Talent Relationship Management (TRM) has a huge influence on the number of high quality candidates you are able to present to clients.

Actively managing relationships with talent allows you to strengthen candidate relationships over time, increasing the likelihood that they will engage in a job opportunity and become a successful placement.

To better understand Talent Relationship Management (TRM), it’s helpful to think about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and the best practices for building strong relationships with customers.

Just like CRM tools help you build, grow and capitalize on value-driven relationships with leads, TRM tools help you to build, grow and capitalize on value-driven relationships with candidate contacts.

What is TRM?

Before we go any further, here’s our definition of Talent Relationship Management:

Talent Relationship Management:

  1. The practice of managing relationships with talented individuals with the goal of forming a strong, value-driven relationship that leads to their conversion into a hire.
  2. A candidate management/sourcing tool designed for talent relationship management through supporting, enhancing or automating actions key to building and managing relationships with talented individuals.

As you can see, TRM is both a strategy for creating more candidate relationships that convert into hires and a tool that supports this strategy with sourcing and communication management tools.

CRM works because better lead/customer relationships lead to more sales.

TRM works because better contact/candidate relationships lead to more hires.


While both TRM and ATS tools act as a centralized database for candidate information, there are some key differences between the two technology types.

Applicant Tracking Systems

  • Act as a central database for resumes, applications and candidate info.
  • Automate basic hiring process tasks like job posting, resume screening, contacting candidates, candidate skill tests and interview scheduling.

Talent Relationship Management Platforms

  • Act as a central database for resumes, applications, candidate info and more complex information like candidate activity and communications with candidates.
  • Automate basic hiring process tasks like job posting, resume screening, contacting candidates, candidate skill tests, interview scheduling.
  • Automate complex processes like resume parsing, utility reporting, social media integration, mobile application management.
  • Improve candidate experiences with your company and strengthen your employer brand through these positive experiences.
  • Improve collaboration with team members to more effectively communicate with candidates from a centralized platform.
  • Have tools for nurturing candidate relationships pre and post hire.

To sum it up, TRM is like an ATS that has been optimized for starting, building and managing candidate relationships instead of just tracking candidates as they move through your company’s interview process.

Managing Relationships with Talent

TRM tools help you manage relationships with talent, but you still need to put your best foot forward with candidates and use candidate communication best practices.

It can take a long time to build trust with candidates, especially executives, and your focus should be on nurturing and strengthening candidate relationships over time, not badgering contacts to fulfill your current contract.

By playing the long game, candidate relationships become stronger and you become a trusted source of information instead of just another recruiter.

Then, when an opportunity arises that’s great for one of your contacts, you can use this strong bond to engage them in the opportunity and make a top-tier hire for your client.

TRM platforms give you the tools to build these long-term candidate relationships, but these best practices are still required for effectively managing and nurturing talent relationships.


  • Be polite and friendly.
  • Listen to candidate desires and learn what the candidate is looking for in their career and in their next job.
  • Show candidates that you have their career in mind, not the job you need to fill.
  • Provide value to candidates through your communications.
  • Keep tabs on candidates for opportunities to reach out (a new job, a move, a positive life event, etc.
  • Focus on creating candidate relationships that go past a single placement opportunity.


  • Try to sell a candidate on a job that isn’t right for them or their career goals.
  • Fall out of touch with candidates.
  • Forget that you are building a relationship for the long term, not a quick placement.

TRM and Executive Recruiting

Talent relationship management has always been essential for executive recruiting, even before there were TRM tools to assist in managing talent relationships.

Executives have worked hard to get to their current role, and getting an executive candidate engaged in a job opportunity can be challenging unless you have excellent rapport with them and an excellent understanding of their career goals.

Executive career transitions can involve a large number of moving parts and, as you may have experienced, can involve competition between many well funded companies.

TRM is essential for executive recruiting because:

  • Executives stay in positions for longer than other leaders (5.3 year average for a C-Level), which requires consistent communication over a long period.
  • Executives have more focused careers than other professionals, which makes their requirements for acceptable opportunities much more specific than other candidates.
  • Executives have less time than other candidates, which makes their tolerance for bad communication practices much less than other candidates.
  • Executives have high-profile careers and executives with strong reputations may be approached by dozens of recruiters representing prestigious companies.

Because of these challenges, managing relationships with executives over a sometimes extended period is essential for converting contacts into successful placements.

Talent Relationship Management with Loxo

Loxo was built to give recruiters an all-in-one platform for building and managing candidate relationships.

Loxo’s suite of marketing automation tools help you nurture and engage passive talent by personalizing and automating your outreach, letting you to cut through the clutter and connect with people who matter.

By automatically sourcing candidates and populating their profiles, Loxo frees you up to focus on building the strength of talent relationships and providing a better candidate experience than your competition.

From the very start of a new talent connection, Loxo gives you the tools needed to create connections with talented candidates and keep them up to date on opportunities that are right for their career. This way, when the time and opportunity is right, all you have to do is give them a call.