After having been asked to take a look at the new yu:talent recruitment database I’ve written a couple of blogs about the CRM market. The first was asking Why is the CRM Market so Difficult to Navigate? and the second was a review of the yu:talent product.
The product has some great features but it made me consider how tricky it is for a recruiter to successfully navigate the process of looking for a new CRM. If you don’t know what you need or what to ask how to do start to sift through the enormous range of options out there.
So, in no particular order (all are equally key!) here are 10 things to consider when choosing a CRM:
1. Does it suit the size, and expected growth, of my business.
It will help if you have a 3-5 year growth plan. However, even if you don’t ensuring you source a CRM which can quickly and efficiently grow with your business is going to be key.
2. Does it have the features I need and may ever need.
Do you even know what features you’ll need? If you come to a showcase event like ours you’ll see a dozen CRMs all with varying features. The challenge is to know what the key ones are. My top ones would be:
• Management Reports
• CV Parsing
• Workflow tracking for individual users
• Easy to connect/record email and phone correspondence
• Ability to integrate with job boards/multipost tools
• Searching capability of LinkedIn network
• Searching capability of inhouse database (ought to be obvious really!)
3. Is the provider able to keep up with new trends and allow the customisation I want?
This is quite important. You aren’t going to know what you’ll need from the system in 12 months but you do want to be sure that your provider isn’t going to leave you out in the cold when your competitors are able to do the next whiz-bang social media thing. Difficult to assess but try and determine how quickly they can respond. In the old days if you wanted a product customised you had to add requests to a long (never to be seen) wish list. Now many providers are more responsive. I have to say this ability to add the features you need straight away is one of the big appeals to a system like yu:talent. You can create a new feature and have it working across your business in minutes.
4. Can I trust the company and the product?
Is your data secure (ie no one else can access it) and is it safe (ie it can’t be lost when your/their office burns down) and will the solution provider have the longevity you need (ie, still be operating in 5 years time)? Apart from anything else you have a legal obligation to carefully store the data you collect from clients and candidates.
5. Is the support and training in the format I want when I want?
Do you want/need someone at the end of a phone 24/7 or is 9-5 fine for you? Is desk based training high on your list of criteria? Maybe you’d suit webinar or online training better.
6. Is it cloud based?
Dare I say it… why would you consider anything else?!
7. Where and how will I use the database?
Accessibility used to be a big issue – but you really shouldn’t even be looking at a system which can’t allow you to access your client and candidate database whenever you want from wherever you want.
8. Does it suit my style of business
Quite honestly a system which suggests it can be all things to all people is unlikely to be much to anyone. Clarify what niche your business holds and then look for a match. Some of the big providers have more than one offering (eg, the Filefinder for exec search vs Voyager for agencies offerings both from Dillistone). I don’t want to keep banging their drum but as an example the yu:talent product is very much sitting within a defined niche of ‘boutique agencies of 2-20 staff’; I like this clear definition.
9. How does the cost work for me?
Not just the monthly or annual (or one off) fee but support costs, training costs (see above), upgrade, development, etc costs. Also check for migration costs and de-migration (I made that word up) costs should you ever wish to move to a new platform.
10. Do I like it?
If you and your team look at the system and go arrrggggggggggh then maybe think again. If your guys hate the system and don’t find it intuitive and easy to use then they won’t. If they don’t use the system properly then you might as well go back to using Excel or a rolodex!