Marketing Automation and CRM: Understanding the Difference in Talent Acquisition

We are starting to conduct demos and interviews for our Recruitment Marketing Platform/CRM Index report publishing this fall. Last week, someone asked me if the greatest challenge is the lack of adoption from employers or the lack of capabilities from providers.
Marketing Automation and CRM: Understanding the Difference in Talent Acquisition

We are starting to conduct demos and interviews for our Recruitment Marketing Platform/CRM Index report publishing this fall. Last week, someone asked me if the greatest challenge is the lack of adoption from employers or the lack of capabilities from providers.

The answer is both.

Companies that invest in recruitment marketing and CRM do not always have the expertise or change management needed for these systems to be effective. Aptitude Research found that only 2% of companies use all the functionality in the CRM. Not an ideal situation when over 60% of companies spend more on their CRM than on their ATS.

But adoption is not the only frustration in recruitment marketing technology. Most providers offer CRM and career sites but lack marketing automation. CRM and marketing automation serves two distinct purposes in helping companies nurture and engage with talent before applying for a job.  In consumer marketing, companies may commonly invest in both Salesforce and Marketo (now part of Adobe). In addition, they may use Hubspot (which offers both). But, the value and difference between the two are clear. Many companies are not clear about what marketing automation does and what providers to consider in talent acquisition.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation helps companies better engage and nurture talent by automating marketing tasks and letting companies know which candidates are cold, warm, and “ready-now.” It sits at the top of the funnel and manages all interactions with talent, including when they visit a career site, open an email, open a job advertisement, etc. It solves what the ATS, LinkedIn, and CRM cannot do – informing recruiters when someone is ready to be hired and engaging that individual in a meaningful way. Integrating CRM and marketing automation software can increase a company’s recruitment marketing capabilities and improve the experience.

How Does it Help?

Marketing automation helps companies understand the talent they are attracting, manage talent pipelines more effectively, and provide a better experience to both recruiters and candidates. Some of the use cases include:

  • Lead Nurturing: As today’s companies face challenges attracting talent and managing applicant volume, they need to nurture their candidate relationships over time. Candidates are not always ready to apply for a job with their first engagement. With marketing automation, companies can check in with candidates, create more meaningful relationships, and track engagement levels to know when candidates are “ready now.”
  • Target Audience: With marketing automation, companies can better understand their target talent and track who is interested and engaged. It uses a multi-channel approach to understand what content individuals are interested in, how they want to receive that content and then serves up relevant information. In addition, it provides visibility into the marketing activities to see what activities are working and what needs to change.
  • Analytics: Once a campaign has ended, the system generates analytics showing how successful the campaign was and what may need to change for the future. Analytics provide insights into candidates that are cold, warm, and ready now.

Who are the Providers?

Companies have multiple options for marketing automation in marketing, including providers like MailChimp, Keap, and Constant Contact. And, many providers have been acquired over the past few years, including Pardot by Salesforce, Eloqua by Oracle, and Marketo by Adobe. As a result, marketing automation is a critical area of investment for the modern marketing professional. But, in talent acquisition, this category has not taken off in the same way.

Some sourcing providers like Entelo have tried to transform marketing automation and build a category but faced internal challenges. Some CRM providers have tried to improve talent pipelines and candidate nurturing but still fall short. A few providers are bringing more awareness to marketing automation and gaining traction, including Candidate.ID and Herefish by Bullhorn. Candidate.ID is one provider that stands out for its commitment to marketing automation, ease of use, and ability to help companies attract in-demand talent. Herefish by Bullhorn enables companies to automate workflows, processes, and communication to accelerate staffing firm’s growth. With these providers, recruiters receive notifications when candidates are interested, and their profiles are updated in real-time, reducing time-to-fill, improving candidate engagement, and increasing conversion rates.

As we get closer to publishing our recruitment marketing/CRM index reports, marketing automation will be a theme we cover. It provides companies with a better way to engage and nurture talent where a traditional CRM falls short.

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano is the founder and chief analyst of Aptitude Research. For over 18 years, Madeline’s primary focus has been on the HCM market, specializing in talent acquisition and employee experience. Her work helps companies both validate and re-evaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. She has watched HCM transform from a back-office function to a strategic company initiative with a focus on partnerships, experience and efficiency.

Before founding Aptitude Research, Madeline held research roles at Aberdeen, Bersin by Deloitte, ERE Media and Brandon Hall Group. She is the co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and is often quoted in leading business publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, The New York Times and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, Unleash, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.

In her spare time, she is a runner, an avid sports fan and juggles a house full of boys (where a spontaneous indoor hockey game is not unheard of!).

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