Responsible e-Recruiting

In this age of blast emails and blast postings on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter, is this email/posting multitask work style helping or hurting your recruiting efforts and your reputation?

It’s critical to understand both good and bad ways to use technology to grow your business.

Technology has transformed our profession in revolutionary ways. However, an overreliance on technology to replace the phone calls we used to make can be damaging. Are our prospects not valuable enough that they don’t deserve a phone call, an introduction to who we are, and how we work? If you haven’t heard of the term “permission-based marketing,” let me introduce it to you.

Permission marketing is the opposite of traditional interruption marketing. Permission marketing is about building an ongoing relationship of increasing depth with customers. It is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.

In the words of Seth Godin (who coined and popularized the term), “Turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers.”

Marketers hail permission marketing as a way to succeed in a world increasingly cluttered with marketing messages that are ignored by some of the best customers. It realizes that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention. How this translates into the recruiting world is simple.

We shouldn’t just use technology as a “billboard” and hope the right candidate drives by. It also shouldn’t be used as a semi-targeted “junk mail” and hope the best candidate doesn’t throw out our message. Today’s technology offers us an opportunity to find a handful of the best prospects and establish a relationship with them. Sourcing tools, search string writing, business and social networking sites paired with the “old fashioned” phone allow you to use technology to quickly find and contact prospective candidates.

Once you have introduced yourself and gained “permission” to establish a relationship, then technology such as a CRM and/or ATS can be used as a way to reach out to those prospects and continue to build relationships.

Below are some products that help you reach out and build relationships with potential candidates.

To me, responsible e-recruiting means making effective use of technology to establish relationships and build trust with a pool of top-notch potential candidates. Our industry and professional reputation is damaged with each successive blast of unsolicited emails that ends up in someone’s trash.


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Bullhorn’s ATS/CRM is a great option to consider for permission-based marketing. Bullhorn’s offering aligns nicely with the permission-based marketing concept. Bullhorn’s web-based, integrated front office combines all of the applications you need into one, providing users with full ATS and CRM functionality.

Bullhorn has an integrated front office that integrates email. Therefore, a candidate and client record will not only include the usual information, resume, address, phone number, etc., it will also capture all of the communication, activities, tasks, emails, and notes that occur with that candidate or client record. With Bullhorn, candidates/clients have the ability to “opt in” or out of campaigns. They allow the email recipient to unsubscribe if they choose to do so.

Let’s say you want to send an email to all of your candidates (who are passively or actively interested in opportunities) with the title VP of Sales in the medical device industry who have been in your database for 2 years. Simply generate a query, define your parameters, save the results into a distribution list, bring the list into your email system, and select send mass mailing. Then you are able to personalize the email prior to sending it. The campaigns you can create are endless and a very effective way to stay on top of your prospects.

I would like to thank Joe Cordo VP of Marketing at Bullhorn for taking the time to talk with me about Bullhorn’s powerful permission based marketing platform. For more information on Bullhorn, email or visit

E-Mail Campaign Tools
If you are looking for a stand-alone email campaign tool, there are several on the market: Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and iContact.

The cost of a campaign starts around $5.00 and goes up from there depending on the number of email recipients.


17 Comments on “Responsible e-Recruiting

  1. Dave’s right – oooh, I don’t like saying that too often. What might have been helpful would be a comparison of the pluses and minuses and costs of different tools. But this?…..Talk about just slapping up a billboard – please send me my designer Bullhorn t-shirt and cap.

    Tom Keoughan

  2. Dave and Tom, thanks for your comments about Bullhorn. What makes Bullhorn different is the integrated capabilities of the product from email and calendaring to applicant tracking, job management and CRM. Whether you are running a full or split desk, everyone on the team, from sales and recruiting to senior management has complete visibility into every aspect of the job order/req. to placement process. That level of visibility enables firms to optimize their business processes for faster placement.

    Tom, if you would like to hear about more differences between our product and others, we’d be happy to put you in touch with our customers who have used other solutions.

    Feel free to contact us at Thanks.

  3. Better yet, I invite people who have used various ATS systems to post their thoughts on the benefits and negatives of each here. I’ve got nothing against Bullhorn per se. It’s just that this is supposed to be a forum – NOT ad space.

    Tom Keoughan

  4. Thank you all for your great feedback.

    When I wrote this column I was not writing about which ATS is the best. The topic was responsible e-Recruiting as the title states. The reason I “featured” Bullhorn in my article was its robust CRM capabilities. Especially the ability for candidates/clients that get marketed to on a mass email basis to have the option to “opt out” which I feel is “responsible”. Again, you need permission to market to people if you want to build long lasting relationships. I could have selected Salesforce or another CRM but since Bullhorn also has all the capabilities that are helpful to recruiters I thought it was a smart choice.

    Your comments have prompted me to write my next column on the best Applicant Tracking Systems. Feel free to post your ideas on this topic. Thank you again for your feedback and I hope I clarified the basis of my article.

