An update on How to get more Candidates from your CRM

I had an interesting chat with Cameron McLennan from Firefish Software about “How to get the Best from your Sales & Marketing Software”.  He shares why now is a great time to show your database a little love and an interesting shift in candidate engagement.

A Telling Case Study

Cameron also shared a data CASE STUDY from one of their clients showing some telling stats around advertising, the database overlap, and the increasing effectiveness of job alerts as candidates increasingly take more control of their own profile updates.

Thanks for Reading!

Belinda


TRANSCRIPTION:

How to get the Best from your Sales & Marketing Software

Belinda Kerr 

Hi, everybody. I’m Belinda Kerr from Recruitment Garage. And I’m delighted to have with me here today, Cameron McLennan, from Fire Fish Software. And we are going to be talking about what’s new in CRM and tech with a particular spin on how we can apply that to some of our databases that are perhaps a little bit unloved. So welcome, Cameron. And perhaps if we can just start with a little bit about yourself and what’s new in five fish these days?

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, so thanks so much for having me Belinda. And so I am head up the growth for software. And we are a recruitment CRM based in the UK. And we are also a sales and marketing platform for recruitment agencies as well. And so and we do some really, really cool things on the marketing side. And the key concept behind those really is tell our clients to make more money from the data that they work very, very hard to very very hard to source in the first place.

 

Belinda Kerr 

Right. Okay. And what are you so let’s just, I guess, dive straight in what do you think or what are some of the really cool things that are starting to emerge at the moment.

 

Cameron McLennan 

So I think some of the cool things that are starting to emerge at the moment will be, vendors are starting to put a lot more importance on candidates actually being control of their own data. So what I mean by that is for candidates wanting to be in control of the information that’s held on them want to be in control of the marketing that they receive from the agency want to just have a bit more visibility about what’s actually being done with their data. And we’re seeing that starting to come through a bit more. So there’s a lot more respect to being giving to candidates data. And in turn, what happens when you start to do that is that the engagement and for any marketing campaigns that vendors are running starts to improve and because you’re giving the candidates what they want, when they want it, rather than the old school that used to happen number of years ago, we would just send a blank email table in your database and hope for the best. That’s all starting to change now, which is really good.

 

Belinda Kerr 

Okay, and so you’re actually finding that the the Candidates are quite engaging. They’re they’re jumping on board not updating their own information.

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, particularly saw in Europe because we’ve had the, the GDPR regulations come into force. So and we have to a recruitment agencies have to treat candidates and data with a lot more respect than, than maybe they used to so wet that they need to get a lot smarter with the marketing that they’re doing. And make sure that they’re adding value to their candidates at every point of the journey to keep them engaged, so that they don’t go cold and dead and then in lane without legislation asked for their data to be removed.

 

Belinda Kerr 

So given what you’re saying there, Cameron, then now is really an ideal time for people who have had databases that have been little unloved, to get serious about it, because there’s obviously if there’s engagement, there’s money there to follow, isn’t there?

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, very, yeah, very much. So I think and, again, maybe sort of 10 years ago, if you had a bunch of recruitment agency owners in a room it would very much be or my database is bigger than the Yours, I’ve got 500,000 candidates, so you’ve only got 50,000. And that was sort of the key metric behind it. But now, it’s far more important if you’ve got a database of 10,000 candidates, and you’re saying that marketing campaign out to them in 2000 respond, that it will be to have 100,000 in your database and only have 500 respond. And also as well, you know, a lot of people are running recruitment agencies where the foresight to maybe scale and exit those businesses, if you’re planning on doing that having an engaged database is far more valuable nowadays, then, and they’re just having numbers and they’re

 

Belinda Kerr 

Yeah definitely, so if I’m running an agency, you know, I’ve got, you know, maybe three or four consultants, and we’ve been throwing stuff into the database is kind of a little bit ad hoc, but we’re really making the commitment. We know there’s money in there. We know it’s there somewhere, we just have to find it. What should maybe this is a little bit of a generic question, but where should we start to get ourselves perhaps a little bit more towards best practice?

