What Candidate Relationship Management Is And Why It Matters

Tom Bennett

Candidate relationship management is the concept of using the same techniques that sales organizations have been using for years with prospects, but with prospective job candidates. Why does this matter to your talent acquisition strategy?

For the past several years, the recruiting industry has seen an increasing interest in using candidate relationship management technology as part of an overall recruiting strategy. The so-called “war for talent” is only ramping up as skillsets get ever more granular, so having tools to manage recruiting – in ways their competitors don’t – is becoming more and more important to organizations.

Aside from the traditional “post and pray” model or a fancy career site, what is an aspiring recruiting strategist to do?

Enter candidate relationship management. What if you could bring the time it takes you to fill positions down to almost nothing without spending anything close to your previous advertising budget? You’d be a hero, right?

What you need is a candidate-centric model. Think of candidate relationship management in recruiting as a community for candidates. You source candidates the way you always have, through traditional advertising, job postings, career sites, job fairs, and other means. However, once you make contact, you add the candidates to “talent pools.” Talent pools can have different stages for candidates, including options for marketing, vetting, and disqualification. The two scenarios below illustrate some uses of talent pools:

  • Silver medalists: Think back to the last job requisition you managed. You spent a significant amount of time and effort to evaluate five or 10 candidates, perhaps disqualifying many others. At the end of the process, you chose one of the people. What happened to the other nine? They simply dropped off your radar and faded into the mist after you closed the requisition. Why not add the runner-ups, the “silver medalists,” to a talent pool? The next time a similar requirement comes up, you have a familiar, vetted list of candidates ready to go. You know they will be interested, and the chance that one of them will sign an offer is much higher. Also, the time to fill the new requirement will be dramatically reduced. Win, win, win.
  • Expression of interest: Say you recruit the same skillsets over and over while servicing a specific industry. Create a talent pool for that specific skill or talent. Use email marketing to advertise to the people in this pool. The unicorns (those with very hard to find skillsets) will appreciate the direct communication; they will feel special, looked after. When an opportunity arises, you have a stable of candidates who are hard to find but keen to work with you. Reduced time-to-fill, high chance of offer acceptance, rinse and repeat.

Hopefully, you can see the possibilities for candidate relationship management and talent pools.

In today’s highly competitive market, organizations and their HR staff need every advantage they can get. AI and machine learning will begin replacing common recruiting activities, but LinkedIn has identified building relationships with candidates as the No. 1 skill AI cannot replace. Candidates will enjoy much warmer, better-managed relationships with the organizations they interact with in candidate relationship management. Money and time are saved, and the right people are put into the right jobs.

SAP SuccessFactors solutions for recruiting can provide all of these benefits. Read more about SAP SuccessFactors and candidate relationship management


Tom Bennett

About Tom Bennett

Tom Bennett is a senior solutions consultant, focused on the Asia-Pacific region, at SAP. Drawing from more than 25 years of HR experience across multiple industries and countries, he evangelizes the power of HR software and services from SAP. As a dual citizen, Tom is based in Perth, Australia, but is originally from Los Angeles, California. He is currently working with mining and resources companies to help them understand the art of the possible for enterprise software and processes.