  5. Lori,your comments are basically reinforcing that it doesn’t seem you are as familiar with the ATS market as someone who has researched and bought one. I bought mine 5 years ago and it had everything you talked about back then as did several others. DeskFlow, Bullhorn,Sendouts and Encore were the standouts back then and were divided mostly by price and some platform features. There are another 20 that didn’t make my short list then and probably that many more that have come along since.
    My original point was that the only thing that made Bullhorn a standout here was your mention of them. Even though I am not in ‘reporter’ mode here and I admittedly love what I bought… I have to say that Bullhorn is one of the products that many people love but it also is one of the ones that more than a few people have told me they were ‘forced to use’.
    ANYTHING you say about Bullhorn good OR bad will have a lot more credibility AFTER you write your article. At the moment I believe I have enough knowledge to maintain that this is a gratuitous plug… And Joe, don’t let that get your back up…this doesn’t reflect on you at all…unless you are VP Marketing ,in which case you should get a nice bonus 🙂

  6. Likewise,believe it or not…but I do think I posted a little more than an opinion. The forum is here for challenges I think…And not just because Tom says so.
    I know I welcome them when I get on my own rants…and have been corrected more than once 🙂

  7. I have to agree with Dave. This article had the potential to be very good, but by only ‘featuring’ one ATS, it left an ugly taste and really felt much more like an ad, which is a little disturbing.

    Especially because Bullhorn is no different than many of the popular ATS available. They all do the same things, though Bullhorn is admittedly one of the most expensive. Nothing against Bullhorn, it’s definitely slick and I considered it seriously before opting instead to go with cbiz. which has no start-up costs and is easily half the price. It does everything you listed that Bullhorn does. One of my favorite features is that I can add hundreds of resumes at once with one click and it will create shells, attach emails, etc. I can do great mailings with opt out, etc.

    I’ve recently started using pcrecruiter because the group I work with is already on it and it’s a great ATS as well, with lots of very cool features, pretty much everything listed as well.

    One thing I do agree with is that a good database is by far your best resource if you work it well.


  8. I think Dave and Tom were expressing an idea a lot bigger than may seem at first glance: not if this post was (in effect) merely a planned or unplanned plug for Bullhorn, but really about the lines between blogging as a method of self-expression v. blogging as a commercial activity as general principle.

    In this instance, I think Lori was clearly focused on the notion of permission marketing; she wanted to express her approval of the concept and I think she honestly thought that plugging Bullhorn would be helpful because she thought that using Bullhorn could enable a recruiter to campaign in that style, which is basically correct.

    Now I don’t think it’s a random occurrence that Bullhorn was the plugee-
    I think it’s a testament to Bullhorn’s marketing.

    Before I go on here, I need to disclose that Bullhorn is a direct (very direct) competitor of mine and that we fight hammer and tongs on a monthly basis, so take that FWIW.

    Bullhorn has a habit of pretending that they invented the world, and since Lori is not an expert on ATS systems (obviously), she probably is not aware that there are dozens if not hundreds of other solutions that offer similar functionality. I don’t think she will make that assumption again.

    I’ll probably regret using this example (because they may change course) but every time we see Bullhorn’s main tagline

    ”Bullhorn is the staffing and recruiting industry’s only 100% Web-based, On Demand, integrated front office solution”

    we get a giggle because of its obvious black is white / up is down silliness.

    It’s basically a dishonest statement, but you can’t nail em for it because what the heck does “integrated” mean? It’s in the eye of the beholder. It has to mean more than the ability to opt-out of email campaigns……

    I’m guessing that Tom and Dave sprung on this particular thread because they are sharp guys and sensed that aspect of Bullhorn’s culture.

    Since I’m the self-styled (not fully as the Recruiting Animal gave me the handle) Beadle of the recruiting blogosphere, I would have done the same thing had I seen the thread. Jerry Albright does a similar thing at Recruitingblogs and there are lots of other people who will call bullshit when they see it.

    But in this case, I think Lori was clean.

    Now I could go on from here about how the term ATS is misused and misunderstood, but I’ll save that for some other day…maybe when Lori does her follow-up post on the “best” ATS, and we all know which one that would be!

    I will also add that deep CRM is a lot more involved than just spitting email- it involves the ability to relate dispirate bits of data to make a connection. One example: you are doing a search for DBA in Traverse City, MI that may involve a relo, and your system tells you that a DBA in Chicago is married to a guy who is from Traverse City. BOOM YOU HAVE AN ANGLE and sometimes that’s all it takes to start the ball down the lane…….

    Joe, please dont thank me for my contribution because I hate Bullhorn and everything you stand for*

    * to paraphrase the great Dr. Howard Dean

  9. Bullhorn is by far the worst ATS that I’ve used in my career I don’t even know where to start. The user interface is terrible both aesthetically and in terms of workflow. Everything is driven by notes and stage histories that are unrelated, I have to switch between 3 different areas to actually find out whats going on with my project and most of the time the system does a poor job of updating content properly. Essentially the whole thing is hard on the eyes and on the mind. It didn’t help that Bullhorn did a poor job of migrating things over (at ungodly hourly rate) since that wasn’t covered in the setup fee.

    Oh and don’t get me started on the email module, that thing would look subrate back in the 90’s. The search is absolutely pathetic. Oh and as if this system needed a cherry on top, it’s buggy as hell! I guess thats why it only works with Internet Explorer. Yeop thats right… Bullhorn is not cross browser compatible and it shows.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, I could write a novel about how much I hate Bullhorn. Bullhorn offers nothing but headaches and heartache.


  10. This software is slow and spread out all over the place. Like the other poster said, you have to go to three different areas to see the whole picture.

    And the search box is lame. So outdated. It is so limiting. The greatest thing is that I can’t work from home because I don’t have a PC. Haha! Luckily my work is to lame to buy me one!!

    You cannot even use it with Mozilla or Safari from a PC.

    I’m glad I didn’t buy it.

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