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3 Tips for a Better Recruiting Budget

A common misconception in recruiting is that budgets are created only once a year. While you might turn in a plan on a given day, the legwork that goes into budgeting is ongoing. And it touches all aspects of talent acquisition — from the people doing the work to the people you’ll eventually hire, as well as how the work gets done.  

The goal of your recruiting budget is to maximize your efforts while minimizing dollars spent. The outcome corresponds directly with your people, process and product and how well these things work together — so how can you budget more effectively all year long? 

Here are three tips to help you get started:

Determine your human needs 

Budget-wise, people represent a huge variable — both those you employ and those you’re looking to recruit. Before creating this line item, you need to make a few key decisions: How will you be hiring? How many hires will you need to make over the next 12 to 18 months? Will you rely solely on an internal team, or will you outsource to a staffing agency? If both, how will you divide that spend? 

These are big questions to answer; ultimately, they depend on the size of your company and your organizational objectives. You’ll also need to determine whether you have the right people in place on your existing team to help grow your workforce. 

For example, according to SHRM, most recruiters average 30 to 40 open requisitions at a given time. If you need to make 1,000 hires in the first half of the year but only half of your current recruiters can handle that size workload, it might be time to beef up your staff (another budgetary concern). 

Refine your recruiting process 

After you’ve determined your people landscape, it’s time to focus on your processes. That means figuring out what to stop, start and continue doing. Change is constant when people are your business, and it can be hard to analyze your processes when you’re steeped in them. 

Given the personal nature of work, it can also pay to bring in third-party support. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate and improve your processes without offending anyone. Otherwise, you run the risk of disenfranchising Tom when you dismantle his onboarding process or Jen when you overhaul her interviewing matrix. Factoring third-party help into your budget helps you stay optimized and up to date, without having to reallocate funds later to fix things. 

Whatever approach you choose, make sure you fully understand the inputs, outputs, throughputs and bottlenecks in each moment of your recruiting process — down to the micro-moments that make or break the candidate experience. This line of sight lets you think outside the box, reconfigure what needs immediate fixing and stay attuned moving forward. 

Reevaluate your technology 

When budgeting around your tech stack, remember that technology exists to help humans. If and when it stops helping, then it’s time to make a change. You’re not married to any one technology, despite what the contract might say. If there’s a solution on the market that is better and cheaper than what…

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