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yes. So it’s really good question. I mean, I think there’s A couple of things to think about there. One is a sort of training and onboarding of new talent into your agency. And that made them aware of how important it is to have good quality data. And so your database, and certainly with a fabulous users, the first time that a consultant makes a placement from the system alone is kind of a eureka moment. for them. They’re like rapid get data into the system, the system has done its thing and market and the candidate for me, and I’ve just got a $10,000 fee off of the back of it. So when they start to see that value of putting good data into the system, and then they’re far more likely to do that. And the other thing as well is that depending on the vendor that you’re using, and certainly from a fresh point of view, you have the capability and say for fish to run a camp campaigns out to the database to try and reengage them. And we have a candidate portal where the candidates can then log back in and actually update their preferences. Say for example, there are a sales manager looking for a job and they’ve been living in Sydney and they’ve just gone ahead and move to Brisbane they’re able to update their preferences and see well I’m they’re looking for a sales managers job and the SAS in Brisbane on 70 K a year, for example. So they’re starting to almost self clean and sales update the database as well.

 

Belinda Kerr 

Well, wouldn’t that be Nirvana?

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yes and an ideal world

 

Belinda Kerr 

So this is the vendors such as you or this era, or no Wendy told me it’s not CRM, but it’s more marketing system. Now I have to talk more marketing system not CRM and other other tech quick tip things are other things that you can do is well and not know

 

Cameron McLennan 

so so I think it’s I think it’s sort of what we’ve covered there as well as making sure that you’re actually adding value to your candidates all the time. What normally happens in recruitment agencies as consultant gets a job on they work the job and maybe spend some money in advertising put some opportunity a put that opportunities aren’t and maybe job boards, maybe across social media, then they do some proactive sourcing as well. All of those candidates that they get as a result of that, are they in worked a very, very quickly very promptly to see if anything can if they can get get a placement from that. But let’s say for example, that job that you’re working there, the clients are looking for one person, the candidate, the candidates that they income, second, third fourth in the process, and then just left to gather dust on the database that can be that you’ve made the placement for ominously Yay, great. We’ve got a fee from that. And then those candidates are just sort of put to the backburner and over to pay. They just set them in download us, though, what’s not to see that those candidates that came second, third and fourth in the process may be suitable for another client. So you want to make sure that you’re continually giving value to those candidates. And so you to do this, even when you’re not working them hiddenly

 

Belinda Kerr 

Yeah, I always think it’s interesting when I first got into recruitment, which was when I was a boy, it was very much about the year in the now and the active candidate and what became more apparent to me over time is a candidate is like a point in time. They’re a person from from Made a Z and at any particular point in that time, they may decide to do something, but we kind of used to focus just on that one particular point. But now obviously, we were taking them from cradle to grave, so to speak in their in their career. So it’s, um, yeah, the opportunities to get them in, you know, other points.

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, very much. So you’re gonna be thinking of you’re making a permanent placement that you’ve made have five or six placement say of that candidate over there over their working career. So you want to make sure that if they are considering a move that you become the go to their go to person. And what some of our clients will do is and the dependent on the sector, they’re recruiting, and they may well set up what we call a talent pool and save, refresh. So you can build a specific search around particular criteria. And then when candidates fit those criteria, they automatically drop into a talent pool. So see you’re recruiting in accounting for accountancy, for example. You may well please, graduate accountant into the market, and then you may want to set up a talent pool. They’ll put in there Three to five years for qualified, you know what they’re worth in the market at that moment in time. So you want them to go into that and then be able to market to them and say, Hey, you know, you’re five years force qualified, you know, this is the going rate for what you’re doing the market and the chances are there’s those candidates are still with the same firm, they probably haven’t salinated up through the salary scale the same way they will have they moved. So it’s a great way for them to get more engagement off of them at that moment. And Titans.

 

Belinda Kerr 

Yeah, brilliant. Thank you. And I find this really interesting why people actually change databases or or CRM systems and I’m on quite a few forums and things and I’m often seeing people go hey, you know, what’s new who’s using a really cool database and I think all this is a little bit time. A bit backyard ish. What? Yeah, can you speak to that Cameron?

