I recently wrote a blog on stockpiling candidates. One of the problems that I talked about is that collecting unusable candidates in your database results in lots of unnecessary work for recruiters.
Recruitment databases can quickly overflow with dud data. Here’s what to do if you’ve stockpiled useless information on candidates.
The Evaluation Stage
For those that know me, I always like to try and simplify things by using an analogy. Let’s think of our recruitment agency as a shop. The summer season is (hopefully) just around the corner, but our shop is full of winter stock that hasn’t sold. It’s time for a restock, out with the old and in with the new. Our customers aren’t thinking about last season’s stock – they’re excited to see what they can get for the coming summer.
Chuck Out Everything You Don’t Need
Recruiters often hold on tightly to candidates that at one point or another were a possibility for a specific job. If these candidates sit in your agency’s niche – great, keep them. Or if you’re confident they’re a hot potato and you may be able to place them at a later date, don't archive them! But if you evaluate these candidates honestly and know that you’ll never place them, then get rid of them. They’re only adding extra data for your recruiters to wade through.
Rethink and Restock
Ok let’s return to our shopkeeper metaphor. You’ve realised that your shop is filled to the brim with useless, unsellable products. You’ve come to terms with this, you’ve now chucked it all or found a way to repurpose it, and you’ve reset to maximise your productivity and profitability for the new season.
So, for recruiters, your database will now be now left with your best sellers or candidates that actually meet your agency’s target market. If you only work jobs in London, then there are no longer any candidates based in Aberdeen who have no interest in finding work in London clogging up your database. You should be able to see the wood from the trees and focus on the candidates that you can make money from. However, you will also need to be constantly replenishing your stock of best sellers and this is where your amazing market reach comes into play.
Success breeds Success
The best place to start? With a good understanding of what you know best: your market, what’s selling and where the demand is. Each successful placement can lead to the next successful placement, so spend time mapping out where candidates have been, who they’ve worked with, and the networks around them. Word of mouth referrals are priceless and if you’ve done a good job you’ll become the ‘go to recruiter’ in their network. Capture and maximise this information in your database and allow the CRM to join the dots of similar place-able candidates and desirable clients.
Check Your Branding is on Point
Now that you’re the go to recruiter in your niche, and your database is brimming with the best candidates and clients in your market, it’s time to make sure your shop window reflects this. Start by taking a step back. Write down on a separate piece of paper your target market and areas of expertise, then look at your website with fresh eyes and consider these questions:
- As a candidate, what sort of opportunities can you get me?
- As a hiring manager, what candidates can you connect me with?
If the answer to the questions are not the same, and if they’re not immediately apparent for both types of customers, you’re missing opportunities to maximise selling what you have, and attracting more of what sells.
You’ll still get irrelevant CVs, but the trick is to archive them. Clear branding means that the majority of applications you receive are better tailored to your business now and in the future. This saves time and money and lets your recruiters work with candidates that they can actually place.
Stick To Your Branding
Your agency has an identity and a target market. Candidates that you put forward need to reflect who your business is. Recruiters need to screen the CVs that they receive and think about whether or not they slot into their agency’s branding. Your reach is important too. Recruiters should think about the end result of working with a specific candidate. There needs to be an actionable and realistic goal.
Once you have a process in place in order to stop stockpiling data, you have to safeguard your database. This means that every piece of information that you add has to have a place, it has to belong. Whatever your standards are, whatever your entry requirements, you need to ensure that every new candidate ticks those boxes.
Remember gathering data and candidate CVs is the easy part. Maintaining and engaging with the candidate data is the costly bit. However it also creates value for your business if done correctly.
It’s easy to slip back towards bad habits, but stay strong and your business will become more valuable, more attractive to both clients and candidates, and more easily scalable.
Wendy McDougall is Chief Fish of Firefish Software. In her spare time, you'll find her playing squash or feeding her inner geek with the latest technology!