It’s pretty amazing what CRM systems are capable of. Instead of having to maintain our own labour-intensive filing systems, a few quick clicks of the mouse are sometimes all it takes to manage your business. Thanks to tailored software systems used in recruitment agencies, you create profiles for all the candidates and clients you’ve met, and store all relevant information in one place. While computers harness the ability to store and analyse information in ways we could never even come close to rivalling, the benefit you get will only ever be as good as your own input.
Admin got you all, ‘no thanks’? You’re not alone. Note-taking and updating virtual resources can be extremely time consuming, but it’s the recruiter who doesn’t slip into sloppy habits who reaps the rewards. Coming out of a meeting or off of a call and telling yourself you’ll ‘do the admin later’ is a massive warning sign. Why? Because you won’t do it later, and if you do, you would have forgotten half of the juicy details anyway so it will be way less effective.
Put simply, bad admin equals wasted time and money. Here are some of the worst habits to avoid:
1. Leaving out contact details
You’re having a conversation with someone over email. You set up a time to talk, and they call you. Instead of saving the number right away, you leave it as a random number in your phone. You don’t save it to their profile in your CRM system, either. Next time you need to speak with that person, you find yourself fishing through your call history to match up the time you spoke and length of call, with their potential number. It’s a tedious, time-wasting task. Almost as tedious as reading back through an email chain from 2014 to find a number – it has to be here somewhere!! The same goes for when you receive CVs and business cards – always transfer the contact details straight away… because you’ll end up losing the original document, and if you haven’t saved the information you’ll be catapulted back to square one if you ever want to talk to that person again.
Wasting time searching for information you once had at your finger tips is a a complete waste of time. If your agency operates on a client ownership / shared candidate model, failing to record contact details not only wastes your time, but probably your colleagues’ too. Be a champion for best practice! Ensuring the contact details are in one central directory is better for everyone.
2. Terrible tracking
You’ve met someone, and sat on a million calls with them, but according to the CRM system notes, you’ve only ever exchanged two emails, and it was more than six months ago. It’s extremely important to record your meetings, calls and emails (within reason), so you constantly pick up where you left off with candidates and clients, instead of accidentally going over old ground and making a fool of yourself. It’s easy to feel like you’ll remember every piece of correspondence you’ve had with someone, but when you’ve had hundreds of similar meetings, everything can blur into one giant relationship and the specifics are lost. People will remember talking to you, as you’re offering them a special service; candidates don’t deal with a hundred recruiters in the same way that recruiters deal with hundreds of candidates. If you don’t remember them in return, you’re likely to disgruntle them and potentially lose their business, because of failing to build a genuine rapport.
3. Spelling errors
Writing down names incorrectly is risky – always check this carefully! Computer software systems may be excellent at storing and sorting information, but they are not forgiving of grammatical errors! Bad spelling means your searches won’t return the correct results, and you will lose people inside your CRM system. Failing to correctly take down information also puts you at risk of submitting a candidate to a role under an incorrectly spelt name, or letting those errors seep through into letters, contracts and emails, which can make absolute mountains out of molehills, and waste you serious time.
4. Failing to update
When you find out a piece of information about someone or something, regardless of whether it’s a new piece of contact information, a status update on a process, a change of job or a change of last name, updating the admin should happen immediately. Failing to keep information up to date means you’ll miss things, and slowly lose control of your network and what’s going on around you. You’ll always be a few steps behind everybody else, and you’ll waste time by covering your old ground because you’ve forgotten you’ve already been there and done that!
5. Clueless coding
CRM systems are built with excellent algorithms which allow specific search terms to sift through hundreds of thousands of profiles, and bring about the people who are best suited for whatever it is you need. If you don’t fill in all of the fields when uploading a new contact, leaving locations, salary brackets, company or job titles blank – your searches will be extremely ineffective and you will no doubt miss out on placements because of it. The people you really should be speaking to will slip through the cracks because they won’t appear in any of your searches – they might as well not even be in your system!
6. Rubbish reminders
Just because a contact, candidate or client isn’t of use to you right now, doesn’t mean they won’t make you money in the future. Leaving a note with ‘not interested’ next to someone’s name in the system without a task to follow up with them at some stage in the future is as ineffective as using a dead fish to paint your nails.
The key to good admin is to do it THEN AND THERE! If you don’t do it quickly, it’ll never happen and you’ll lose time and money as a result.