This is a two-part series discussing the best ways to reduce recruitment costs. This is part two. Part one is here.
In the first of this two-part series on the best ways to reduce recruitment costs, we looked at ways HR professionals can increase staff retention and improve the hiring process.
We suggested numerous ways HR professionals can make impactful changes, from introducing flexible working policies to implementing automated resume acknowledgement messages.
Now, let’s look at the next three ways you can reduce recruitment costs. A great way to reduce your costs is by using free recruiting systems. Recruiteze is the market’s number one choice. Contact us today to find out why.
3 (More) Ways to Reduce Recruitment Costs
1 – Increase Direct Hires
As an HR professional, it’s likely that one of your largest recruitment costs is your spend with external agencies. External recruitment agencies can be absolutely amazing, but many of us are too reliant on them and can see costs spiral as a result. With many agencies charging fees of up to 20% of first year salary, increasing direct hires is an obvious way to reduce recruitment costs.
Which all sounds very obvious, I know. In practice though, it’s certainly easier said than done. If you’re short on ideas, here are some ways you can start to increase your direct hires!
Job seekers’ increased use of social media is well publicised, which makes social media a fertile ground to reach and influence your candidates. The fact is, if you’re not active on social media yet, you really, seriously need to be. This is without a doubt a valid place to be investing your recruitment budget, and can result in 50% reduction of recruitment costs!
If you’re not already engaged in a proactive email marketing campaign, this can be a valuable way to increase your direct hires. The cost of buying in lists will generally be significantly less than your agency spend and if you target the right lists you can see a fantastic return on investment.
Better Job Adverts
The simple fact is this: if your job adverts aren’t doing you justice, you’re missing out on direct candidates. Invest a little more time and effort (or money into hiring a copywriter) and you’ll make sure your marketing materials are working as hard as they can for you. It’s about assessing why agencies are able to find candidates if you can’t – it’s rarely that they have anything you don’t have. It’s more than they put emphasis on the right things, and exceptional job descriptions tend to be one of them.
Referrals are one of the highest quality and lowest cost sources of hire – are you maximising it? If you haven’t already, seriously consider developing an internal and external referral incentive program, and marketing it proactively. Increasing your referrals can be as simple as instructing each recruitment team member to ask disinterested potential candidates if they know anyone. You can keep track of these referrals within your recruiting systems.
2 – Build Your Employer Brand
We’ve written before about building your employer brand, and that’s because it’s an absolutely critical part of your recruitment strategy. Many companies get stuck in the rut of short term hiring strategies, particularly if their intake needs are high. That’s a mistake. Short-term campaigns can be marvellous, but they should always be complimented by a long-term strategy to build your employer brand.
Bluntly, the stronger your employer brand is, the less hard you have to work to attract candidates, the more brand-aligned the candidates you’ll attract (seeing your retention increase) and the more you’ll reduce recruitment costs. Imagine – a world where candidates come to you, instead of you having to go to them…
Secure Senior Buy-In
You’re going to struggle to implement what you need to unless you have serious senior buy-in. Work with your leadership team to ensure you’re all on the same page, and you might find you can get budget when and where you need it.
Develop your Proposition
It can be difficult to know where to start, if your aim is to improve your employer brand. Go back to the very beginning, and nail down your proposition. Go to market and research what other people think your brand is.
This is the foundation, if you haven’t got this right none of your marketing materials will feel authentic. And authenticity is key: who you are isn’t as important as knowing who you are.
Embrace Content Marketing
Content marketing is the most important thing your business can be doing, both from a recruitment and a commercial perspective. Build your employer brand, increase your reach and improve your visibility – it’s a no brainer. You should 100% be investing in content marketing as a recruitment tool if you want to reduce recruitment costs.
Think Multi-Channel Hub
We live in an increasingly multi-touch, multi-channel environment. While the consumer industry has been quick to pick up on this, recruitment lags behind. If you want to build your employer brand, it’s not enough to target one channel.
Map your customer journey through every touch-point and think about the collateral they engage with at each stage. If every stage isn’t consistent and on-brand, the online experience you are creating lacks power and effectiveness as a recruitment tool.
3 – Hire More Freelance Talent
This might seem like a strange suggestion in an article suggesting ways to reduce recruitment costs. After all, freelance talent is traditionally seen as a major expense next to permanent talent – the rates they command are certainly higher. Hiring permanent staff can seem like a no-brainer when you put it like that: why pay someone more to do exactly the same job?
Except, that’s not quite the full story. The major advantage of freelance talent is that you can hire flexibility, on a need-only basis. Freelancers have a major role to play helping to reduce recruitment costs for that reason, because this flexibility allows you to better weather the storms of economic change.
We don’t live in an era of market stability, so having access to talent that allows you to reign in costs when needed is valuable. Rather than setting yourself up to endure potentially costly redundancies, freelance talent can ‘plug a gap’ when you need them, without draining your resources when you don’t.
Here are some ways to ensure freelancing works well for your business.
Inclusion is Key
One of the major objections to hiring more freelance talent is that they sit ‘outside’ the business and aren’t privy to the same information; subject to the same roles. While freelancers are allowed to be company ‘cowboys’ the relationship is unlikely to work as well as it could.
Instead, companies should be aiming to integrate and include freelance talent as much as possible. This will earn loyalty and go a way to ensuring a better standard of work, while ensuring streamlined workflows between freelance and permanent employees.
Consider setting up virtual meetings and include freelancers in any company or team progress meetings if you’d expect their permanent counterparts to attend.
It’s also critical to embed them in your culture. Where possible, inviting freelancers to spend time on site or attend a company induction of sorts can go a long way. Likewise, including invitations to team drinks, annual parties and the like. Your freelancers are, and should feel, like part of the team if you want to get the best out of them.
Assign a Manager
Assigning your freelancers a clear manager will increase accountability, which is vital if you want to drive optimum performance. One of the reasons you might not be getting the best out of your freelance talent is that they feel they stand somewhat outside the normal structures.
By assigning a manager and giving clear positive and negative feedback, you’re setting up a system of accountability. Freelancers are unlikely to give their best work if they never receive praise for doing so, and unlikely to fear turning in shoddy work if they don’t feel accountable. Build that link.
Improve Communication & Transparency
The success of your freelance relationships will depend on the ability to return to good freelancers time and again. Just as you wouldn’t hire a freelance who had let you down when you first worked with them, a freelancer isn’t going to prioritise you for no reason. Treat your freelance talent with respect, not like talent on tap.
Aim to build a long-term relationship, and build in as much transparency as possible. Popping across an email every few weeks and letting your freelancers know how things are going can count for a lot, even if you don’t have work for them. Think of it as a simple progress report, updating them on when you think you might need them (if at all) and reassuring them that you’ll be staying in touch. Treat your freelancers well, and they’ll be much more likely to treat you well. It’s common courtesy, but it also makes good business sense.
From reducing churn to improve hiring process, from leveraging freelance talent to cementing your employer brand, there are many ways you can reduce recruitment costs. It sounds deceptively simple and the reality is often much more challenging, but nonetheless businesses are rarely taking all the steps they could be to reduce recruitment costs… despite cost reduction almost always being a stated priority. It’s time to demystify the process and take action!
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