Interesting point made today on ERE from Madeline Tarquinio, the director of research at ERE, asking the question, "will CRM tools replace traditional ATS tools? What do you think? Would you take the leap?". Jeff Hunter at EA already did. I had an interesting discussion with Fadra Nally, Director of Product Management at Futures, Inc., last week at HR Tech in Chicago on the topic of CRM in recruiting. She has extensive experience with CRM from her days at Teradata and sees a bright future for true CRM in recruiting. For the first time at any trade show, I had people stop by our booth with specific instructions to search for a CRM system designed for recruiting to sit in front of their ATS (and replace it eventually?). And these were Fortune 500 companies...one was even a government agency! What do you think?

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Michael - from what I saw in our demo today if anyone could do it Avature could. The ATS serves important operational services: applicant database of record; job distribution and management tool; and, candidate screening. If Avature could and/or wants to serve that purpose on top of the existing features then YES it could. What Avature offers so far is a critical enabler of existing ATS's. The ATS has not evolved and Avature is offering all that is missing by supporting visibility into the talent community/pipeline, sourcing functionality and communication. There is also significant potential to integrate with workforce planning software systems. Thanks again for the demo and look forward to seeing more next week at ERE.
Thanks Susan. It was great meeting you yesterday as well. My colleague Dan Diachenko will be at ERE showing the new release of Recruiting CRM that comes out on Friday. Some very cool new search features and better reporting with charts and graphs (OFCCP reports included), amongst others. I'll send some screen shots for your workshop.
Go chat with the people over at Electronic Arts who replaced their ATS with Salesforce.com and I know of others (including myself) that are on that path.

It is already happening and will continue to happen as ATS's really add little to the marketing/candidate experience around talent pool development. Some are trying but they are far away from what current CRM....or as I prefer the term will be TRM (Talent Relationship Management) providers like Salesforce, MS CRM, Avature and others have already achieved.

You can't stop progress no matter how hard you try.
I think it's dependent on the person. It would work fine for me as an independent, and when I was internal in sales, I hated the fact that the ATS was terrible for selling.

It was one of the main reasons I left.

There are benefits from the candidate side. I use Sendouts, and candidates fill in their own information, which means I don't have to enter it or pay someone to do so, but they can still get in front of me.

Surprised that more ATS firms aren't making it more touch friendly. The problem with the ones I used is they tend to be process heavy, which is great if you're inside, but not so much outside.
I've never used a CRM like Salesforce.com How could something like that work in place of an ATS? What are the benefits?

Rob McIntosh said:
Go chat with the people over at Electronic Arts who replaced their ATS with Salesforce.com and I know of others (including myself) that are on that path.

It is already happening and will continue to happen as ATS's really add little to the marketing/candidate experience around talent pool development. Some are trying but they are far away from what current CRM....or as I prefer the term will be TRM (Talent Relationship Management) providers like Salesforce, MS CRM, Avature and others have already achieved.

You can't stop progress no matter how hard you try.
Pam - I will do my best to answer this

ATS = Workflow and process
CRM/TRM = Relationship management and pipelining.

I am sure all ATS providers will tell you they can do exactly what CRM/TRM solutions can but you will notice that a lot of the vendors are now trying to add TRM capabilities to their systems because they fall short in this very area.

The future of recruiting as we have all seen discussed in many places will be more around the "how do I develop rich relationships ahead of the demand" (in a scalable way).

The challenge: We all have seen ATS's full of millions of candidates and recruiters only selectively build relationships with these people based of (a) They deem potential hires (b) bandwidth. Sending a mass email to the millions of people in you database saying you want to keep in touch as a way of building/sustaining relationships is seen as SPAM given it is not targeted of relevant. If we now also throw in "talent" that is not in our ATS and we are looking to try and build/sustain relationship ahead of the demand, the problem multiplies significantly. We all know that just because I have 1000+ connections in a social networking tool it does not mean I am actually connecting in a meaningful, targeted and continual way with that group.

At the heart of TRM is the ability to map talent pools (regardless if they are interested or not) then start to market to them in ways that:
a) are targeted to their expertise and needs
b) Moves thousands of people along the continuum from cold (not interested but targeted) to warm (interested, but timing not right) to hot (ok, I am ready to make a move and you agree they are on target)....all the while the messaging and communication touch points are relevant and meaningful.

The other benefits of TRM is the ability to cut and analyze the data and then present it back that can start to inform some very meaningful business decisions.
Example: If a business leader says they need 100 x type candidates from Chicago who have very unique skills. You have been tracking the data for these skills in Chicago (and nationally of course...maybe even internationally) by pipelining talent even if they are "cold", and realize that based off your tracking of this data that currently on 140 exist in Chicago and they break out like this:

140 x candidates

90 = Cold
40 = Warm
10 = Hot

Your conversation ratio is 10:1 (10 calls get you 1 hire)

.........Then you can go back to that leader and say that even though it might seem that demand = supply (100 candidates needed vs. 140 candidates in the market), you know based of "Hot, Warm, Cold" + throughput metrics, there is no way you can fill a short term need.

You have not framed the discussion into one of facts that you and the business leader can use to look at alternate strategies to solve his/her problem.

A good recruiting organization should be focused on a two pronged approach of JIT (Just in time) recruiting and Talent Relationship Management (Pipelining talent pools ahead of the demand)

My 2 cents on the matter at least.
Well put Rob.

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