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Nurturing your database: must-read for recruiters

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Is an organised CRM every recruiter’s arch nemesis?*



We know that dealing with a disorganised database can be frustrating. Whether you’re dealing with numbers that don’t work any more, e-mails that have been made up, or names spelt incorrectly; Believe us when we say we’ve seen every kind of database imaginable, and in our professional opinions: the cleaner the database, the easier your job will be. 

But, you probably already know that.

Data can be an unsexy topic, but taking the time to ensure that you have high-quality data in your CRM will make your day-to-day life much easier as a recruiter. There are so many reasons why the quality of your data could be bad. Maybe it hasn’t been updated or re-invigorated in a while, or maybe you’ve inherited contacts that weren’t properly updated. The bottom line is that a big database means nothing if the data isn’t clean: quality over quantity is key!

Take this as your sign to do a “deep clean” of your database. To get the most out of all the businesses you’ve worked with or just come in contact with. 

We’re going to give you some advice (and a couple of methods you can use) to reignite your database without spending all of your time glued to your CRM. 

It’s time to do a general clean…

We like to think of cleaning your database similarly to how you’d clean your home…

Step 1: A top-to-bottom clean-out

Depending on what type of database you use, you should be able to filter the data down, showing what you’ve added as a consultant. Spend some time going through your contacts from A-Z and delete anybody who has no relevance. 

This could be contacts with missing fields such as their e-mail or phone number, or contacts where you don’t even have their full name. If you know that you won’t be able to get that information (or you can’t remember why they’re in your database in the first place) then get rid of them. You’ve been unable to contact them so far, so separate the good quality from the bad quality and get deleted. 

We promise you won’t miss them.

Segment your data into clients and candidates

Although we agree that your clients are your candidates and vice versa, you should have a good idea of who falls into either of these categories for the sake of this data-cleaning exercise. If you use a recruitment-focused CRM, then it should already be segmented for you.

Once you’ve segmented your data into clients and candidates, you can then start to reach out to them based on their segmentation. We’ll give some top-level ideas, but don’t be afraid to take the levels even further. Into industry or job titles, just to get as personalised as you can with videos that can be still sent at scale.


Example 1: Key Clients

The beauty of reaching out to key clients is that you’ve already got an existing relationship there. Whether you’ve placed with them recently or they’re simply a consistent client that gives you a few roles each year, you can be creative with your video outreach because the relationship is already established. Here are some ideas:

  • Event invitation: Events are an excellent way of bringing people together and creating a high-quality networking experience for all. However, events are incredibly popular and you’ve got to be creative! 
  • Personalised check-in: Don’t underestimate the importance of following up, even with key clients. Put together a video that is 40–60 seconds long, offering a personalised check-in. 
  • Specialised market updates:  Getting into the habit of sending a regular market update (bi-monthly or quarterly) is an excellent way to have an additional touchpoint with your key clients. This is also a piece of video content you can send to all hiring managers and talent teams within your chosen vertical. 

Example 2: Active business development

These should be clients that you’re actively trying to win business with. With active business development, you already know that there’s a level of engagement there - it’s just nurturing that relationship. 

You can use the above examples, such as market updates and personalised check-ins, but maybe hold off on event invitations until you can speak to them and build a relationship. 

Another good option for active business development is video specs showcasing high-quality candidates. These can be short and sweet introductions to candidates to capture the attention of clients you’re in active business development with.

Another great option to send is video testimonials and video case studies. Demonstrate your credibility and showcase what other clients think of you without having to send a lengthy pack or downloadable for the client!

Example 3: Tier 2 business development

These should be contacts that you’ve tried to reach out to in the past but haven’t yet managed to contact them. They could also be clients you did business with over 12 months ago.

The key to this is to provide context in your follow-ups. The great thing about this segment as an example is you can do an efficient spring clean of contacts that no longer exist or are no longer in use. You can eliminate all of the contacts (or look to update them) if you get a bounce back, and then you know exactly how many contacts you’re dealing with.

From there, you can send a video which will look to remind them of why you’re contacting them or remind them of the time that you worked together. Especially if there has been internal movement and your point of contact has changed, you want to refresh their memory. 

You can also send market updates and process information in video form:

Your process: Providing a video on your process and how you like to work with clients is an invaluable piece of video content that you can use time and time again. Detail how you approach partnerships and what a process typically looks like, and try to keep it short and sweet!


Example 1: Key candidates

The benefit of reaching out to key candidates is the existing relationship that you have. Whether you have placed them in a role or they’re a candidate that you’ve networked with throughout your time as a recruiter, they can be an incredible resource when approached correctly. Some ideas for the approach are as follows:

  • Event invitation: Events are an excellent way of bringing people together and creating a high-quality networking experience for all. However, events are incredibly popular and you’ve got to be creative! 
  • Personalised check-in: Don’t underestimate the importance of following up with key candidates. Put together a video that is 40-60 seconds long offering a personalised check-in.
  • How is your role going: Whether you’ve placed them or not, it wouldn’t hurt to send them a video to find out how they’re doing in their new role…

Looking for something new?: Whether they’re a contractor coming to the end of their time with a client, or they’ve been in their permanent role for over 12 months, it’s always worth testing the waters and seeing if they’d be open to something new.

Did you know…

Based on the statistics, evidence shows that 84% of candidates who are contacted once a week would keep working with their agency.

Example 2: Active candidate relationships

These should be candidates that you’ve had in a process before or considered for an opportunity. You’ll already have an existing relationship there and would have spoken to them in the last 10–12 weeks (or 2–3 weeks if you’re a contract recruiter). 

Using the options above is also applicable to this exemplary group; however, you can also try video testimonials or video client pitches if you’re trying to get their attention. You can also send market updates to this group too!

Example 3: Referred candidates (Tier 2)

These should be candidates who have been referred to you. This could have some crossover with example two, so use your own judgment for this!

A logical video example that you can send to this example is information on you and the agency that you represent. A great introduction to a referral can lay down the foundations for the beginning of a blooming relationship!

Your introductory video could cover top-level info such as market updates and live roles but try to keep it short (45-90 seconds max). 

Once you’ve reignited your database and organised it into the relevant examples, you can then start to use video to complement each example. It’s important to re-engage those that make sense instead of aimlessly using video as an outreach tool. It simply won’t work. 

And finally, don’t do this all in vain!

Reigniting your database shouldn’t be something that you have to do once a year because you haven’t had the opportunity to maintain it. Don’t let your efforts be in vain! Aim to do mini-clean-ups every quarter. Not only will this keep you accountable, but it’ll also make your life as a recruiter so much easier. 

It can be easy to get distracted with other tasks and let your database usage fall on the back burner. So, as long as you stick to your segments and ensure that you’re taking the time to nurture your connections, you’ll be able to grow an excellent network that will pay dividends in the long term. 

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