4 HR Trends Blowing Up Talent Acquisition, Part 3: CRMs Enhance the Candidate Experience

Read part one of the series here and part two here.

Companies in the candidate relationship management (CRM) segment focus on the top of the candidate engagement funnel. They give employers better ways to interact with potential hires and build talent communities. Now that more and more companies emphasize the candidate experience, effective CRM solutions have become critical for building rapport with candidates prior to selection and engaging them enough that they want to apply to and work for the company.

While ATSs share some of the same basic features of CRM platforms (e.g., candidate profile development, search and apply, hiring manager profiles), CRM tools are innovating the front end of the talent acquisition process in how they capture candidate leads and execute ongoing engagement strategies with talent.

The most significant talent acquisition trend in this area is that CRM tools are trying to tap into the passive candidate population. In this way, they are focused on expanding the candidate pipeline to speed up the hiring process. Passive talent is not only the most challenging and costly to recruit, but also the cream of the crop.

Best CRM Platform Features Roundup:

Automated active and passive candidate profile development.

Ability to search candidates and extract profile data from external sources such as job boards, social media sites, and ATSs.

Relevant, curated content sent to candidates to nurture engagement with company.

Automatic, targeted (or personalized) email campaigns and social advertising (e.g., on Twitter and Facebook).

Analytics and reporting to track campaign and outreach effectiveness.

Customizable and mobile-optimized career sites that can be deployed on social platforms.

Integration with ATSs and other enterprise technologies.

Collaboration and workflow tools for talent acquisition teams as well as hiring managers.

Progressive organizations treat their candidates and employees with the same attention they give their customers. CRM tools have evolved beyond capturing inbound candidates' basic information and become powerful systems for acquiring, engaging, nurturing, and retaining quality candidates who may start out as passive talent. Given the growing skills gap and an increasingly picky workforce, employers need CRM solutions that go above and beyond to establish and maintain relationships with candidates.

Candidate Relationship Management Contenders:


Innovate CV





Effective CRM solutions that keep the candidate experience in mind will allow you to build relationships with talent before they even become candidates. Engage with your potential hires through your CRM and invite them to find out more about your organization. Then watch what happens. If you play your cards right, you should have talent flocking to you.

Jonathan Kestenbaum is the executive director of Talent Tech Labs.