By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Check out part 1 in this blog series on the CRM. 
You’ve probably seen by now that LinkedIn shook the recruiting world momentarily when it changed its policy on downloading connections and contact information, requiring a waiting period of up to 72 hours. Previously, users could instantly download this information, which is obviously an important feature for recruiters and sourcers. After uproar from the media and the recruiting world, LinkedIn reversed this change and now once again offers an easy download.
While there’s no harm done in the long run since this decision was reversed, this occurrence provided a reminder to our industry that LinkedIn may be a frequently used tool for recruiters, but it is not a dynamic recruiting CRM. I mentioned in part one of this series that there are a number of obvious downfalls to using the social network as a CRM, but many recruiters are using it as such. If it’s not enough to know that integration with other candidate sources is a problem and that you don’t own the data you use of LinkedIn, then perhaps looking at how it stacks up against modern and future CRMs will shed a bit of light on how LinkedIn can complement, but not replace a CRM. 
There are four main areas of a modern CRM (candidate relationship manager) where LinkedIn and other social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram fall short:
Fostering communication and connections

While LinkedIn is a great place to make connections and initiate contact, it’s not a place that truly fosters and encourages communication and connections between passive candidates, active candidates, recruiters, hiring managers and employment brand ambassadors. A modern CRM absolutely must provide this capability, and LinkedIn just isn’t the best place for this.
The ability to handle many candidates

Recruiters are handling more open positions and candidates than ever before, and these candidates are likely coming from multiple sources. LinkedIn is an incredibly useful tool for sourcing but it just doesn’t provide the ability to handle and keep track of the many open positions and hundreds of candidates a recruiter could be juggling at any give time.
Compliance and record keeping

One of the biggest jobs an HR department must undertake is ensuring compliance in hiring and employment, making it a major problem to use a social network as a CRM. Since it doesn’t offer record-keeping capabilities like a modern CRM should, you’ll either be forced to keep records in a separate system and transfer to another system upon hiring, or worse, you may not be keeping great records during the hiring process, putting your company at risk for legal exposure. A modern CRM simplifies record keeping and if used correctly, helps ensure legal protection if a situation arises.
The best of both worlds

While the two of the categories above touched on engagement and organization, it’s important to note that what a recruiter needs is a system that offers a way to engage with candidates and tools to keep it all straight, all in one place. There are plenty of tools that do one or the other, with LinkedIn being one of them, but a modern CRM delivers on both fronts. And having a system that is capable of both streamlines processes, leads to better tracking and follow up and makes life as a recruiter easier. 

Data ownership

Most importantly, is that you own the network, it’s systems and accessibility. Unlike resume mining or other recruiter specific products, you are not just renting space. You and your recruitment team have full control over the candidate experience, information being shared and the manner in which candidates and prospects are communicated with. There isn’t a limited number of email messages or search strings. You have full access to the dynamic candidate community you’ve worked hard to build and can engage, search and access on your own terms and at your own pace. 

This is a two part series on the candidate relationship manager or CRM. Click here to access part 1. 

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell. 
 

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