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, so there are a variety of different reasons why people want to change CRM systems, and one might be legendary. service that they’ve received from from a particular vendor, they may or may not be getting the support that they need somebody to say that they’re going to look for somebody. And some people come through one damage just because they’re and they feel as though they need to change. And when that happens, it’s the vendors job to sort of dive into that a bit more and look a bit deeper. And then and actually try it on air for the reason for that change. And there’s no point in changing for changing sake, there must be something in the background there that’s actually causing that a business owner to want to make a change. And often it’s to overcome a particular challenge as well. So maybe they’ve been recruiting in permanent space, and then they move into contract and the CRM they’re using doesn’t deal with that particularly well. So that forces them to sort of consider change. And I think the key thing really is that as making sure that the vendor understands the challenges, and yeah, so make sure to different reasons, but

 

Belinda Kerr 

I think it’s important for them to know what to ask to because, you know, we’re all in business to, you know, do the right thing. But you know, vulgar mortgages to pay, we want to make money as well. And I think sometimes the recruitment agency and as I speak to they do that, because they know that as soon as they get on a call with a vendor, they’re going to see through the vendors eyes as to why that product is right. And I, I personally went through for switchovers. And when I worked out, it wasn’t until I had the new systems that I knew the questions I should have asked about. Yeah, that I didn’t. So it’s a kind of like, I think I might have asked Wendy, this question too before, but what are some of the key things that they should be asking? So if you’re on a call during dinner, what would you be expecting the agency owner to be saying to you if they were right on it?

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think just to sort of go back a little bit on that as well. But em sometimes happens as an agency owners role or fate that they want and you assess them and they just decided that they’re working on your CRM system. recruitment agency owners are absolutely fantastic at running Managing client relationships and interviewing candidates, but no one’s ever shown them how to actually buy a new software before. And it’s not a practice that they often make, they may never really only have made that purchase once before, or they may be starting up a new agency and never made it before. So it’s really important that the vendors able to coach them through that, and and sort of dig deep into the challenges that happen inside their business. And so our job really to coach them through that. So we will be asking them a variety of different questions. And you know, like, we know, fire, you’re looking to make a change now, you know, what’s happening in your business that is that that’s leading you to reach a conclusion that you need in your system? And often the back of that, then it’s what impact is that having on your business? You know, ever, it’s the fact that it takes you ages to manage the interview process through inside your CRM, what impact is that having on the team? And it’s sort of diving into each different part of their business and really cool buy into that to figure out what the underlying issues are. And a common question that we get a builders come through is that our system is conky. We hear that all the time. But what is quite as a clunky CRM system, you know, it doesn’t doesn’t need oil. There’s something behind the fact that it’s clunky. And it’s getting into that. So it’s a really, really good idea for our business owner to have a chat with their top bellows speak to the team on the challenges that they are having day to day using their system to get a bigger picture. And then really make sure that whatever vendor the core are going to overcome those challenges.

 

Belinda Kerr 

That’s a good point to carry on, because I guess some of the people that are making these decisions aren’t actually using them day to day either. That’s, that’s where the break is, I guess, as well. Yeah. Okay. And what I also heard in what you were saying there as well, it’s not just them asking you the questions. It’s identifying if the vendor is actually asking them the right questions as well.

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, very much. So it’s not just a case of going on to a demo and being showing all of showing all of the features and say the CRM, it’s got to be by understanding the challenges that that business versus having and then showing them a solution to those challenges. And during the demo itself, if they’re not seeing if you’re not being labeled and being showing a solution to the challenges that your business is having, then you’re just watching that this system does this feature, it does this feature it does that feature that’s not will overcome your business business challenges for you

 

Belinda Kerr 

No, and I, I’ve sat through a few of those, and I remember coming out the end thinking, I didn’t know what I just remember thinking, I don’t know what else to ask, you know, and I didn’t have a clue. But Tom, okay. And, um, and sort of going back to our last point as well. And there is some examples that you would have of recruitment agencies where they’ve really started to turn things around with their data where perhaps they haven’t been been using them using the system or before.

