4 ways to make your hiring budget stretch further
Businesses across the country are feeling COVID-19’s financial impact – especially when it comes to hiring. Many recruitment teams have had their budgets cut. While budget restrictions can be daunting, there are simple strategies that may help you find efficiencies in the way your business operates.

Hospitality was one of the industries hit hardest by COVID-19 and Jessica Amanoel, a senior people experience partner with hospitality company Merivale, says her team was able to refine its processes in light of the pandemic.

1. Assess your current costs

Having an accurate understanding of your fixed costs, such as salaries, recruitment tools, agency costs, events and technology allows you to evaluate and assess where you can find efficiencies.

“You really need to look at your short- to medium-term requirements,” Amanoel says. “I imagine that in three to six months things will change again, so you need to make sure that whatever decisions you made, they have a direct link to the commercial outcomes of your business.”

Budget tip: Review your current toolkit and costs. Evaluate what you currently outsource, as well as the spend on agencies and technology, and see what can be adjusted.

2. Look to your employees

Traditionally, Merivale would use an agency to help source talent for hard-to-fill-roles but due to budget constraints, the company has brought that in-house. “The only way I could make it work was by upskilling my team,” Amanoel says.

Merivale needed to recruit a front-end developer. Knowing that the demand for digital positions is very high at the moment, one of Amanoel’s recruiters spent time with Merivale’s CX (customer experience) programmers. “I wanted my recruiter to understand the ins and outs of the job, the challenges as well as the market movement on a day-to-day basis,” Amanoel says.

Amanoel says the experience of a staff member recruiting the role has been invaluable. “After taking the job to market, my recruiter can now identify talent she wouldn’t have been able to before,” Amanoel says. “She’s so confident and has got a whole new way of thinking about the role.”

Budget tip: Evaluate whether there are opportunities for employees to take on new tasks or upskill to play a role in recruitment.

3. Maximise hiring performance

Finding the right talent can be expensive. But knowing your expenditure as well as implementing consistent and accurate ROI tracking is crucial to making the most of your budget.

To work out how much you spend and where you could make savings, you’ll need to know your cost per hire. You can work this out by taking into account:

  • Job ad costs
  • Social media or social networking posts
  • Reviewing applications and pre-screening candidates
  • Interview preparation
  • Hiring costs (including interviews, reference checks, communicating with candidates to let them know the outcome)
  • Onboarding costs
  • Training costs
  • Salary

Budget tip: Evaluate your cost per hire and review each step of your hiring process to identify inefficiencies.

4. Reshape processes based on performance and budget

Amanoel notes that when talent acquisition managers or recruiters talk about ROI, it’s usually linked to retention, level of engagement or cost per hire. In the current climate, there’s another aspect to consider.

“You have to look at your decisions and how they link to the commercial outcomes of the business,” Amanoel says. “When we were recruiting for the front-end developer role, we set clear goals. For example, if the aim was for the website to increase the number of orders from 100 to 200, then the role ticks an important revenue goal for the business. It’s essential to work out what the role needs to deliver and link that to your budget.”

Budget tip: Consider attaching a commercial/revenue goal to tasks and evaluate progress regularly.

Facing complex decisions about how to maximise your budget can feel overwhelming, but implementing these strategies may help your team to work through this. Having a tighter budget could give you an opportunity to review and improve your existing hiring processes and spend, and present a chance to set your business up for improved success in the future.