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Talent acquisition

How to optimize a recruitment budget: 5 actionable tips

December 29, 2020

At first, I wanted to share my insights on how to decrease your recruitment budget. Then, I realized that a budget is estimated and established once a year, and unspent money simply gets lost. I’d rather talk about optimization –…

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At first, I wanted to share my insights on how to decrease your recruitment budget. Then, I realized that a budget is estimated and established once a year, and unspent money simply gets lost. I’d rather talk about optimization – how to make the most of your recruitment budget!

Every department of the company that requires a budget needs to sum up the spendings and evaluate effectiveness. Check out five tips on allocating your budget to deliver the best possible results to your organization.

#1 Measure your actions

To make the most of your budget, you need to track what works and what doesn’t. To evaluate your performance, you need to measure your recruitment processes, analyze the reports, and conclude for the future.

Worth remembering:

  • thoroughly monitor which publications bring the most valuable and suitable applications. Resign from the placements that you find not resultful enough and invest more in sources that convert the best;
  • while publishing job posts on social media, link to your Career Page instead of linking to other websites. That way, you can measure which social network drives the most traffic to your job posts;
  • when you reject candidates, add a reason for the rejection. If you notice many rejections caused by unsuitable candidates from one source – it’s time to stop wasting your time, energy, and money on publishing your ads there.

#2 Quality over quantity when optimizing a recruitment budget

Recruiters and Hiring Managers will probably agree with me – it’s better to have fewer applications, but more suitable for the given position. It’s a conversion, not the number of applications, that really matters. Fewer candidates mean less work on preselection (reading CVs is extremely time-consuming) and giving feedback to the candidates. Thanks to limiting the number of applications, you can run the hiring process faster – it’s a win-win for everyone involved in recruitment.

That’s why, instead of publishing your job posts everywhere, choose the placement wisely. Don’t spend your budget on the most popular websites that will bring you hundreds of unsuitable applications. Invest in a few smaller platforms that are well-targeted and correspond with your niche. Actually, there are plenty of platforms, such as Blue Collar Jobs and Careermine. You just need to look for them!

#3 Build your own talent pool

Don’t start every recruitment process from scratch. Go through your candidate base and expand your talent pool every day. Candidates you’ve already contacted and built relationships with most likely won’t ghost you. Most importantly, you already have their data and CVs; you’re familiar with their talents and experience, as well as expectations and aspirations. They don’t have to apply, which makes the whole process simpler and faster. Finally, it doesn’t cost you anything to acquire them – just a bit of time.

Don’t forget about spontaneous applications and allow people to add their CVs to your talent pool anytime directly on your Career Page. Moreover, use sourcing – don’t wait up for people to apply, but reach passive candidates and encourage them to participate in the recruitment process.

It’s essential to collect content for contacting in case of future recruitments. It’s a great way to expand your possibilities for the next hirings.

#4 Start your recommendations program to optimize the recruitment budget

Recommendations can be one of the most valuable sources of application. Of course, you need to spend money on hiring rewards (it differs depending on the industry and level of expertise). On the other hand, when we look at the cost of the whole recruitment process, including the time and effort of the recruitment team, job post publishing fee, the meetings, language, and tech tests, as well as the risk of choosing the unsuitable employee – the cost we’ve seen as high may seem profitable at the end. Moreover, the risk of hiring the wrong person decreases.

Why? Recommended employees are aware that someone suggested them for this position, and they don’t want to disappoint their acquaintances. Probably, they can be more devoted to the job. And when it comes to employees that recommend candidates also feel responsible for the outcome of the cooperation. They wouldn’t let anyone incompetent to join the team.

For our HR Book, I researched 30 thousand applications for warehouse workers, and a recommendation was a source of 40% applications. For administration employees, this number was even higher.

#5 Make the most of Career Page

Once you’ve invested in creating your Career Page – take care of it properly so that you won’t waste your recruitment budget on it. How?

  • link to your Career Page in the well visible place at your company’s website. If you don’t have an opportunity to suggest where the button should be, maybe you can create an independent website for recruitment and employer branding purposes. A great example can be the Heineken Go Places website;
  • integrate your applicant tracking system (ATS) with job search aggregators, such as Indeed and Adzuna. You can publish your job ads there for free and interested candidates can check out your Career Page directly;
  • add the link to your Career Page in your email footnote and encourage your team to do the same;
  • share your Career Page on social media, including Facebook and LinkedIn groups for potential candidates.

Invest in your employer branding. Conversion from the Career Page can be higher because applications that come from that source aren’t random. The candidates can take a look at your company website, check out values and mission statements so that their decision can be more thought-out.

If you’re not sure if you optimize your recruitment budget correctly, you can compare costs and results. Analyze your cost to hire and come to the conclusion which costs are inadequate to effects. It’s as simple as that 🙂