“Career Forge | ERM changes everything! The long-overdue platform's features directly match what career services professionals need, especially those of us specializing in employer relations.
I've worked in employer relations (ER) for 20+ years, confronting the ever-present challenges of tracking employer outreach. Yet, despite participating in multiple CRM demos and trials, I couldn't find management software built for ER professionals, our individual tasks, or specific goals. Instead, the CRM platforms are stuffed with irrelevant features and functions we have to navigate--and pay for!--even though we don't need them. Career Forge | ERM eliminates all that wasted time and money. And in these days of ROI, the simplified, accurate tracking and reporting might be my favorite part of the solution!”
~Sue E. Brien
Assistant Director, Employer Development and Relations
Duke Engineering Master’s Program
As a career services professional, which of these frustrations with relationship management software impact your work and mood the most:
- Sales-centric design
- Irrelevant buzzwords and labels
- Useless workflows
- Daunting configuration & implementation
- Insufficient training
- Ineffective or expensive technical support
And how well, or easily, does your current software help you fix these problems?
If you’re using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, that answer is probably “not very well.”
So, let’s talk about these seemingly perennial challenges and how you can eliminate your frustrations using software that starts with an “e” instead of a “c.”
“E” vs “C”: Why Career Services Need an ERM Instead of a CRM
The phrase “using the right tool for the job” is so cliche, it’s easy to forget it’s true. University- and college-based career services teams need an ERM instead of a CRM to overcome workflow challenges and manage their relationships with employers and recruiters.
OK, but what’s this ERM?
Career Forge | Employer Relationship Management (ERM) is the industry’s first innovative recruiting technology purpose-built for career services teams to build and manage employer relationships. Suddenly you’re streamlining workflow to track effective interactions with employers and recruiters instead of pushing to close a sale.
Forcing sales software into career services departments
“One size fits all” is another common saying that’s so true, it’s easy to ignore the potential damage until it’s too late. No amount of five star reviews can transform a software designed to manage the sales cycle into an employer relationship management tool. Sales and career services teams need intentionally different technology because they have inherently different goals.
The CRM problem: Sales is about closing deals
Your goal: Building productive employer and recruiter relationships
CRM is focused on closing deals. Career Forge | ERM focuses on highlighting relationships that need attention.
CRMs are built to manage and analyze customer relationships in the context of the sales processes. The software collects and tracks information to facilitate moving people from “lead” to “customer” by focusing on closing the deal as quickly as possible. Fortunately for career services teams, however, Career Forge | ERM highlights developing and established relationships. The software manages interactions with employers, so you get a clear view of who is actively involved, at risk of drifting away, or has been out of contact for too long.
Positively engaging these individuals and repairing critical relationships ideally leads to more job postings, high-value interviews, and ultimately, increased, and better outcomes for students.
The CRM problem: Sales industry buzzwords and labels
Your goal: Improving communications with employers and recruiters
CRMs are built with sales and customer-centric language. Career Forge | ERM uses familiar career language.
Many university or college career services departments invest in a CRM system intending to improve communications with employers and recruiters. However, these sales-driven platforms are built with terms and activity labels that don’t match career services vocabulary or tasks descriptors. Bridging the gap means buying expensive customization or accepting an extended learning curve, both of which are problematic and defeat your original purpose of building better relationships with employers and recruiters.
CRMs are designed to capture standardized data about customers, not the unique elements of interacting with employers and recruiters. Career services teams need to tailor communication to each groups’ needs and interests. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in relationship management.
The CRM problem: Infinite, irrelevant workflows
Your goal: Easy implementation with applicable features
As a result of trying to offer a seemingly infinite selection of sales workflows, CRMs require heavy configuration that feels like clutter for career services users. Career Forge | ERM exclusively manages employer engagement requiring little to no configuration that streamlines the user experience.
Career services teams don’t use or need pre-configured sales workflows to attract and engage employers. You don’t want department members wasting time navigating useless features, especially when they’re searching for critical information. Career Forge | ERM is built to get your team where they need to be on the platform in the fewest clicks possible.
The CRM problem: Implementation and training can be expensive
Your goal: Succeed without blowing up your budget
Comprehensive CRMs often require an expensive consultant to get you up and running. Career Forge | ERM is already built for you.
Many CRMs, because of their complexity and sales-centric designs, generate significant implementation costs, including:
- Integration costs: The process of connecting the software to your existing systems and workflows, such as your email marketing software can be complex and time-consuming. Especially if you need to hire an IT expert or implementation consultant.
- Customization costs: Revising code, adding different graphics, changing workflows, etc. are not cheap. In fact, it might feel like you’re paying twice: once to purchase the software as sold and a second time to rebuild to meet your needs.
- Training costs: Depending on the complexity of the platform and your team members’ technical skills, you may need to invest in extensive training programs or hire a certified trainer.
- Additional tools and features: You might have to buy additional tools and features to fully leverage the platform's capabilities—or just the features that work for career services, like marketing automation or social media integration.
The CRM problem: CRMs support is intended to help salespeople sell
Your goal: Find technical support designed for career services
CRMs support staff focused on sales teams. Career Forge | ERM is designed, built, and supported by former recruiters and software engineers that know career services. You don’t want to explain questions, or the reasons behind them; you only need to know where to click or what type to get the desired result.
You don’t want staff wasting time explaining recruiting terms and processes to a technical customer service representative; you fast responses with accurate answers.
Maintaining employer and recruiter relationships is a human-first activity that needs a human-centric SaaS to facilitate personal interactions, streamline communication, and build engagement. Your career services team can use Career Forge | Employer Relationship Management to
- Tailor technology to the unique needs and interests of employers and recruiters
- Ensure real-time communication
- Efficiently manage data
- Prioritize empathy and understanding across all interactions
With these benefits, you’re effectively guiding employers to their preferred candidates quickly and cost-effectively.