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, very much so. So what we are what we tend to do if we are if we are working with clients is that we all do our sort of on before and look at their data, and then we’ll do our look at their data and six months after they move over to fat fish and the goal for us. So look at how the engagement across the databases has changed. So we may get someone who comes to us where they’ve got maybe 15,000 candidates in their database and over those 15,000, they’ve only a certain percentage. And so you get past two years after the move to us six months after, we want to look at that data again, and see if that engagement starting to improve across the database. And then what happens ongoing affair with ourselves is that they’ll get reviews, and throughout the year, depending on the size of agency, and what we’ll do is we’ll look at their data and we’ll work with them to see Well, okay, that’s part of your database is getting a lot of love and attention, you’re doing a great job there. However, you are ignoring that part of your database, let’s put some things in place to make sure that that part of the database is being loved also. So we do that as part of a review. We have a couple of case studies on that as well. And of the hour, I can happily share with you if you’re wanting them and wanting to drop them into the blog or anything so I can send them over to you later.

 

Belinda Kerr 

That’d be amazing. So I okay, so what I’ll do is if you’re watching this on, I’ll include a link or an attachment with a blog as well. Yeah. Thank you. That’d be awesome. Cameron. Thank you. And yeah. And last question, what slip ups. In fact, this might take us a while. To see most often that could be avoided.

 

Cameron McLennan 

And so I would see one of the ones that I see quite often is not involving the team, so kind of touched on that earlier on. But if you’re buying a new CRM system, make sure you involve your team, the last thing you want to do is implement and you assess them. And then a week later, your top seller knocks on your door and says, Hey, I don’t like this I’m leaving to go to a competing agency. So get those people involved as well. And you know, get the get the team, get the team’s perception. And make sure you give yourself enough time to make a system change as well as another one. And sometimes we’ll get maybe get agency owners who have contract in a month’s time and they want in your system like immediately. Give yourself enough time to evaluate you. Part of this estimate some big decision for your agency, it’s your CRM system should be helping your business make money. And so it’s you know, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, just make sure you take time to value everything. And

 

Belinda Kerr 

So sorry, Cameron into a job. So how much time would you say is a kind of a standard

 

Cameron McLennan 

I would say you want to you want to give yourself a you know, a good six to eight weeks from him, you know, when you decide to start the evaluation process really through and then ideally, you want to allow for some crossover as well between systems. So if you’re in a current system, just know, it’s always good to have like an extra two or three weeks with your current vendor as you go ahead and make the switch as well. And just give yourself that little bit of breathing space. You don’t want to be in a position where you’re switching your your current vendors switching your system often afraid, and you’re going live with a new vendor on the Monday and that’s not ideal for him. And I think as well perfectly for the people that are sort of involved in recruitment, Gary, just as think about how scalable is Your solution. And you may well be running an agency yesterday with three or four recruiters working for you. Where do you see that business going and, you know, three, four or five years and as the vendor that you’re selecting your smile able to keep up with where you see your business going, you don’t want it to get at some position where in two years time you need additional functionality. And that means a CRM system shift. Think about scalability, make sure that the vendor you select can grow with you as your business continues to grow as well.

 

Belinda Kerr 

Yeah, great advice. And are there any because obviously, you’re a you’re a techie, you know all about the other things that you’ve kind of thought are really interesting that are happening at the moment in the tech world for recruiters, or for recruitment agency only?

 

Cameron McLennan 

I think I think what’s happening is we’re starting to bottle or catch up with a lot of the really, really cool things that clever marketers are doing. So a lot of the technology a changes or things that are being that marketers may be doing for During the years, we’re just starting to catch up on that now. So from a tech point of view, I think we’re a Yeah, we’re gonna hit we’re gonna start to behave more like a really smart marketers. And on not only the candidate side, but the client side as well.

 

Belinda Kerr 

Anything that’s starting to happen, you think we’re, we’re taking you know, we’re still digging your heads in the sand.

 

Cameron McLennan 

I think there are some there are some agencies out there that are really forward thinking that are that are doing a fantastic job at this. And there are some there. So behaving lately behave maybe 10 years ago, the ones that are taking on and starting to really take the marketing side of things seriously, will still be here and in the next 10 years. The ones that aren’t starting to adopt that they’re going to start to struggle, I think,

 

Belinda Kerr 

yeah, okay. Awesome. What were the guys that had been adjusting them or they might have sort of launched just a little while ago and they’re looking at just starting to head down that path isn’t any kind of advice and something what a lot of what you’ve already said is Advice for them as well. But is there anything specific you’d say to them? Because what I see a lot of is people leaving the agency, they’ve got all the recruiting skills, but there’s still a lot to learn. And so they dive in, they recruit, recruit, recruit, they make some early wins, because really, they’re operating like recruiters still. And then they have this point where they go, Oh, my God, everything else is coming at them. Yeah. Any advice how they can kind of navigate through from from what you’ve seen that? I guess, mostly talking about tech, but just just, you know, whatever comes to mind?

