Recruitment Blog

Preparing for data migration: 5 best practices for cleaning your candidate data

Sarah Linney
Content Marketing Manager at JobAdder
data hygiene

Preparing for data migration can be a large undertaking for any recruitment agency. However, cleansing your recruitment database can make the process much easier.

Discuss how cleansing your recruitment database is a great way to improve the candidate experience, streamline the recruitment process, get accurate reports and forecasts on recruitment activity and make data migration much easier if you plan on switching platforms.

Throughout this article, we’ll discuss best practices for cleansing your recruitment data, the most important data to keep in your recruitment CRM and how a clean database can positively influence the recruitment process.

What data should you remove during a cleanse, and what is important to keep?

Recruitment agencies and staffing agencies likely have heaps of older data in their CRM based on outdated candidate information, inactive candidate profiles and more.

When completing a data cleanse, it’s important that recruiters and recruitment operations managers don’t remove important data that can be used down the line.

Here are a few quick recommendations to get you started:

Removing records that are more than three years old

Search for records based on their creation or last updated dates and identify those that exceed the three-year threshold.

Excluding records that are missing an email address, phone number, and current/previous job title

Filter the database based on the presence or absence of these crucial contact and professional details and remove records that don’t meet these essential requirements.

Eliminating records based on locations not within your recruitment scope

Conduct a search or apply location filters to identify records that are outside your designated recruitment areas and remove them from the database.

Removing records with job titles outside of the job families you recruit for

Filter the records based on job titles and compare them against the predefined job families you typically recruit for. Remove the records that don’t align with your target job families or groups.

Consider removing candidate records that don’t meet other minimum application standards, such as missing a resume, CV or LinkedIn profile

Identify records that lack the required components by applying filters or search criteria based on application standards. Remove these records from your database.

Maintaining a pristine recruitment database ensures reliable information and empowers agencies to make data-driven recruitment choices grounded in reliable candidate profiles, qualifications and experiences.

5 best practices for cleansing and managing recruitment data before a migration

To harness the power of your recruitment data, you must ensure it’s current, relevant and clean. Here are five practices that can make the cleansing process more efficient before migration to a new CRM:

1. Select a few mandatory fields

Selecting a few mandatory fields within your recruitment database software is crucial for maintaining order amidst the influx of information. By designating specific fields as ‘non-negotiable,’ such as candidate names, contact details, qualifications, and work experience, recruiters ensure essential information is consistently captured.

These priority fields not only reduce the risk of missing crucial candidate details but also serve as the foundation for advanced analytics, facilitating nuanced candidate assessment and matching. Integrating them with AI-driven insights further refines the recruitment process, helping hiring managers discover the best candidates and streamline onboarding, ultimately saving valuable time.

Streamlining data capture by prioritising these key fields ensures that vital data points are readily available at every stage of a candidate’s lifecycle. This not only simplifies data migration but also enhances the overall efficiency of the recruitment management system, allowing for less time spent on tasks like scheduling interviews and sourcing candidates. Choosing the right recruitment database with appropriate pricing and robust functionalities, including integration with career pages, empowers recruiters to optimise their processes for maximum effectiveness.

2. Close outdated job postings

Closing outdated job postings is essential to avoid cluttering your CRM with obsolete information and unnecessary hiring data. By promptly identifying and shutting down expired or dormant postings, recruiters can maintain a laser-focused approach to active job openings. This not only streamlines recruitment solutions but also optimises workflows, emphasising engagement with the best candidates.

Removing outdated job postings not only improves the candidate experience by presenting them with only the most relevant and current openings but also builds trust in the recruiting agency. This increased credibility boosts candidate engagement and conversion rates, while recruiters save valuable time by avoiding the sorting of irrelevant applications from outdated postings.

3. Figure out what data your team would like to keep

Each recruitment team may work a little differently, in that they find different data points and hiring metrics valuable when identifying the right candidate for a role.

Identify the specific data points within your Applicant Tracking System that are most crucial for assisting the team in identifying and evaluating top talent.

This ensures an all-in-one solution that focuses on the metrics and information needed to attract and retain qualified candidates.

Additionally, understanding what data is most valuable allows you to build and maintain a talent pool that aligns with your team’s requirements.

4. Use data enrichment and automation

Data enrichment is an important part of the cleansing and management of candidate data. 

Not only can data enrichment and automation help streamline workflows, but they also enhance the quality and completeness of candidate data in your applicant tracking software.

Recruiters should implement automation tools within their recruitment database to automatically clean and update candidate data. Automation streamlines the process, saves time and ensures consistent data hygiene practices across your database.

Additionally, selecting an applicant tracking software with built-in data enrichment and automation capabilities can make this process significantly easier.

5. Remove duplicate data entries

Duplicate entries are a significant challenge for recruitment operations professionals, congesting the CRM and complicating the evaluation process. It’s crucial to rigorously comb through candidate data in the recruitment database to spot and eliminate these duplicates. 

Removing these entries ensures precise data and facilitates a smooth data migration while creating a single source of truth for candidate information, eliminating redundancy, and improving data consistency. The quality of data in a recruitment database is akin to the foundation of a building, directly impacting the effectiveness of hiring decisions.

How quality data helps improve the hiring process

A clean CRM or recruitment database provides recruiters with accurate and up-to-date candidate information, enabling them to make informed decisions quickly and efficiently.

With reliable data at your fingertips, recruiters can assess candidate qualifications, skills and experience more effectively, streamlining the hiring process.

Additionally, recruiters can focus on sourcing and engaging with the best candidates rather than getting bogged down by manual data management tasks, leading to improved productivity and better outcomes.

With a clean data system, recruiters can effectively manage their talent pool, easily identifying and engaging with top candidates, nurturing relationships and tracking candidate interactions, allowing for proactive recruitment and talent pipeline management.

Frequently Asked Questions

What data is the most important to keep, and what can we get rid of?

It’s crucial to retain key information such as candidate profiles, job placements, and data-drive metrics. Redundant or outdated data, such as old templates, irrelevant spreadsheets or social media profiles, can be safely eliminated to enhance data hygiene.

What platforms should I be using to find candidates?

Utilising platforms like job boards, LinkedIn, and social media is essential for discovering both active and passive candidates. Recruitment marketing software solutions with real-time analytics and API functionality can significantly enhance the efficiency of talent acquisition efforts.

Will an applicant tracking system help with data hygiene?

Yes, an applicant tracking system assists HR managers and staffing professionals in maintaining data hygiene. Its key features, including resume parsing, end-to-end recruitment management, and dashboards, contribute to streamlined processes, ensuring accurate and up-to-date candidate information.

How often should organisations perform data cleaning for candidate records?

Organisations should ideally perform data cleaning regularly as part of their data-driven approach. This frequency ensures that candidate records remain accurate, reducing time to hire and improving overall efficiency in recruitment and human resources management.

Streamline the hiring process with JobAdder as your recruitment partner

A meticulously maintained database isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity for recruitment agencies aiming to stay a cut above the rest. 

A clean and organised database can transform any recruitment agency, revolutionising operations by streamlining data collection, management and filtering. 

Yet, while understanding the significance of data hygiene is crucial, possessing the right tools to implement it is equally vital. Enter JobAdder. 

With our Recruitment CRM and Applicant Tracking Software, recruiters can centralise all recruitment data and communications, using our platform as a single source of truth throughout the recruitment process. 



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