The Cost of Outdated CRM Data: Time, Money, and Looking Like a Monkey

"The files are in the computer!"

"The files are in the computer!"

Data and recruiters don’t mix.

This isn’t a judgement against recruiters – it’s just that recruiters tend to “listen to their gut” and use data as a secondary source. We’re “people people”, not physicists (at least most of us).

At HIRABL, we see this truism clearly when we look at recruitment agency CRM / ATS data.

CRM data can be spotty (missing phone numbers, emails, and employment details), particularly at the smallest agencies. As agencies grow, we typically see data integrity improve – there are fewer holes, which is part of why these agencies can scale their operations despite the high recruiter turnover that recruitment agencies experience. (Shameless plug for our whitepaper on how Recruiter Turnover Costs Agencies $MM/YEAR.)

But there’s a good reason that every recruiter will soon become a data-centric recruiter: ROI.

As a recent write-up by Toby Conibear of Bond Adapt notes, “Aside from the clear benefits for candidate searches, clean data can also help the wider business – enabling you to take a step back and understand your return on investment (ROI)” (The Global Recruiter).

Toby is spot on. At HIRABL, we see how clean data is improving ROI at agencies every day.

Clean data allows HIRABL to audit historical submissions for “backdoor hires”, or monitor candidates and hiring managers for movements to other companies. Every time a candidate or hiring manager record is out of date, your recruiters waste time and miss opportunities.

In short, dirty data doesn’t just gum up the works of your recruitment business – it wastes recruiters’ time and destroys enterprise value as recruiters turnover. Just try selling your agency without a CRM full of clean data – you can’t – no acquiror will buy a room of recruiters without any institutional knowledge preserved in a CRM.

But there’s a more pernicious side effect of not having good data at your agency, because as the old management adage goes, “what gets measured gets done.”

Recruitment is an activity-driven business. Measuring recruiters’ activity is the clearest path to a more profitable recruitment agency. Just like sales, quality control measures (# applicants, # of sendouts, # offers, etc) allow an agency operator to figure out where the painpoint is in their business. Are you getting enough quality candidates? How do you know? Will you have a bad month in the next quarter? How will you know in advance?

As someone who ran an agency for a decade, knowing my recruiters’ performance metrics was central to my ability to buy and take the lowest performing franchise, and turn it into the top-performing office, eventually owning the whole franchise and taking it to record revenues.

At every turn as a recruiter, manager, and business owner, data was central to creating and growing enterprise value.

Which begs the question, how clean is your data and are you measuring the ROI it’s producing?