What is client relationship management?


A client relationship manager is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with clients and ensuring that their recruitment needs are met.

A client relationship manager is the individual responsible for building and maintaining relationships with clients on behalf of a company or organisation. In the recruitment industry, a client relationship manager plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining relationships with clients, such as hiring companies or agencies. Their primary focus is on understanding and fulfilling the client's recruitment needs while ensuring a positive client experience.

History of client relationship management

Historically, recruitment primarily relied on manual processes, including paper-based CVs, phone calls and in-person interactions. Relationship building with clients was crucial, but formal CRM systems specific to recruitment were not prevalent.

In the late 20th century, the recruitment industry started adopting software solutions to manage candidate data, applicant tracking and client interactions. However, these early systems focused more on applicant management rather than dedicated client relationship management.

As recruitment processes became more complex and competitive, the need for dedicated CRM solutions specific to the recruitment industry arose. In the 2000s, recruitment-focused CRM platforms were developed to manage client relationships, track client interactions and streamline business development efforts.

With the advancement of technology and digital transformation, these systems have been integrated with various tools and platforms. This integration includes functionalities like candidate sourcing, job board integration, email marketing and social media engagement.

Today, client relationship management continues to evolve, driven by technological advancements, changing candidate expectations and the need for efficient relationship management. However, the focus remains on building and nurturing client relationships, enhancing candidate experiences and leveraging data-driven insights to drive successful recruitment outcomes.

Recent trends in client relationship management

Emphasis on candidate experience

In recent years, CRM has expanded beyond client management to include a focus on candidate experience. With the help of modern CRM systems, which allow for automated email campaigns, customised messaging and targeted content, client relationship managers can personalise their communications and interactions with candidates. By providing a seamless and personalised experience, recruiters can enhance candidate satisfaction, strengthen their employer brand and increase the likelihood of attracting top talent.

Data analytics and automation

Modern client relationship management systems leverage data analytics and automation capabilities to provide insight into client preferences, market trends and recruitment metrics. Recruiters can leverage these insights to make data-informed decisions, optimise recruitment strategies and improve the overall efficiency of the recruitment process. To go further, automation and CRM-powered applicant tracking systems help streamline repetitive tasks such as CV screening, interview scheduling and follow-up communications, freeing up recruiters' time to focus on building relationships and engaging with candidates more effectively.

Advantages of client relationship management

  • By tracking client interactions, preferences and feedback, client relationship managers provide personalised and proactive solutions, which will help build and strengthen the relationship with the client.
  • Through CRM systems that capture and analyse candidate data, client relationship managers can provide tailored communications, keep candidates informed at each stage of the recruitment process and deliver a positive candidate journey.
  • CRM systems capture and analyse data on client preferences, candidate profiles and recruitment metrics which can be used to make informed decisions, identify trends, evaluate the effectiveness of sourcing channels and optimise recruitment strategies.

Disadvantages of client relationship management

  • CRM systems can involve significant costs, including initial setup, licensing fees, customisation and ongoing maintenance.
  • Implementing a CRM system requires time, resources and training for recruitment teams to adapt to the new software.
  • While CRM systems are powerful tools, overreliance on technology may hinder the personal touch and human connection that is crucial in the recruitment process.