S4 E105 | CXR Podcast: Madeline Laurano talks about CRMs

Madeline sits down with Chris to discuss the focus shift regarding CRMs and some possible challenges that come with new adoption

Welcome to the CXR channel, our premier podcast for talent acquisition and talent management. Listen in as the CXR community discusses a wide range of topics focused on attracting, engaging and retaining the best talent. We’re glad you’re here.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:22
All right watchers and listeners. Welcome to the show. I’m Chris Hoyt president of CXR and today’s host for an edition of our podcast and we like to call eXpertease. We’re spending 15 minutes or so with industry leader or practitioner who shares a few valuable life lessons with us and we’re super grateful for it. If you didn’t already know we also do segments like Have You Met, Uncorked, and Moments that Matter, so be sure you check those out. You can subscribe to all of those and more at CXR.works/podcast and we’re happy to say you can watch or listen to them nearly anywhere you already subscribe to your favorite shows now. In today’s expertise segment, we’re pleased to have back on the show industry analyst and friend Madeline Laurano from Aptitude Research. Madeline How are you?

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 1:03
Thanks for having me back.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:05
Yeah, we love to have you on the show. For those who don’t know, Madeline, who is Madeline Laurano, and why should anybody care what the heck she has to say?

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 1:15
Those are good questions. Sometimes I ask myself those questions, even when I know what I do. So I’m a research analyst. And I have a company called Aptitude Research that I found it about six years ago. And we do research and advisory on HCM technology, but primarily talent acquisition. So lots of demos, research reports that we publish, we, you know, kind of like to talk about all things ta tech, and it’s been quite a year. So we’ve been crazy busy with following the space.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:45
Yeah, you guys have been I mean, before we even get to the topic, we can jump in and talk about you guys have been just on a publishing roll lately. And I think you have another piece coming up conversational yeah, the conversational AI report that just came out.

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 1:57
We did we just published one Paradox sponsored it. So if you know Paradox, their conversational AI provider. And it kind of gets into these expanded use cases. And companies are using conversational AI for interviewing and for internal mobility and onboarding. So really expanding the use cases. And, you know, we talked about how it’s more than chatbot. So all of that’s in there.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:19
Awesome. So today, we were going to talk a little bit about CRMs. Right. And so we’ve been seeing a little bit of a shift a little bit shift and focus, at least on CRMs. For the past year, we’ve only got about 10 minutes. So I want to jump right in with what you think ta leaders or practitioners should be should be aware of or should be watching for with regards to CRM since sort of that shift or that evolution.

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 2:45
Yeah, it’s really interesting, Chris, this the CRM space, because we see that over 70% of companies at the enterprise level are investing in CRM are very interested in investing in CRM, you know, in the next year, and the CRM does everything pre applicant, right? So it manages engaging with talent, nurturing talent, building these talent, pipelines, all these activities before somebody applies. lots of variations of these systems in the market. And I think if for ta leaders listening, what I would be very cautious of, and maybe questioning is the adoption. So you spend an invest in these systems, and they’re very hard to adopt, they’re very hard to implement. And they’re very hard to kind of build change management around. So it takes a lot of work. And I think you have to be prepared for that they can do amazing things. But you have to be prepared for that work, and that change management. And then you know, I think it’s really thinking about the what the big conversation is today, which is do we use our ATS every ATS is built is very light CRM, which is sort of a check the box CRM, a couple of them who made some significant acquisitions, that’s a little bit different, like job by and, you know, in a sense, and then I think the the other piece is, do we use a standalone CRM that has a career site that’s really dedicated to this?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:05
Yeah, I want to talk a little bit about the the change management piece because a lot of times we will hear from recruiting leaders training out here that they’re struggling with their recruiters don’t like the the CRM or even the ATS that’s been implemented. They just don’t like it. It’s their favorite game is to hate on hate on that solution that maybe got implemented. And I go back to thinking more often than not, it’s it is actually change management issue. Right. It’s a rollout issue. It’s an implementation issue. It’s not so much an issue of the system is limited or it doesn’t work or it’s just broken. Are you seeing the same thing? Are we crazy?

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 4:42
Yeah, no, I think that’s absolutely true. It’s a lot of it is a change management issue. I think the other piece is the vendor has to be willing to partner and unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. They have to be responsive. Like if you know a company wants to make changes if it’s a career site issue and a company wants to make changes to their career site. They need to be able to get the response that they need. And they expect that given what they’ve spent. And sometimes vendors are not super responsive on different areas, the integration piece is really important, like the integration with the ATS. And that can cause a lot of problems early on. So if, you know, a company goes back and says, you know, recruiters would like this, and that, and the other thing, you know, the vendor might be slow to respond. So I think it’s that combination, it has to change management has to be there. But you have to look at a vendor that has a great history of, to me it’s responsiveness.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:31
Yeah, yeah, I would imagine that partnership is key, I will tell you a little story that not that anybody asked me back in, like 2010 doing an implementation, and we won’t talk about what ATS it was, it rhymes with Sherman EXA, doing an implementation of this platform, we needed a custom field, we need a custom field at it, not a big deal. Anybody who’s done any of these knows, it’s really not that big of a deal, it was gonna be like six grand to put this custom field in. And at that point, we were strapped, and we just couldn’t pull it together to justify going back to fight for the dollars and that sour taste in everybody’s mouth for that system, because we lost a big piece of functionality for for something that should not have been, it should just should have been an easy partnership piece. Are you? Are you hearing a lot of silly, trivial types of challenges like that, that are really damaging relationships?

