Clear the path to success: clean your recruitment CRM within 30 days

Holly Langley blog post

Written by Holly Langley, Founder and Optimser, RE:STACK.

In staffing and recruitment, your CRM is crucial for managing candidate and client interactions. However, outdated data can lead to inefficiencies and delays. A messy CRM makes tracking vacancies difficult, finding top talent challenging, and increases sorting time and back-office errors.

A well-maintained CRM ensures smooth recruitment and improved business development. Top-performing agencies digitize their data, as highlighted in the 2024 Bullhorn GRID report.


Check out the data hygiene guide

To achieve your goals and set your consultants up for success, it’s essential to clean your CRM. While it may seem daunting, I’ve broken down the process step by step for you so you can have a clean database in just 4 weeks:

Week 1: assessment and planning

Audit Current CRM Data: Commence by rigorously evaluating your current CRM setup. Sift through the existing database to pinpoint duplicate entries, outdated contacts who have left company records partial information and candidates who haven’t had a note in over 3 years.

*Holly’s Top Tip* Run each search and save the criteria as a favourite search. Any records that also fit this criteria will join the list, and you can refer back to this search at any point. When it’s time to clean the data, you will know where to begin!

5 searches you should run are:

  1. Vacancies open longer than 90 days
  2. Leads open longer than 30 days
  3. Candidates with no note added in the past 3 years
  4. Candidate with no email address and no phone number
  5. Contact has no email address and no phone number

Define Data Standards and Protocols:
Establish best practices for data entry, ensuring consistency and reliability across all records. Check your field mappings to see if any fields need to be made mandatory to ensure the correct data is added to the system; this really helps drive a data-first approach. You should also already have a data retention policy to govern the lifecycle of information within your CRM. Double-check that this is still up to date with legislation and relevant to your workflows.

Set a goal: Set clear, actionable objectives for the clean-up effort, considering the size and complexity of your database. If you are using automation, the time taken for the clean-up should be significantly reduced as the system can do large amounts of it for you. Allocate time to involve your team to help them understand why you are carrying out this process and how this will improve their experience using the CRM when doing business development and finding top talent. Most importantly, you need to define what will happen to each record that needs cleaning.


*Holly’s Top Tip* Make a list of the different records that need cleaning, e.g., Open leads older than 2 years, and then detail the recommended action, e.g., closing the lead. When you speak to other team members about what you will be doing and why, you will already be two steps ahead of how this process will work.


Approval process: I often encounter people who are scared to archive large amounts of data from the system. My advice is to help them understand that your business will have better results once the out-of-date records have been removed. You can always add a temporary status, e.g., ‘to be removed’, which may bridge the gap while you confirm system archiving from those not 100% sure.

Week 2: data cleansing and de-duplication

Remove Duplicate Records: Bullhorn Automation automatically provides you with an exportable of your duplicate records. If you don’t have access to Bullhorn Automation make sure your team are trained on how to report a duplicate record so it can be merged accordingly.

Remove outdated information: engage with candidates to refresh their profiles, ensuring all records reflect their current details. Archive data outside its retention period or remove it if it lacks relevance to present and future recruitment activities.

Action those saved lists: Now it’s time to start cleaning up those favourite searches.

Depending on the record type will determine what action you need to take, you may need to close old jobs, approve current placements or archive out-of-date clients and candidates.

*Holly’s Top Tip* If you have a large number of lists to clean, do them gradually so it isn’t too overwhelming!


Week 3: Process Optimisation and Automation

Review and optimise workflows: Analyse and refine your current recruitment workflows and get feedback from the sales team on how the system is delivering for them. Redefine these workflows emphasising speed and simplicity to further capitalise on getting results from your CRM and supporting your recruitment consultants.

Implement automation: Identify routine tasks that can be automated, such as sending pre-screen forms to collect information, adding relevant skills based on job title and automatically closing jobs or leads after certain time periods. Not forgetting, you can also create automated notifications and tasks to keep track of important dates, ensuring your recruitment process and compliance stay on course.

Test and refine new processes: after implementation of any new process or automation, methodically test the new automation and workflow improvements. Request feedback from your team and tweak the CRM or process where necessary to get the desired results.


Week 4: maintenance and future-proofing

Develop a continuous data maintenance plan: Establish a regular cycle for data quality audits so that CRM maintenance becomes an ingrained, ongoing practice rather than an annual chore.

Train the team on best practices: Ensure your team is well-versed in the new standards and processes. Encourage an environment where data quality is everyone’s responsibility, fostering a shared commitment to maintaining a pristine CRM.

Evaluate the cleanup and plan ahead: Review the progress made against your initial goals and address any outstanding concerns. Discuss strategies to keep your CRM at the core of recruitment technology and processes.

By following these steps, you will not only clean your CRM but also pave the way for a more streamlined and profitable recruitment process. But remember, the journey doesn’t end here, continue to foster the culture of proactive CRM maintenance so your team can see ongoing benefits.


Want to learn more about making the most of recruitment technology? Connect with Holly here.

Check out the data hygiene guide

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