3 ways to save money and cut down on your hiring process costs

Last updated:
December 17, 2020
December 22, 2021
min read
Adrie Smith
Table of contents

Building teams is challenging, building them when your hiring process costs or budget are under scrutiny is even more difficult. The cost of your hiring process can easily become inflated as job boards are added to the standard advertising package and time-to-hire becomes longer with specialist roles in new places.

While sticking to the way things have always been done can seem like a fail-proof path, it can also be costing you valuable time and money. Processes that worked for you in the past may be outdated for your current talent acquisition strategy. Investments that seemed beneficial a couple years ago may no longer be yielding the right returns.

Fully auditing your own recruitment process and identifying potential savings is a great way of keeping your recruitment lean and fit for purpose. Here we will identify three easy areas to save money and time when it comes to your hiring process.

Identify your hiring process costs

Costs within the recruitment process can sneak up on you, especially as an organization’s team needs evolve and grow over time. As you audit the cost to hire, it’s important to identify both your direct and indirect costs.

The direct cost of your recruitment process can include:

  • Referral fees
  • External assessments
  • Background checks
  • External agency fees
  • Cost of general or specialist job boards
  • LinkedIn Premium or Recruiter accounts
  • Onboarding and training
  • Contract work to fill the position temporarily
  • ATS licensing fee

The direct financial costs of your recruitment process can quickly add up without even considering the indirect costs that may be incurred as a result of a slow or inefficient recruitment process. Hiring processes that experience lengthy time-to-fills, slow assessment periods, or delayed offers may generate hidden costs in:

  • Candidate dropouts
  • High employee churn
  • Poor hires
  • Time away from work
  • Poor team morale

Estimates on the real cost of individual hires range from €2,600 – €15,900 per individual hire. The price range is alarming and indicates an enormous disparity between recruitment processes in different companies and industries. Make sure to optimize your recruitment process and cut down on costs with the following three recommendations.

Predict your best acquisition channels

While many generalist job boards are free, in candidate-driven and specialist markets it’s likely that you’ll have to invest in paid job advertisements. Many employers invest in Monster, LinkedIn, Facebook, or promoted jobs elsewhere. Many companies jump the gun, purchasing access to as many job advertisement channels as possible. It’s hard to resist the temptation to make sure every single potential candidate sees your opportunity.

When it comes to cutting costs in your hiring process, it’s important to look closely at your advertising and job posting spend. Collect a comprehensive list of all of the channels you or your team use to advertise job openings. Make sure to sort and manage your channels by payment models and estimate total cost per year based on current usage:

  • Total service charge: one-off payment for a set service or plan.
  • Usage-based: pay-per-post.
  • Performance-based: pay-per-click / pay-per-application.
  • Resume sourcing: payment for access to a set number of resumes or to a resume bank.

Once you have a clear overview of total spend and cost per channel, you can delve into both the number and quality of candidates produced by each. This can be done by tagging candidates by channel/source in your applicant tracking system (ATS) to generate custom reports based on these tags. With a clear overview of both successful and unsuccessful candidates, you will have a better idea of which channels are worth their weight and which ones your hiring budget would be better off without. With this in mind, you will be able to predict you top performing candidate acquisition channels for the coming year if not longer.

Be careful about forgetting about one of your most powerful acquisition platforms: your careers site. 55% of candidates already have a relationship with their prospective employer and 76% will have researched you before applying. Considering this, the importance of employer branding becomes clear. You may even want to consider making your own website or careers page your top performing channel and turn it into an employer branding powerhouse.

Automate manual tasks

If you’ve not completely revamped your hiring process in the last five years, chances are you or your team are still spending a significant amount of time executing manual tasks. Time lost at any stage of the recruitment process quickly dominoes resulting in lengthy time-to-hires and ultimately lost candidates. Lost candidates directly drive up the cost of recruitment as companies opt for expensive outsourced solutions like contract workers to temporarily fill roles.

Here are a few manual tasks that can easily be automated:

  • Application alerts
  • Responses to candidate applications
  • Disqualification emails
  • Stripping candidate contact details from CV
  • Creating recruitment related tasks in your project management tool
  • Adding candidates to mailing lists
  • Sending assessments to candidates
  • Converting CVs and moving them to your CRM or ATS
  • Sharing candidate history and CV with hiring managers
  • Booking time in hiring managers’ schedules
  • Booking interview times with candidates

Automating a few of these tasks with your ATS will help your team spend more time on the human elements of the hiring process. As an added bonus, see if your ATS is able to integrate with any tools (Slack, Asana, Trello or MailChimp) you may already be using to avoid duplication or friction. This will help make your recruitment process even easier and more efficient.

Embrace collaborative hiring

As organizations grow, the communication lines between recruiters and hiring managers often become more distant and weaker. More emails are exchanged and meetings become harder to plan. This can generate misunderstandings when it comes to the role, ideal candidate, and various requirements. Without effective communication throughout the hiring process, delays are inevitable and the candidate experience will suffer. Assess the accuracy and success of your current job adverts by monitoring your postings per hire and look critically at your time-to-hire.

Collaborative hiring is a dynamic solution for any team suffering from poor communication. Collaborative hiring is when you engage more employees in the recruitment process, during introductions, interviews or assessments. More employees beyond the recruiter or hiring manager give the candidate a more cohesive vision of what it would be like to work in your organization and allows for multiple points of feedback on the candidate. Additionally, collaborative hiring can help prevent bias and encourage more inclusive hiring practices.

When implemented well, collaborative hiring can be an efficient addition to your hiring process.  Check if your ATS can provide an overview of the recruitment process to each user or employee involved. This oversight will allow for better communication between your team and shorten the feedback and communication lines between hiring managers and recruiters, saving you time and money.

Keeping your hiring process lean and fit for purpose doesn’t have to be a headache. There are a few easy ways to cut down on time wasted and money misspent. If you’re looking to save on your hiring process costs predict your best acquisition channels, automate your manual tasks and embrace collaborative hiring.

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