Candidate Relationship Management Part 1 – Laying Out The Process

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This is the first part of a three part series looking at Candidate Relationship Management (CRM). Part 1 will look at the overall process and how it fits into Talent Acquisition. Part 2 will look at some of the technology features to expect in a CRM solution. In Part 3 I will talk about where SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting does and doesn’t meet these needs and how other solutions can be used to complement SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting.

This article is primarily aimed at SAP SuccessFactors consultants but could benefit others. My assumption is that Talent Acquisition practitioners know more on the subject of CRM than I do. If so, the second and third posts on the subject will still be of use.

2020 is for many organizations a year of layoffs, furloughs and greatly reduced hiring. Despite and because of that, hiring will become hot again. Talent pipelines can’t be left to wither and die on the vine. Candidate Relationship Management can help with that. How to effectively be transparent with potential employees about when positions will come back is another topic altogether.

It’s About the Experience
You’ll hear a lot of terms that tie into Candidate Relationship Management. You will also see Recruiting Marketing, which is often a synonym for CRM. HXM for Human Experience Management, CXM for Candidate Experience Management. Similarly, EXM for Employee Experience Management, RXM for Recruiter Experience Management, etc. This isn’t just an industry rebranding but a change in what is important and how a cohesive end-to-end experience is important.

The bottom line is that empathy, engagement, personalization and choice are all common factors that you’ll see in the talent lifecycle below. Actively sourcing requisitions (the green below) has been seen as something separate but connected from CRM. In reality, all of the below processes are more on a continuum of experience. The candidate or employee or alumni as a consumer builds a connection with an employer and acts as a both a consumer and a brand ambassador, even if they not employed. You’ll see a lot of variations of the below diagram and it can in turn be turned into more detailed steps.

Candidate Relationship Management with Talent Acquisition


Driving visitor traffic to your career site starts way before a candidate sees a posting or discovers a career fair. It starts with employer brand definition, consistent use, creating content, ads, etc. and having brand ambassadors engage with people. It’s something not well covered by software solutions and maybe isn’t a software solution but the consistent use of an agreed framework to enforce the brand.

Visitors will reach your site through blog or posting sharing on social media, job postings on third party sites working with higher education to hire graduates, employee alumni groups, Google search results, etc. The sky is the limit! Limitations are good, however, as it can be hard to know where to focus precious recruiting marketing budget.


As more is learned about the candidate, engagement can be personalized

Engagement and Personalization are closely tied together. As the career site visitor searches for jobs, visits certain pages, engages with chatbots or ultimately gives information about themselves and their interests, the career site can become more personalized. Information may be gleaned from an anonymous visitors behavior before they register any interest. This in turn provides useful information both on the candidate and how visitors engage with the site on a macro level.

My ideal career home page would have little fixed content. It would have job postings, tweets, news articles, blog content and details of what people like me do at work on the page.


Beyond job alerts and general employer information, email campaigns based on my opt-in consent and information about myself would keep me informed of what’s going on that is of interest to me and my career.

With permission, recruiters may reach out to me directly to talk about careers, my interest level in switching employers, etc.

This stage relies on the site visitor being somewhat interested and giving their contact information and consent.


Conversion from visitor to applicant is where we transition to more traditional recruiting. The journey doesn’t end here as the candidate must be kept in the loop, with timely updates, requests for feedback after the application, interview, offer, etc. and a positive engagement with recruiters and hiring managers.


Customers want to know that content and user experience are aligned with visitor expectations. In addition, insights can be revealed on which segments of talent to invest more effort in.

Up Next

In the next blog we’ll drill down to the technology level. This will be independent of any particular solution vendor. In part 3 we’ll look at SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and other solutions.


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