56% of people say that missing or incomplete CRM data is “seriously impairing” their ability to leverage their system effectively, according to the 2022 State of CRM Survey.  

While executive search leaders may add the most necessary information to reach candidates during a search process, missing something as basic as a personal email address or LinkedIn URL could make all the difference in nurturing relationships, especially initiating timely outreach. Missing more comprehensive information—like skills and career experiences—could cost you even more when you can’t find resurface contacts for a specific search later on.

Data Warning Signs

All of these micro-moments eventually add up to a big data problem within your talent database. You might already be feeling it if:

  • You have too many missing fields, so searching is inefficient 
  • You spend more time confirming existing data because you don’t trust what’s in there
  • You can’t measure your true efficiency because data management gets in the way

When teams encounter these scenarios frequently, it’s a good time to allocate resources to a data cleanup. If you plan to tackle this yourself, you’ll find concrete steps for how to approach this below (If not, learn how other teams are outsourcing this).

5 Ways to Ensure Clean Data 

  1. Audit existing data fields. Before you begin updating fields, audit existing data inputs and discuss as a team which ones are important, how you all define them, and how useful they are to everyone. If you have 20 fields enabled, and each field hypothetically takes two minutes to find the information and update, that’s a lot of time on one page. Scale down to the basics and decide which fields are critical to your operations. 
  2. Keep new data consistent. After you’ve established the fields you care about, establish protocols to import contact and company data in the same manner every time. For example, every contact added must have an email address or be connected to a company before hitting save. Train team members on the new procedures and hold them accountable until it becomes second nature. 
  3. Identify missing data. If you’re a Thrive user, you can leverage contact and company IQ dashboards to see the percentage of contacts with missing emails, resumes, skills, and a host of other inputs. The same goes for company data (reach out to your CSM to learn more). You can also export data as a .CSV file and filter for blanks across critical fields to get a total count of what’s missing. In addition to missing data, keep an eye out for duplicate records that need to be merged and typos that could also hinder searchability. 
  4. Make a plan to fill in missing data. With these numbers in hand, prioritize your team’s efforts by starting with the data that will have the biggest impact on day-to-day operations. Depending on capacity and data cleanup severity, you can carve out a plan for each individual team member to add a portion of missing data, assign it to someone full-time, or outsource the work to a third party. 
  5. Quantify improvements. Let’s face it, data work is boring. A way to keep the team motivated is by tracking your improvements over time. Provide updates, or empower your team to update you–this week, we reduced our missing email percentage by 12%. Come up with ways to celebrate the wins along the way and recognize good data stewards on your team.

No time for a data clean-up project?

Our Search Essentials team has you covered with efficient options to ensure the contact and company data you care about is always up-to-date. Learn more.

Advanced Search with Clean Data

This month, our team is rolling out two exciting features to expand your ability to surface contacts in Thrive, as part of our advanced search capabilities. 

  1. We’re giving you more precise search results with Boolean operators (AND, OR)
  2. We’ve made resume content keyword-searchable

That’s why the time for data cleanup is now. Because without it, you can’t take advantage of these efficiency boosters for talent search and rediscovery.

Use these tips to clean up your data and establish internal protocols so you can move with optimum speed and confidence moving forward. Reach out to our team for help getting your talent data clean enough to operate.