Extend Microsoft Dynamics 365 to Manage your Recruitment and Applicant Tracking
The race for the best and brightest talent doesn’t slow down even when the economy tells it to. This relentless desire to attract and manage the top 20% of talent in any industry comes at a cost, and without the proper Applicant Tracking System (ATS), your organization will never get the traction it needs to compete in today’s talent market.
Most firms that need better applicant tracking capabilities don’t think of Microsoft as a candidate to be their solution provider. While it is true that Microsoft doesn’t offer its own purpose-built ATS, it offers something just as compelling and capable: Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its flexible, proven business application framework.
If you are still reading, there is a strong chance that you are intrigued by the idea of a solution based on core Microsoft technology – and that you work at a company that hires humans. This white paper explains why we are so bullish on Dynamics 365 and its potential to make Microsoft the leader in Applicant Tracking.
Note: below are not in order of importance
There are over 7 million paid Dynamics CRM seats worldwide, with 60% at Fortune 500 companies. The product has delivered 44 consecutive quarters of double digit growth. Today a vast majority of companies are using Dynamics CRM for one aspect or another of their business – sales force automation, marketing, customer service, and a range of other “relationship management” scenarios. These same companies also maintain and use a separate application for all of their recruiting and applicant tracking needs. So they are managing, paying for, supporting, and using two disparate systems when they could utilize just one.
One of the lesser known but highest value benefits of Dynamics 365 is its robust application platform, which allows for the addition of custom entities, relationships, and forms with minimal effort. Organizations can start to manage their existing talent pool using an existing Dynamics solution with little to no programming. For a deeper, more customized recruiting solution that fits into a specific way of doing business, customization can become more complex and a pre-built ATS solution for Dynamics 365 can make more sense. Many companies can get by with some minor configuration or customization of their own and be off and running in short order. But remember: you get back what you put into your ATS solution. It is much easier to plow an irregular shaped large field with a John Deere than with a garden hoe, so we recommend speaking with your Dynamics consulting firm of choice or analyze your own needs before starting any level of customization on your own.
In the world of Applicant Tracking Systems, vendors often grow to a point where a larger firm comes along and says, “Hey, you have some good market share, about time for us to acquire you”. Most recently, we’ve watched Bullhorn acquire MaxHire and also Sendouts. While some customers can accept such a change, we have heard from many others that were unhappy about it; they were comfortable and stable with their current platform and didn’t want to have to move to another system. By building or buying a bolt on ATS that fits into Microsoft Dynamics you have the stability of being on a Microsoft platform that isn’t going away and is less likely to be gobbled up easily by a competitor.
It’s not you it’s me!
Let’s face it: you don’t exactly divorce a software application. But depending upon your tolerance level to pain, moving data from one system to another along with learning new screens could feel first hand like a nasty separation of sorts. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 if you ever choose to move on and want your data back, it’s all available and easy to migrate (typically just a few clicks). Similarly, you can easily migrate candidate data directly into a Microsoft Dynamics 365 instance by importing spreadsheets of data in just a few minutes. The bulk of recruiting applications on the market today store your data on their servers so getting it back can be less than pleasant and typically the data that comes out isn’t as clean as what went in. (We’re not saying any names, cough cough). It’s your data and you can have it back anytime you want and on your own terms.
Another attractive trait for using Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an ATS is the fact that it integrates so well with so many other applications on the market. A range of Microsoft products work seamlessly with Dynamics CRM –
Office 365, SharePoint, Azure, Outlook, OneNote, Word, Excel and a host of awesome ISV’s are constantly building affordable add-ons that drop into CRM within seconds to assist in building a robust recruiting powerhouse that Chuck Norris wouldn’t touch in a fist fight.
Below are just a few companies and products we have integrated with while building out our Applicant Tracking System.
Any way you want it
There are several ways to deploy and access an ATS built on Dynamics CRM. The application can be deployed in house on your own servers or hosted through Microsoft or one of their partners.
We feel you should be able to choose where your data sits and who manages it. The vast majority of recruiting applications on the market today do not give you that flexibility.
Some of the deployment-related options include:
- Dynamics CRM Online / Dynamics CRM On-Prem (aka on premise or partner-hosted)
- Outlook CRM Client (Free from Microsoft)
- Compatible Browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari
- Devices: Apple and non-Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Surface Pro, etc…)
Where’s my talent?
Since Dynamics CRM 2011, we’ve all had the luxury of locating Accounts, Contacts, and Leads by Bing Map. But why not Candidates or Jobs? When time is of the essence, recruiters will take every competitive advantage they can get, and being able to run a search on a database of thousands of job seekers, immediately filter to a short list, and then be able to see where they are on the map is invaluable. If you don’t believe us, go ask a recruiter for yourself – we’re not hard to find. Below you can see a Bing map displaying a list of job seekers via pin or just as easily produce a heat map of the same data.
Measuring success has never been sweeter
Numbers are numbers but a picture – or in this case a chart on a dashboard – can paint a picture that can drive mission critical decisions. Organizations must always be building a database of talent (Candidates) that they can monitor and track on factors like education, citizenship, key skillset, etc. Dashboarding and reporting natively within Dynamics CRM is one of the platform’s greatest strengths, allowing different users and roles to create unique views of the business to optimize their work and boost performance.
Versatility & ease of customization
Over the years we’ve spoken to hundreds of Human Resource Managers and Directors whose top requirement is a solution that is industry-specific. They are unsure a broader platform like Microsoft Dynamics CRM will meet their needs or require costly customization. Below are several screens customized towards various recruiting niches (campus recruiting, home health, and technology recruiting), all of which were done without coding and with just a couple of days effort.
Dynamics CRM is Exploding
Microsoft Dynamics has matured into a leading business application platform that is capable of serving so many industries and in so many different ways. This kind of momentum makes the product very exciting and we look forward to helping others maximize the full potential of their CRM.
Dynamics CRM Recruiting Solutions is an ISV focused on extending the features and functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to suit the needs of human resource, recruiting and staffing professionals around the world. We’ve been in the HR and Recruiting business collectively for 20+ years and have seen and used more than a dozen applicant tracking systems during that time. Watching systems become more click intensive, convoluted, un-customizable, and not to mention costly inspired us to build an alternative solution. We teamed up with Certified Microsoft CRM Technology Specialists and application developers to build the Dynamics ATS. We ended up choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM mainly because we felt comfortable with Microsoft, the Dynamics platform and its extensibility. (www.DynamicsATS.com)