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6 Key Things To Consider During A Data Migration For Your Search Firm

Dane Stevens - May 9, 2023

When it comes to evaluating a new executive search software, there are many things to consider before you even get to a final decision. However, once you’ve short-listed the best options for your firm, it’s time to think about Data Migration. When most search firms arrive at this point, Data Migration means a simple import of their existing data from a series of spreadsheets (if you are a smaller firm) or just moving everything over from their legacy search software. 

What most firms don’t realize is that a Data Migration is a rare opportunity to clean-up, enrich, remove, and streamline your entire database of people, companies, deals, projects, tags, statuses and more. When it comes to data migration, Clockwork has done and seen it all. From migrating over a million candidate records, projects, notes and more from a search firm’s legacy search software, to helping an executive recruiter implement their very first search software, our expertise and experience in data migration runs across the entire spectrum. Below are a few things to seriously look at and consider when embarking on a Data Migration during a switch to a new executive search software.

New Search Software Should Run On Fresh Clean Data

Think of switching to a new executive search software as buying a new car, and your data as the engine that makes your new car run smoothly and efficiently. When you purchase a new car, you don’t move the old engine from your last vehicle to put on the new car. Your new car symbolizes a fresh start and a significant upgrade to the latest technology that your last vehicle didn’t have. The same is true of your search software. New search software should be fueled and run by the best version of your data. When embarking on a Data Migration to your new search software, look carefully at your existing data and identify any candidates, projects, people or even companies that have not been updated in years. Take it a step further and have your new search software partner run a data audit for various objects and assets within your existing database to get a 360 view of your data. What data points or fields, if any, are empty or missing critical details like email addresses, phone numbers, and LinkedIn profiles? If contacts are missing specific data, work with your search software to decide whether or not it's worth moving. Switching to a new search software will be transformative for your search business and process, and you should focus on bringing the most valuable and usable data with you

Streamline Knowledge Management To Eliminate Redundancies

When it comes to switching executive search software it's important to remember that Data Import and Data Migration are not the same. A Data Import will take everything (and we mean everything) from a legacy system and move it over to your new system. Chances are you’ve been using your legacy search software for quite some time, which means years of duplicate records and redundancies in statuses, tags, fields, and much more. When it comes to Data Migration, this is an opportunity for your firm to streamline your entire process. Work with your new search software provider to eliminate duplicate records and redundant tags, statuses, fields etc. Ask yourself if there is a way to combine some statuses or tags that have been created over the years to help reshape your process and support a more streamlined team effort. Instead of having multiple variations of the same tag such as: Fintech, fin_tech, tech-finance, fin-tech, Ftech, etc., merge all of these tags into one simple “FinTech” tag. The same is true for candidate and project statuses. Ask your new search software provider to review all of your statuses and identify any opportunities to remap or reconfigure potential duplicates or redundancies. Putting in the effort during a Data Migration, not only cleans up your search data but creates a new framework for how your team should be organizing, using and leveraging your data. 

Breakdown Siloes To Create A Single Source Of Truth 

Over the course of many years, search firms and individual team members will deviate and find new tools, platforms and software to add to their tech stack. While these additional tools help streamline your process, marketing, outreach, research, and sourcing efforts - the truth is all of that data and activity typically lives in various siloes across different teams and different platforms. This decentralization creates issues and breakdowns in the search process, communication, and data integrity. This is where a Data Migration presents the opportunity for your firm to reduce these external platforms and create the holy grail or what we call “A Single Source Of Truth For Your Firm”. Take a look at each of these individual platforms and determine if one platform’s data is richer and should override others or ask your search software if they can even merge data points from multiple sources. If some of your team members run their process using shared docs for finance or business development, ensure these are culled and appropriately reviewed for possible inclusion in a Data Migration.

Integrate Essential Search Tools To Add Value

If these external search tools your team uses have become an essential part of your search process and you are unable to part with them, ask your new search software provider if they can integrate. To create a Single Source Of Truth for your search firm, leverage integrations and an API (if available) to connect, retrieve, and share data and actions that occur across all of these platforms, and choose your new search software as the one central place where everything is documented. Consider what purpose each of these external tools serve in the search process and ask your new search software where it makes the most sense to action, report, pull, and visualize the data from an integration. This way everyone on your team is working with the most up-to-date information in one central place. The more centralized your search and people data is with a single source of truth, the more powerful and accurate your data becomes, and the more value you bring to clients and searches.  

Refresh and Update Your People and Company Data 

For the data and records that will move over during a Data Migration, now is the time to update and refresh all of it. Build more complete and richer profiles for people and companies by working with your new search software provider to see if they provide data enrichment services or can recommend a trusted data partner that they work closely with and knows their platform. In some cases, search firms choose to enrich their entire people and company database, while others choose to focus on specific target companies, talent pools or a handful of lists for sources or business development. When going through a Data Migration process you have the opportunity to not just start fresh with new search software, but completely revitalize your data at the same time. 

Choose and Communicate A Launch Date

One of the biggest challenges search firms face in Data Migrations is legacy team members not knowing when a migration is happening which results in team members working in two separate database systems, after all the data has been migrated. For quality and data integrity purposes, choose and communicate a specific date to your team where they will no longer be able to access or use the legacy search software system. This date will likely be very close to the date that your Data Migration is completed, as any work done in your legacy search software will not move over after your data has been acquired and migrated. 

Blog Image Data Migration Worksheet copy

To ensure you have asked all the necessary questions and have a clear understanding of timelines and expectations use this Data Migration Worksheet. Whether you are making the switch to Clockwork or some other executive search software, these are the key things you need to keep in mind to ask your new search software provider before going through this transition. If you are thinking about switching your executive search software and have any questions about this process, please get in touch with us.

Topics: Executive Recruiter- Executive Search Software- Best Practices

Dane Stevens

Dane Stevens

Account Executive

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