or the generic situation in the market at the time.

10 steps to choosing the right CRM for your recruitment agency


Now that you know the value the right CRM can bring to your agency, it’s time to decide what “the right CRM” means for your agency – and where to start looking for it.

  1. Assess your needs: The starting point of finding the right CRM is understanding what your agency needs. What is the size of your client base, number of monthly placements, and candidate applications? What other systems are you using that could be replaced by an all in-one-recruitment solution? Combining your CRM and your recruitment website can result in massive savings, for example.
  2. Make a list of your non-negotiables: Decide what features are absolutely needed for you and your agency, and which ones might be negotiated For example, if your CRM includes a built-in reporting platform, you will beable to understand your data and tighten your strategy without spending extraon a third-party platform.
  3. Think about your objectives: It’s good to have a goal in mind that you’d like to achieve with your CRM. Is your main purpose of getting one to automate your manual processes, increase placements, activate your database, or all of the above? A good CRM will put data at the heart of your agency, allowing you to make data-centred decisions that drive your agency forward.
  4. Think about scalability: You want your CRM to not only be adapted to your current needs but also to be able to grow and evolve with your agency. Consider your current situation and growth plans for the future, and check whether the CRM offers flexible pricing plans and can adapt to your growing needs.
  5. Look beyond the outside: You want your recruiters to actually use the CRM instead of treating it as additional admin or a platform to just put data in and forget. Make sure your new CRM has a broad functionalities range and can support your recruiters in their day-to-day tasks, instead of just being another piece of fancy-looking software nobody uses.
  6. Read reviews and recommendations: Research available reviews and ask your industry friends for recommendations. Make sure you’re looking for the things you earlier determined as important to your agency.  A great place to start is checking how the CRM ranks on platforms such as Capterra, and is transparent with the feedback gathered from its customers.
  7. Consider support:  Good customer support is more than a help chat with AI responding to queries. Make sure the CRM you’re considering has great human support available to you at a wide range of hours, a short response time, and materials available for you to use.
  8. See what their customers have to say: Apart from reviews online, it might be worth looking into case studies and testimonials to explore other agencies’ growth stories and get a feel of the support a CRM has given them on their journey.
  9. Transparent pricing: If the pricing of the CRM you’re considering isn’t available online and you can’t get a straightforward response during the initial conversation, run. You shouldn’t have to wonder how much you will actually pay for the CRM in the end and search for hidden add-ons.
  10. Book a demo and ask questions: Demos are a clear way to quickly understand whether the CRM is for you. Remember to ask questions surrounding topics vital to your agency. Make sure your demos are with real people who can answer all of your questions and show you the ins and outs of the software, instead of directing you to a knowledge bank or giving a brief overview.

Features to look for in a good recruitment CRM

Whilst CRMs differ in what they offer, some features are great to have and will make it a lot easier for your agency to adopt the new system and grow effectively.

Real-time reporting

The heart of your agency is your data, and when you learn to harness its power for growth and understand it, you will be able to amplify your ROI and make data-driven decisions that help your agency be more agile – regardless of the market situation. If your CRM has built-in reporting features, you are able to save money on external reporting software and time spent on moving data from one place to another.

When looking at reporting structures, make sure your CRM consists of comprehensive reporting that checks all the boxes. Consider:

- A built-in live sales forecasting, that allows you to predict your upcoming revenue based on roles you’re working.

- Recruiter activity reporting, which will give you a clear overview of the actions your team is taking, the amount of calls they make, emails, conversion rates, and more. This will then help you notice what areas needing more work.

- Candidate insights showing all of your candidate data, their information, job preferences, or activity within the candidate portal.

- Competitive benchmarking, which gives you insight into other recruitment agencies within your sector and how their performance is at all times. This way, you will be able to understand whether slower moments for your agency are due to your internal processes you need to alter, or a generic market situation.

Integrated candidate acquisition tools

Another vital part of great recruitment software are integrated candidate acquisition and management tools. These give you the option to manage all of your candidates from within the CRM, without having to jump between software, search for data, or bring it from one space to another. If all of your candidate data is in one place, you’re saving time and resources spent on manual admin and reducing human error. Your CRM becomes your single source of truth, keeping all of your data, activity, and information categorised in one space.

These include:

- LinkedIn Chrome Extension, which brings candidate data straight from LinkedIn to your CRM and allows you to manage LinkedIn job postings from your recruitment software.

- SourceWhale integration, that gives you the option to automatically update all your SourceWhale data from within your CRM, track business development activity, and focus on what’s really important – building relationships.

- Job board multiposter, which lets you and your recruiters post job adverts on multiple different job boards with one click, instead of jumping back and forth.

Native marketing tools

The third important part of any great recruitment software is how it makes your marketing processes easier and automates the way you go about marketing your roles and your agency. Make sure your CRM gives you the option to handle your marketing operations and reporting from within, including:

- Job board credit management, which ensures you’re in full control of your job board spending and can clearly monitor which and how much your recruiters post.

- Native AI tools, which make it easy to write job adverts and candidate summaries without having to spend hours typing, browsing through information, and trying to make it all sound appealing.

- Integrated websites – if your CRM ha an integrated website, this means you can truly manage everything from within! Handle all of your web operations from the software, post job adverts, content, and more, without needing a developer and wasting additional money for a third-party platform.

- Candidate portals, which allows your candidates to manage their own profiles with your agency, update information, and opt-in for job updates within their areas of interest. Boosting their ability to manage their own account increases engagement, which then leads to a warm and active database.  

- Hiring manager portals, which give your clients insight into personalised talent pools tailored to their needs and allow them to source their own candidates.

Compliance features

Compliance is a vital part of any recruiter’s work – and keeping your agency protected will help you avoid any unexpected costs and unpleasant situations. If your CRM has built-in compliance features, it will keep you from working with clients and candidates that haven’t filled their documentation and keep all the vital paperwork at hand.

Intelligent matches

A great CRM won’t just store your data, but also tell you which candidates and clients are the best match for one another. For instance, building interactive talent pools for different clients and roles will not only give you a set of candidates that match the requirements but also present you with the top potential matches for a specific role and showcase engagement levels of relevant candidates – so you know exactly how ready they are to be placed.

Make more placements from your existing database

Within six months of using Firefish, you’ll see candidate engagement levels increase by 200% and your recruiters converting 25% more placements.

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Fuelled by the success of our users

Today, Firefish helps recruitment companies of all sizes and industries to accelerate growth by putting data at the heart of their recruitment agency, and it’s  recognised by users who have voted us as the best Recruitment CRM software provider at a number of awards.

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