One of our big focuses coming into 2017 was customer relationship management, better known as CRM. Our agile development team has really started to sink its teeth into this functionality, and we are very excited to soon offer the first CRM that will work for locum tenens agencies right out of the box.
Bob Shumard and I were handling national account management at a large public staffing firm before founding LocumsMart. The tools available to us for tracking communications with customers and providers did some things well, but they were extremely limited overall. For example, the software could only be accessed when you were physically in the office, or via a VPN connection.
Since then, web-based CRM systems have become more popular, but they are primarily designed for sales-based operations, not recruitment. The software that is designed for recruitment tends to have the features you need for tracking providers and doing recruitment, but it’s designed around the fact that you’re recruiting them into your organization. That’s not how the locums industry works, of course. As a locums recruiter, you need to recruit candidates, but not for your organization. Rather, you intend to first track candidates’ progress through your internal recruitment process, then present them to another organization, which will then need to follow its own internal evaluation process before a deal can be made. So to meet your software needs, you are forced to either go with an out-of-the-box CRM system, which is not designed for recruitment organizations, or you can go with an applicant-tracking system (or ATS), which is designed for recruitment organizations but isn’t designed to help you track your interactions with the client/customer. There’s a major gap that has to be filled either way. Most locum tenens staffing vendors are going with CRM systems and then spending a lot of time and money customizing the base software product to make it fit their internal workflow processes. In the end, after all the time and money invested, the customized system works but still isn’t ideal.
LocumsMart is very excited to offer an alternative. Like our core VMS product—which is still the only VMS or MSP software specifically designed with the locum tenens industry in mind—we are also uniquely positioned to deliver CRM and ATS functionalities that are specific to the needs of locums companies. Locum tenens recruitment is a unique business model. You need to recruit people from the outside, then present them up the chain to the client, and track all the communication on both the provider and client sides of the process. Because of our role interacting on a regular basis with more than 60 locums agencies, LocumsMart spends a lot of time talking to recruiters who are frustrated with their software tools. As a result, we have a particularly strong grasp of what tools are needed to solve the specific business problems faced by locum tenens organizations. The LocumsMart agile team is working hard to deliver a solution that will meet the needs of locums agencies straight out of the box, without the need to spend a lot of time and money doing customization. We’ll reveal more details as we get closer to release, but the marriage of VMS, MSP, CRM, and ATS functionalities into a single web-based software system is a game-changer, and we are really excited to bring this solution to the market in the coming months.