Behind every successful placement agency is a complex network of business systems. They are absolutely crucial to provide timely, efficient, and well-informed placements. If you don’t have a database of your current applicants, you are wasting valuable time in your agency. You undoubtedly have more applicants than positions (in a perfect world!) or you have some quality applicants that can fall through the cracks if you are constantly sifting through new applicants as you work on finding the perfect applicant for your clients. This is why it is crucial to have a database of your applicants.
Databases allow you to capture vital information from the that are being filled out by the applicants. They also allow you to collect information as it is collected during the vetting process. It also allows you to keep internal notes on your candidates and can be searchable for keywords, attributes (like languages or experience), or even personality notes. You should also be able to see which candidates have completed vetting, need to be screened, or are stuck somewhere in between. You also need to be able to access company-created profiles for the applicants to send to clients quickly without sifting through emails or files on a desktop.
In short, you need to have access to data. Which is crucial for agencies as they grow. If you have multiple placement coordinators or even want to just be able to hire someone to help you vet, you need to have a central communication and information platform. This is why I advocate having some type of database program that allows you to sort and organize your applicants in a standardized fashion. You should be gathering the same information from each applicant, and these are pieces of data that you sort through in order to find the perfect fit for your clients. Why not organize them all in one place for comparison?
You can also use this data to understand trends in your business – including sales cycles, busy times of the year, and when you are more likely to find candidates for certain positions. This could tell you where to concentrate your marketing efforts for both applicants and clients, and also tells you if you should focus on a specific type of placement or client. Your database is not only helpful in making placements but also to better understand your business. The ease of sorting through information will save you time and allow you to stop “pushing paper” and also allow you to better scale your agency.
Some database programs I really like are Airtable, Streak, Google Sheets, and even Asana if set up correctly. These cloud-based software programs allow you to work from multiple computers and even your mobile devices. You are able to have a location-independent team that doesn’t rely on a central server to access information. This allows you to have a team that can work in concert and you never have to worry about someone being out sick because, with the proper processes in place, someone else can pick up where another team member left off.
These programs all integrate either directly with application software like Jotform and Wufoo and allow you to start building out automated processes in your business as you grow. If an applicant fills in an application in Jotform (or even Dubsado!) you can easily send that information over to your database of choice and have that information ready to sort and manage.
If you already have a database in place, FABULOUS! If not, start figuring out what tool makes the most sense for your business ecosystem and start getting one in place. If you need help with your database or your business ecosystem in general, let’s chat! Whatever placement agency systems database you use, be sure they work in concert with one another and make your business more effortless to run!