Association Management Systems: The Key to Recruitment

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Associations are typically made up of highly invested professionals in their field. While members already have a depth of knowledge about their industry, they’re taking the initiative to learn even more and connect with others who are just as passionate.

When recruiters and association leadership form relationships, both groups benefit. Associations can show that they are connected within the industry and help members advance in their careers, leading to growth in their membership base. Likewise, recruiters can easily find the top individuals in the field to build a more robust talent pool .

Association management systems are essential tools in facilitating these connections. To help you get started, we’ll examine three reasons why a technology-driven strategy can maximize your recruitment efforts.

1. Associations Have Knowledgeable, Skilled Members Who Want to Network

Regarding recruiting from associations, recruiters can connect with individual members or contact associations directly. While the first option can help you get your foot in the door with the association, the second is often more sustainable long term. Each association may have a different process for getting in touch with the right leaders, so do your research and prepare in advance for your meetings with them.

If you successfully make the case to an association that your recruitment efforts would provide value to members, you could start connecting with those members through several wide-reaching methods depending on the organization’s preferences, such as:

  • Send out information about open positions  through association messaging channels. These may include email newsletters, social media, and message boards.
  • Contribute guest posts to the association’s blog. Long-form articles provide a space to educate members more in-depth about your job openings.
  • Attend networking events and conferences. These gatherings provide opportunities to discuss positions directly with members and exchange contact information.

By contacting the association directly, you may get access to a key association database: the membership directory . This tool can help you reach out to any member you think would be a good fit for your positions as you review your notes after events and evaluate your messaging strategies’ success. You may also discover members in the directory interested in learning about your job postings.

2. Associations Can Add Value to Their Membership Offerings 

Members often join associations to connect with like-minded individuals and leaders in their fields and to further their careers. As a result, associations may be interested in adding recruitment partnerships to provide more value to their members. The more value that can be added to a membership package, the easier associations can retain and acquire new members.

Associations also look for innovative ways to engage members , which they often accomplish by using the features of their association management system. For example, as a recruiter, you can work with the association to:

  • Send surveys to members about their career plans and interest in hearing about new opportunities.
  • Host virtual Q&A sessions about the hiring process and job openings.
  • Tailor your email communicationsto existing member segments within the database.

The association you work with also has unique insights gained from analyzing data from their management system. For instance, data related to online course completion may indicate what areas of the industry members are most interested in, leading you to promote job openings that relate to those topics or disciplines. These insights can make an analytical recruitment strategy  even more robust.

3. When Recruiters Help Members Succeed, Associations Flourish

Forming connections between recruiters and associations can also help both groups to improve their image and position overall. This happens when association members have increased opportunities to advance their careers and grow professionally because of the recruitment benefits that the organization provides to them. Members will then become more dedicated to the association and may be more inclined to take advantage of additional technology-driven opportunities, including:

  • Improving additional professional skills. Getting a new job or learning about the possibility of one can prompt members to attend a conference session or take a course through the association’s learning management system to sharpen a skill that the new job requires.
  • Taking on leadership roles  within the association. When members feel empowered due to advancements in their careers, they may consider leadership opportunities as a way to give back to the association. If the organization has formed committees or communities within the association management system, these members could lead them.
  • Becoming an organizational ambassador.They can encourage individuals they’ve met through hiring to join the association and expand their networks.

These individuals can also help further your recruitment efforts within the organization. In addition, speaking to other members at conferences and posting on the association’s message boards can provide a firsthand perspective on the recruitment process and encourage others to do the same.

As a recruiter, connecting with professional associations provides lasting benefits to you, the association, and its members. The various features of association management systems, such as directories, reporting capabilities, and communication tools, facilitate interactions to make this recruitment strategy effective.

Plus, through your interactions with the association and its members, you can learn more about the industry you’re recruiting for to make more informed decisions in the future. If you’re interested in finding recruiters who can leverage these management systems, contact us today


Erin Lemons is the Senior Director of Marketing at Fonteva.

By Erin Lemons