CRM Tug of War


CRM Tug of War


Sourcers, gird your loins! A battle is afoot. Sourcers rejoiced, when talent acquisition implemented the first CRM. We finally had a database to store and manage candidates. The CRM was ours. Then, word traveled fast of the benefits of the CRM.  Sourcers could now stay in contact with their leads, set reminders to connect, keep comprehensive notes, leverage data, send engaging content, and grow relationships with their prospects. For a short time, the CRM helped to catapult the Sourcer role into nearly every occupational sector on the globe. So great was the CRM that other departments started to take note. Thus the tug of war between Recruitment Marketing and Sourcers was born.


Slow Takeover

Now before you get ahead of me, I am in favor of recruitment marketing and sourcing merging forces in the CRM. Of course, I’m in favor of an equal partnership between content and candidate. It is a marriage that is benefitting all of Talent Acquisition. Sourcers will not be successful if they refuse to accept the benefit of building relationships with prospects with the use of recruitment marketing tactics. However, the CRM is slowly being taken over by internal marketing teams for drip campaigns, events management, and talent networks. Likewise, I even know of at least one business that is selling a talent network as a CRM (you know who you are).


Defend your Claim

The truth is that without the Sourcers curating the CRM with qualified leads, the recruitment marketing part of the CRM wouldn’t work. Perhaps your talent network will bring in two thousand candidates in a year, but a Sourcer can add that many candidates in a day from a good membership list.  If you argue that you can purchase lists to stuff your CRM, my comeback is it still takes relationships with a human being to turn a lead into a candidate. Sourcing and Recruitment Marketing must work together, a 50/50 share in the wealth that a CRM brings.  Any unequal division will tip the scales in benchmarks, sourcing metrics, open rates, and hires. Sourcers need to speak boldly and defend their claim to the CRM.

The Recruitment Marketing CRM takeover has happened quietly, slowly, and led by misinformation. No sense blaming vendors or talent leaders, it is not their fault.  We, as Sourcers, were not part of the CRM marketing usage conversations. We didn’t have a voice, and we didn’t know we needed a voice to defend Sourcer use. The CRM introduction to Talent Acquisition was a business disruptor. Companies jumped on the bandwagon and created their CRM policies and procedures without much input from Sourcers.  The recruitment marketing products added to the CRM are helpful, that is not the problem.


The Disconnect

Event management through CRM has saved Recruiters and Sourcers countless hours of time and effort. The disconnect comes from recruitment marketing pursuing the carefully added leads to the system without regard to the work the Sourcer has put into the relationship. The CRM should not be recruitment marketing’s playground to experiment with texting and email branding campaigns with our carefully curated leads. You wouldn’t spend all your money in your bank account without thinking about replenishment. That is to say, how the money comes in is just as important as how you spend it! Similarly, entering sourced leads is just as important as how they are treated by recruitment marketing once in the system.


Dig in Your Heels and Make Your Demands

In searching and building the right CRM for your organization, consider this tug of war between recruitment marketing and sourcing with caution.

Demand that the CRM has editable folders for Sourcers to inventory their leads. Demand a drag and drop option to quickly add leads to the system or even a chrome extension. Demand to have a say in the workflow process, so it keeps from being over-engineered. Demand to be a part of the implementation team and user acceptance testing.

Don’t be sold on just a recruitment marketing platform that limits or minimizes the use of the CRM for sourcing purposes.  Remember, the R in CRM stands for relationships. Sourcers are the relationship that makes recruitment marketing functions come to life. The best way to win a tug of war is with teamwork. Dig your heels in Sourcers; the stronger team exerts a larger force.



Christine Hampton

Christine is a Doctor of Business Administration candidate researching talent sourcing strategies in healthcare. This is Christine's 29th year in Talent Acquisition, with the last 9 years focusing on sourcing and recruitment marketing.