3 Must-Haves for your 2017 Recruitment Budget

Topics: employment branding, recruitment analytics, recruitment strategy, recruitment budgeting

Posted by Jennifer Henley on Sep 1, 2016 9:00:00 AM

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Let’s face the reality: when it comes to HR budgets, companies are increasingly in the position of having to do more with less. Budgets are thinner, and you have to be smarter in how to allocate your recruitment spend. This is the time of year when many HR professionals are budgeting for the next year and I’d like to give you some ideas on how best to approach the process.

So, where do you start?

Start by looking at the current year and your results. What has been working for you – and what has not? If you’ve had less-than-impressive results, what needs to change? The best approach is to have a discovery session to conduct a thorough review of past efforts, successes and/or anticipated needs in order to effectively allocate your annual budget.

Diversify your approach.

Once you’ve set the stage with a thorough review, the next most important factor to consider in creating and implementing your recruitment budget is flexibility. The days of dumping your entire budget in one or two media are long gone, and there’s good reason: it’s an ineffective, short-sighted tactic and no longer a sustainable approach to maximizing your recruitment budget. Don’t be afraid to try new things next year and make sure you are taking into account all options, not just those you are comfortable with from past years.

Most organizations budget by tactic – how much spend on job boards, how much on media, how much for online, etc. However, I suggest you take a step back and think in larger terms. We see that there are three key components in developing and deploying an effective recruitment budget – the 3 must-haves every company needs to consider when budgeting for 2017.

1. Brand/Creative

Without a strong, consistent brand, your efforts are half-hearted at best and a waste of money at worst. What makes your organization unique? Why should someone work for you versus your competitors? This is where your brand—and all related creative materials—must speak with conviction and honesty. It’s the first step on the road to your eventual goal: talent acquisition.

Make sure you appropriate some funds for employment branding. Whether you are starting from scratch or re-evaluating and refreshing a current employment brand, think of this as a key part of your budget. And consider how any changes can impact current assets such as your career site, collateral and recruiting toolkit, which could require additional funding to accomplish.

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2. Media Strategy Consulting

Whether you’re a retail, call center or hospitality employer hiring for high-volume, high-frequency positions, or a healthcare organization seeking hard-to-fill roles, your media spend will vary, yet the goal is the same. Your particular industry and its hiring needs require expert review, strategy development and implementation in order to develop and execute an effective recruitment budget. Why? Because it’s a fragmented landscape, and the audience and preferred media habits vary drastically, thereby dictating the types of media in which placement is most effective. 

If you know you will need assistance in building an effective and flexible strategy that will work throughout the coming year, build a line item in your budget for strategic consulting. We know from experience that our ability to assess and create strategies for clients ultimately saves money and is well worth the dollars you may spend for this consultative function.

3. Analytics

Strategies abound: pay-per-click, Facebook promoted posts, social media campaigns, e-blasts, online postings. Here’s the thing…unless you can track your results with unbiased analytics, how can you possibly determine and validate the effectiveness of your HR recruitment budget expenditure? How do you know if you need to readjust your strategy and try new solutions?

Budget for analytics, tracking and an experienced partner to help you understand and act on the results. You’ll find that you can pivot throughout the year to more effective tactics and shift your budget according to your successes, rather than create a static budget that you stick to, without truly knowing how it is performing. Your budget can then become a living and breathing thing, rather than set in stone. As needs and results change, you can react accordingly.

What are your priorities for 2017? If you’re not sure, the input of a trusted partner like NAS can be of tremendous help when creating your budget. If you’d like our assistance, contact us for more information.

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Jennifer Henley

Jennifer Henley is a trusted authority in recruitment solutions and consultative client services. She possesses the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM-CP designations, is a proud member of MAHCR, NAHCR and SHRM, and is a featured speaker at HR communications industry conferences and events nationwide.