Recruitment CRM ABCs

Get familiar with the what, how, and why of recruitment CRMs

What is a Recruitment CRM?

A recruitment CRM automates an agency’s recruiting operations and provides a central repository for candidate data—including CVs and applications.

They’re built to help you:

  • Manage every stage in the recruiting process, from application to hire
  • Manage candidate relationships
  • Reduce manual activities

Why do you need a Recruitment CRM?

A good recruitment CRM has the power to turn your entire recruitment operation into the most productive, profitable, and efficient business it can be.

The best recruitment CRMs:

  • Increase your recruiters’ productivity
  • Save time and resources
  • Provide organisation and structure for your business

Recruitment CRM Benefits: By the Numbers

Agencies that use a recruitment CRM report:

  • 75% less wasted time
  • 70% faster report creation
  • 15% less time to fill
  • 10% more placements per month

Map Out Your Requirements

Follow these 5 steps to determine what you need in a recruitment CRM

Review your recruiting process.

Document the steps in your recruiting workflow, making note of the activities a recruiter must do to perform their job effectively. Record any third-party tools (like job boards or social media) your recruiters use in the course of making a placement.

Use this process to understand where your business excels and where a recruitment CRM can help you improve.

Calculate your budget

Create a budget for your recruitment CRM investment. Consider upfront setup fees and ongoing usage fees. Determine any additional budget you may need for additional integrations once you’ve implemented your recruitment CRM.

Use this budget to inform your recruitment CRM selection process. Ask providers upfront about any additional implementation or setup fees you may need to plan for.

Determine what your current solution lacks

What are your biggest pain points? What is costing you business or productivity? Where do your recruiters spend the most time? Are they doing too much manual work?

Make a list of the functions and features that will provide the most value to your business.

Establish your time frame

Determine when you need your new recruitment CRM to be fully functional by. Ask your providers how long implementation and training will take. Ask each provider about their onboarding resources. Do they offer training and support to get you started as soon as possible?

Create a timeline and schedule demos and follow-ups accordingly.

Make a wishlist

What would your perfect recruitment CRM look like? What qualities of a recruitment CRM are most important to you? Which features are must-haves and which ones are just nice-to-haves?

Share your wishlist with prospective providers so they can address your specific needs.

Do Your Research

Investigate what different providers offer and schedule demos with your top choices

Read about top ATS features to see which are most important for your business.

Top 5 Features


Narrow down your list of options to a shortlist of your top choices

Have at least one of your recruiters join each demo to get input from someone who will use the system every day.

Read about top ATS features to see which are most important for your business.

Top Peer Review Sites


Learn more about these solutions by scheduling demos and discover which will best meet your needs.

After the demos, ask any additional questions you may have on key items, such as implementation, pricing, training, and onboarding your team.

G2 Crowd features reviews for 300 recruitment CRMs—more than 10,000 authentic user reviews in total.

You can sort for recruitment software solutions by popularity, user satisfaction, and G2 Score—a combination of reviews and data aggregated from online sources and social networks.

Visit G2 Crowd

Capterra curates vetted reviews from real users. Capterra ranks ATS solutions by popularity, user-friendliness, and average rating.

You can also filter by features, such as onboarding, candidate tracking, and workflow management in order to find the software that meets your firm’s specific needs.

Visit Capterra

5 Most Commonly Used Recruitment CRM Features

The most important features, according to recruitment CRM users


Every interaction you have with a candidate counts, so everything should be in your recruitment CRM.

Add notes on a candidate record after an initial conversation or second interview to stay organised and keep your team up-to-date on the status of your candidates.


Use tearsheets to organise your records into intuitive categories, such as “Top Sales Candidates” or “Machinists—Ready to Go”.

Now when you have a job to fill, you can take action immediately.

Submission Lists

Submission lists provide your team with visibility into your submissions and open jobs.

Filter the list to quickly see relevant information like candidate status and job status.

Email Integration

With an email inbox gadget, you can see all the relevant information about your candidate in one place.

Add notes, parse CVs, or attach files without leaving your inbox.

