Spending Your Recruitment Budget Wisely

Trish Young

November 10, 2021

    You’ve heard of the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” right? What if you applied this concept to your recruitment budget?

    As we start to emerge from the pandemic, it’s time to reevaluate your recruitment budget with the intention of scaling accordingly. So many things have changed over the past year and a half as the world struggled to adjust to post pandemic. Many businesses and organizations had to restructure or downsize, leaving teams stressed with too much work and not enough support.

    You might be in a hard spot still or feeling optimistic. Either way, taking a fresh look at the way you approach your recruitment budget will help you prepare for what’s to come.

    1. Expand your vision.

    2020 was a hard year for recruitment. That is likely an understatement for many of you readers. Costs were cut, layoffs made, and some spending halted entirely. Thankfully, some things are picking up now as companies and candidates alike are adjusting to the post-Covid economy (note: I do not like the term new normal. The faster we lose this from our vocabulary, the faster we get back to the old normal)”. You may still not be able to fully scale back up now, but that calls for a strategic approach to your recruitment budget. You’ll want to make sure you’re spending your money as wisely as possible. You can use data to make informed decisions around your hiring needs and your budget for the upcoming year.

    Pre-2020 (note: psychologically, we need to stop using these terms over and over and over – then we can get back to the old normal), you spent a lot of time cultivating relationships with partners, passive candidates, and external recruiters. Think about the ways you can continue to grow these relationships and use their valuable services while reassessing your recruitment budget. There’s no need to start over completely — you have strategies that have worked in the past, which can be modified to fit your needs now.

    Expand your approach to help scale your efforts to the new ways in which your recruitment needs have changed. Your approach needs to be based on performance, putting money aside for things that you know work. Which job ad campaigns need an extra boost, and which ones don’t require as much lift to find the right candidates? Some areas of your recruitment budget may need to be increased while others continue to be cut back. Maybe you need to spend the same amount but put the money into new channels. The goal is always to get your job in front of hard-to-reach candidates while employing the most efficient, cost-effective strategy.

    2. Place purposeful ads for the best return on investment.

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — your job description matters – a lot! Choosing to invest in online advertising for your jobs means investing in posts that will attract the right candidates. It’s not enough to just place an ad and hope it does well. Time and effort should be put into job ads that are an accurate reflection of the role that needs to be filled as well as your company itself.

    Job ads become a part of your employer branding and contribute to a candidate’s overall impression when considering if they should apply now or possibly in the future. Job titles are best when self-explanatory, without the need to guess what they might imply. You can even find lists of job titles and example job descriptions to use when drafting templates for your own. With the right description and title, your job ad will be found by the candidates who are searching for and match your criteria. Keep it simple to get the most important parts across. Details can be listed in the description itself, while the title should be short and sweet. If the position is fully or partly remote, you can include that in the title in parentheses.

    Did you know you can place an ad today with the help of our team to get your job in front of talented candidates across multiple niche job boards? Our team is happy to help you craft the best job title and description to get the attention of your ideal candidate.

    3. Be realistic.

    The goals you set last year, or the year before may not be realistic anymore, especially considering the change in perspective of many candidates over the pandemic. While you are trying to cut costs, remember that candidates now more than ever want to know what kind of company they’re working for, be compensated fairly, and expect quality benefits and support from an employer. Investing in long-term improvements to your company culture and employee experience will go a long way in reducing turnover and enticing new candidates to fill positions.

    If you are hiring for roles in many departments or industries, you’ll need to assess which one needs the most attention. The cost-per-hire (CPH) will vary depending on industry and the type of role. Chat with your marketing and hiring teams to compare notes on which kinds of roles need more of the budget allocated.

    Having multiple sources for candidates is just as important as recognizing your varying recruitment goals within your organization. If your goal is simply to fill many entry-level positions, your approach will be different than if you are seeking out a few more experienced candidates for more senior positions. Look at the volume of positions you’re hiring for, and then allocate your budget according to priority and difficulty. Varying your strategy to meet the needs of each role will ensure your budget is most effectively spent.

    4. Use accurate location tags on your postings.

    When placing your job ads, it’s extremely important to make sure you can set the location tag appropriately. This will allow it to be found in multiple searches, and candidates who are able to move to or already live in your desired location can apply. Whether you are posting a position internationally or keeping it local, set the location so that only the candidates who fit your needs will discover it on searching. If the position is remote, be sure to include that too! Be careful with abbreviations and city nicknames in your job description or location tag. Fix anything that might be confusing so that your ad is consistent.

    5. Keep a local perspective when setting your goals.

    A decreased budget can still be effective when used wisely. Part of reevaluating your budget is zoning in on the local hiring climate for your area and industry.

    The stats in a particular industry overall are still helpful, but when setting goals for your recruitment budget you’ll need to look locally to ensure you are taking account of trends and attitudes that closely affect you. The success of your job posting might be more connected to current events than to your own branding or recruitment efforts.

    Notice trends where candidates have been more active in seeking out and applying to positions. Certain keywords or locations might get your ad in front of the right people.

    It’s also good to remember that times are changing and your choice for your budget this quarter might not be the same next quarter. Be ready to adjust if things continue to fluctuate.

    6. Track your progress!

    After reevaluating your goals, you now have an idea of where you’ll be sourcing candidates what location settings to use, how to use a good job description to your advantage, and what to expect in candidate behavior based on local trends. You can adjust your budget according to these insights.

    As you move forward, track your progress and budget spending. Performance at industry, job, and campaign levels will help you know if you’re putting your budget money into the right channels, or if you need to reevaluate. Working with various partners and placing your jobs onto multiple niche boards will help you to compare performance across these outlets.

    Communicate on a regular basis with your team about these findings. Insights on job ads and industry trends can be shared with marketing, HR managers, and any teams that have open positions that need to be filled. This open flow of information will help everyone involved to keep a balanced perspective when implementing a recruitment budget.

    If everything is going according to plan, then make note of what is working too! You’ll want to be able to repeat your successes as often as possible.

    No matter what budget you’re working with, YM Careers Network can help your organization efficiently drive the highest quality applicants.

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