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, I would say like, make sure that if you’re, you know, if you’re going alone and starting your own agency, and you’re in a position where you’re considering making an investment into tech, just make sure that the vendor that you go with sort of aligns with your values, make sure that they understand the recruitment sector, make sure that they understand the challenges that a start up recruitment agency will go through, and because there’ll be many and and make sure that they have the support infrastructure and resource to support you through that. And there’s no point in selecting our vendor that only works with enterprise agencies with more than 400 recruitment agencies because, and they wouldn’t have the time and resources to dedicate to you. So just make sure that you feel as low that that that vendor and as used to working with agencies your size, and that they can coach and support you through get getting up and running, it’s really, really important that you that you sort of align yourself with it with a vendor that has the same values as you because there’s going to be a partnership over time, you may just be starting up new, bigger businesses, hopefully still going in 10 years time, and you want to be working with someone that understand you and you have a good relationship with

 

Belinda Kerr 

Yeah, and it’s so true with any part of businesses and and whether it’s tech or it’s an accounting system or whatever it is, it’s alright you know, to buy it and put it in, but then when you live to drive it yourself, you know, sometimes you can feel like you’re in a roller skate with V and V eight underneath it. You know, you kind of know what to do at this level, but it’s got too much power for you know,

 

Cameron McLennan 

yeah, totally. That’s exactly that’s exactly what it’s like. And like Wayne, their CEO is so passionate about this. So anyone that provides like support or as we call it, the happiness team at Firefox, because their job is to keep the client happy, and everyone that works in that team. And we only make hires into that have X agency recruiters or x and history creators, because we want them to be aligned with the clients. We want them to know that these people have been there, done that got the T shirt, they understand the challenges that you’re going through. And that’s what helps forge those long term partnerships.

 

Belinda Kerr  

That’s brilliant. And so to me now, because I know last time I spoke to Wendy, we were about five years now across I mean, obviously, you’re, you’re across the globe. We’re on the ground across the globe now.

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, so we are, we have clients in over 20 different countries now and dotted all over the place. And the only base that we have in terms of an office is actually in Glasgow in Scotland. So and we are based here and we do all of our sort of development and stuff. Poor and everything in house from SBS. And we don’t have any sort of satellite offices or air fleet that at the moment, we just we work out of Glasgow as it stands just now.

 

Belinda Kerr 

Lovely. Okay. Not was probably warmer there than it is here at the moment.

 

Cameron McLennan 

It’s actually it’s actually been all right. Yeah, we’ve had a great weekend a great summer for the first time ever. So So yeah, I normally look like Casper the ghost.

 

Belinda Kerr 

So Cameron, that’s really lovely. Thank you and everything that you love what you’ve said, it’s all very practical, I think so. You know, we’re a recruitment agency and is it busy? There’s so much going on there. Like just help me get some practical advice on what I don’t know. That’s what everything that you said was really, really practical and very genuine. So thank you. And if people would like to get in touch with yourself, what’s the best way to do so?

 

Cameron McLennan 

Yeah, so just a look me up on LinkedIn. It’s a Cameron McLennan  MC le double A just have a look for me on there. A Can I recommend drop me a message or they can a follow me on twitter at Cameron fire fish and or just jump on the fire fish software comm and go to the meet the team page and you’ll see some information about me on that.

 

Belinda Kerr 

Yeah, and I’m gonna give you guys a plug to because you’ve got an amazing blog. So if you’re not getting the fire fish blog jump onto it because it’s got some awesome, awesome information on it. You guys are doing amazing job there. Yeah. So thank you, Cameron McLennan,

 

Cameron McLennan 

thank you so much for your time. I definitely appreciate it. Thanks.

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