Favourite Searches

You’ll get familiar with the search function for any recruiting software you use, but you shouldn’t have to re-create your searches every time.

This feature prevents you from having to construct a new search every time you need to find out certain information.

5 Questions to Ask Recruitment CRM Providers

What to ask before you select software for your business and why to ask it

1. Is your recruitment CRM built specifically for recruitment agencies?

Why ask it?
Recruiters have unique demands. Solutions that aren’t built with recruitment industry recruiters in mind may lack core functionalities.

2. Do you have an open ecosystem for partners and integrations?

Why ask it?
A recruitment CRM is not an island. If your recruitment CRM integrates with every tool you use, you’ll be more productive and effective.

3. Is your recruitment CRM mobile-friendly? Do you have a native mobile app?

Why ask it?
Recruiters like to work on-the-go. A native mobile app lets them be productive wherever they are.

4. Can you share case studies from successful customers?

Why ask it?
Case studies allow you to see if firms with similar use-cases were able to be successful with your recruitment CRM.

5. How long does it take to get recruiters up-to-speed?

Why ask it?

To get value out of your recruitment CRM, your recruiters need to know how to use it. Find out how long it takes to onboard your team and learn what training resources are available.

Further Learning

Learn more about what to look for in a recruitment CRM with these additional resources

Invest Now, Save Later: Why a “Free Recruitment CRM” Isn’t Always Free

Read More 

3 Essential Qualities of a Great Recruitment CRM

Read More

How to Get the Most Out of Your Recruitment CRM

Read More

Recruitment CRM: Your Secret Weapon for Employee Onboarding

Read More

50+ Questions to Ask Your Recruitment CRM Provider

Read More

[Checklist] 7 Ways to Identify Your Recruitment CRM Needs

Read More

How Bullhorn's Recruitment CRM Can Help You Be Successful

Increase Recruiter Productivity

Streamline daily tasks with faster source, search, and match

Improve the Candidate Experience

Leverage relationship insights to deliver a superior candidate experience

Make Better Business Decisions

Run your business by the numbers using recruitment-specific, actionable reports

Stay in the know with the latest recruitment news and insights

Subscribe and get trends, tips and insights delivered straight to your inbox

Take Advantage of the Powerful Bullhorn Ecosystem

Reach and Engage Candidates

TextUs helps your team get ahold of anyone, anywhere. Recruiters can text from their computer, smartphone, or right from within Bullhorn, all while managing multiple conversations at once. Recruiters can also save and share templates, creating a uniform candidate outreach method.

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SourceBreaker is an award winning End to End Search platform that finds Recruiters more of the best candidates, then at the click of a button, matches them to multiple live vacancies, and helps identify the hiring manager, providing multiple opportunities to place every candidate found in seconds.

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Increase Productivity and Visibility

Recruiters and sales teams make hundreds of calls a week. How much wasted time occurs in between calls. Streamline critical communications directly within Bullhorn – Click to dial, power dialing from tear sheets, native pop-up notes, integrated IM & Texting, automatic call recording, and more.

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Bullhorn Analytics is the #1 Growth Analytics Platform for the global recruitment industry. Embedded within Bullhorn, Bullhorn Analytics provides self-serve analytics, easy to use ad hoc reporting, and gamification functionality to help recruitment companies to increase revenue, improve data quality, and motivate teams. Whether you want to improve staff retention, grow your new business, repeat business, contract revenue or bottom line, Bullhorn Analytics will accelerate your growth whilst building a data-driven culture.

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RSM’s pay, bill, and accounting solution InTime has been specifically designed for recruitment and staffing agencies to automate and streamline the core back office functions of timesheet and expense processing, payroll, billing, contract management, accounting, and reporting. Combine InTime with RSM’s cloud-based accounting software and reporting portal for a fully integrated back office solution suitable for agencies of all sizes, from start ups to multinationals with overseas branches. RSM also offers outsourced payroll, billing and accounting services delivered by qualified experts.

Learn More

We can’t imagine running our business without Bullhorn. We’ve seen our time-to-fill rate drop by over 40% since implementation.
Mark Eldridge Founder ALKU

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