Good candidates are hard to find, especially when you have an outdated or inaccurate database. When you’re working against the clock, time spent scouring the web and social media for contact information is time lost to making connections and closing great hires. Ideally, we’d all have clean, well-coded databases to keep our candidates close at hand. But in today’s world of fast-paced job moves and information changes, it can be hard to keep up.
The Cost of Bad Data
If you’re struggling to keep your data current, you’re not alone. Many businesses are juggling data challenges. IBM estimates that bad data costs more than $3.1 trillion each year, in the U.S. alone. Statistics shared by ZoomInfo hint at the extent of data challenges:
- 67% of businesses rely on CRM data to segment and target customers
- 94% of businesses suspect that their customer and prospect data is inaccurate
- 30% of organizations have no strategy to update inaccurate or incomplete records
- 33% of businesses have over 100,000 records in their database
- Prospect and customer databases double every 12-18 months
Getting Your Data in a Row: 4 Pro Tips
With so much data changing at such a fast pace, how can you create healthy lists and data processes?
A.D. Green has some ideas. As Support Services Manager at Management Recruiters of Nashville, Green supports recruiters and AEs specializing in executive search and recruiting services for healthcare and life sciences. Green’s goals reflect recruiters’ and AEs’ goals. He works hard to keep data updated, so his team can fill jobs more effectively.
“There’s nothing more discouraging when you’re a new recruiter than a database that isn’t working for you.” — A.D. Green, Management Recruiters of Nashville
Eric Szubinski also works closely with his firm’s recruiting team, to put data to work for clients and candidates. As the Director of Research at the Judson Group, he identifies and sources talent for banking, wealth management and finance opportunities.
Szubinski and Green discussed data best practices, tricks and tips at the 2021 MRINetwork United Showcase. Log in to view the full session as an MRI member, and consider these pro tips when building your strategy.
1. Fill in the Blanks & Connect the Dots
After years of candidate research, Green and Szubinski have fine-tuned their processes to include different tools and techniques. LinkedIn, Google, ZoomInfo, truepeoplesearch.com, and hunter.io are go-to resources, but old-school techniques also have their place.
Szubinski recommends building a deep understanding of your DIG, to identify key players and who’s coming up. Referrals, company websites, board and association listings, and industry news such as Crain’s can be helpful for putting together lists. At Management Recruiters of Nashville, Green leverages corporate websites and even client competitor sites to help find talent for leadership roles. He looks to recruiters to provide a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to prescreen candidates, ensuring contacts in the database are all potential fits.
“It’s an ever-evolving puzzle that we’re trying to put together.” — Eric Szubinski, Judson Group
2. Track Everything
“If it’s not in our applicant tracking system, it hasn’t happened.” That’s the philosophy the Judson Group takes, implementing thoughtful data practices at each step to ensure information is tracked and accessible. With multiple searches going on at all times, Szubinski encourages teams to keep updates tidy and communicate regularly to ensure data integrity.
Keywords and search codes help drill down to best-fit candidates more effectively. Green and Szubinski both rely on keywords or search codes to help surface the most relevant candidates. Green’s database has 181 search codes, while Szubinski works with about two dozen: four main categories, a handful of subcategories, and a half dozen or so for designations. When updating candidates, Green ensures all relevant search codes are in. Reviewing LinkedIn, he’ll attach work histories to candidates, and double-check that job titles and other information is current.
3. Run Quality Checks
With a database that goes back to 1999, Green runs frequent quality checks to ensure data is useful. To date, Green has sorted through thousands of profiles, reviewing each one by one, to resolve inconsistencies. He relies on recruiters to alert him to inaccuracies when working call plans. Did they make contact? Was the person there? Was the number correct or disconnected? With so many names and details, it can feel unsettling to start deleting people. But if you don’t have current contact information, they’re just cluttering your records. Go ahead and delete them.
“Yesterday’s nurses are tomorrow’s Directors of Nursing. I make sure we have the most current job titles to ensure data is useful.” — A.D. Green, Management Recruiters of Nashville
4. It’s Okay to Fail
Data management can be tedious and daunting, but in the long end, it’s worth it. If you or your team members can’t find contact information, it’s okay to fail, says Szubinski. Take heart in silver linings and information that you learned along the way. You may locate other candidates or find ways to improve your process. The important thing is to try.
Good Data In, Good Data Out
Every database is a work in progress. The goal is to make sure every record is useful, and there’s a process in place for updates. When cleaning up an existing list, Szubinski recommends tackling your master list bit by bit. Work in segments, and delete old roll-ups so you’re working with the most current information. If you have hundreds of rollups, he says, you’re building yourself into a hole. Start big, and break sections out.