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 6:22
Absolutely. I mean, job alerts is another one. It’s like the job alerts aren’t integrated. And that’s not happening. It’s super frustrating. But the custom fields is so interesting this year, Chris, because companies have gone remote, right? It’s like companies have said, work wherever you want go overseas, you know, do you, you know, be you live where you want, but they in the CRM, they haven’t collected that information on address before. And now it’s critical if you’re letting people work wherever they want. And you have to think about regulations. And you have to think about just managing this remote workforce. So they have to be able to add those fields. And that specific issue is coming up as such a frustration just for just an address. And it’s becoming really challenging for a lot of these providers to do that quickly.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:07
Seems to me, there’s a tremendous opportunity for those those teams to lean in and say, we got you. Yeah. Versus Oh, yeah. Got you. Here. Give me Give me another couple grand, and we’ll fix that for you.

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 7:19
Right. I think that’s absolutely true. And I think um, you know, when you think about the the adoption tool, and you think about the change management, there are some limitations with the CRM. Like it doesn’t do marketing automation. Like for anyone that’s listening, if you’re marketers, if you kind of understand marketing, you know, marketing tools, like if you look at HubSpot, if you look at you know, market, I know you use HubSpot at CXR, its marketing automation plus CRM, it’s both of those things. The CRM lack that marketing automation, so you’re not really able to look at all the touch points, you’re not really able to look at those talent pipelines in a really robust way. Then there’s like Candidate ID I know, we’re all friends with the candidate ID team. And we think highly of that solution that does marketing automation. That’s a huge advantage to companies that’s currently lacking in the CRM. I mean, that’s, you know, so there is this there is this limitation there.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:11
Yeah, it is interesting that you bring up HubSpot, I mean, we actually, were actually leaving HubSpot, because of partnership issue, not necessarily because of a functional issue. And it is that big of a you know, piece of sand, in your flip flop, so to speak. That sort of just just irritates and irritates until the point that you move on. So from a from a talent acquisition landscape standpoint, let me ask you, because you’ve got a very unique view, you get to go to all the fancy analyst meetings, you need to sit in and talk to all those really smart people. Is there is there anybody that you seeing that you think, is doing a partnership really, really well, even if they’re not the full suite, but they’re doing partnership over the last year, last almost two years now really challenging times? Doing partnerships? Really? Well?

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 8:57
Yeah, you know, it’s such an interesting question. And I think sometimes it’s gonna be surprising. Sometimes it’s the smaller providers that do the partnership better. I think they’re eager to get these big brand names, they, you know, they kind of think about that, you know, in the CRM space,Candidate id is one we talked about, they do a great job of really partnering and working so closely, I mean, Adams very accessible to all their, their customers,

Unknown Speaker 9:19
we enjoy we enjoy them when it comes on. And actually when he’s playing, you know, part of some of our meetings. He’s super, super smart guy.

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 9:25
Yeah. and clinch, I mean, clinch has been acquired by Paige people, but Shane Gray had a similar approach and we all no shame as well. And he worked really closely and very, you know, accessible to for a lot of their customers. Um, they’re all kind of building this out. And I think, you know, Beamery is done a great job at partnering. And I think that they have a lot of huge clients as well. And then you look at like Symphony and Phenom, and they offer some creative services as well. So they’re the partnerships all take sort of a different look and feel and I think for companies investing in this you have to really think about what what you need support with Do you already have content Do you have a creative team? Do you need subject matter experts? Do you need admins? Do you have to admins look at what your team looks like and what that partnership would need to be? And then those providers have different strengths?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:11
Well, that’s a really good point like will your existing staff be able to complement? What you know what the provider is going to bring to the table? Love that?

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 10:19
Yeah. And the one thing I’ll say to Gerry always says this, and I get this from him. So I will repeat it I say on every call is this industry is amazing. These people share their experience. So before you’re investing before you’re switching before you’re, you know, looking at different providers talk to other companies. They’ve all like every enterprise companies gone through this in some way. And we’re just so fortunate because people in this industry share.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:41
Yeah, you saying people are open and they talk, they talk to each other? I don’t get it.

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 10:44
I know, I know. It’s this is not the case in procurement. I covered that industry for a long time.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:50
Well, Madeline, thank you so much for being on the show. We’re really happy to have you. Appreciate it.

Madeline Laurano, Aptitude Research 10:54
Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me on.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:56
I do want to call out before it escapes me. We are partnering with yourself and Martin Burns and George LaRocque on an HR technology newsletter. So anybody who’s kind of interested in that they can head up to csr.org slash HR tech news. We’re just getting it off the ground. We’re pretty excited about it. But it’s CXR.works/HRtechnews. You can check that out and sign up. And then of course, you can head out to aptituderesearch.com and get all of the wisdom that Madeline is spinning. So thank you for that. If you’re still with us, yeah, they gave you you hung in there and you’re still with us next week. You could join us live, or you can dial in from your treadmill, but you’re not going to want to miss it. Earlier this year. Kareem Ben Amar joined us for a CXR workshop on rethinking our actions and reframing our approaches to DE&I challenges. Now this really was one of our favorite workshops of the year, we got to know we did almost 100 virtual sessions for the year. But we knew we wanted to learn more and hear more from this guy. So we’re thrilled to have Kareem with us again next week where he’s going to be talking about some of his work around restructuring work and reframing business models in light of the ongoing and ever shifting COVID pandemic so please get over to CXR.works/HRtechnews, sign up for the newsletter after you’ve smashed all those subscribe buttons on the podcast and until next week. We’ll see you online in the CareerXroads community have a great rest your day everybody

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