Every organization has its challenges, but recruiting shouldn’t be one of them. And it doesn’t have to be. As managers and HR professionals, it may seem impossible to plan for the future — what happens when the head of a department decides to leave? Questions like this have no easy answer, and often times the stress and complications of finding that “perfect fit” make your process difficult. Especially considering that over 90% of HR pros believe that identifying candidates is the greatest challenge in the recruitment process.

“Attracting, managing and securing top talent has become a difficult task for small businesses; however, it is one of the most critical pieces of the business and one that is vital to long-term business success,” — Simon Bouchez, CEO of Multiposting

With the right hiring budget in mind, this is a situation that, although may seem unavoidable, won’t put a damper on the rest of your team. Instead of sticking with the old-school way of thinking, it’s time to upgrade and budget based off of what you KNOW you’ll need, what you’ve needed in the PAST and common hardships your industry is facing NOW (this will help estimate for any future issues). How do you get started with such tasks and what kind of criteria should you be sure to include so nothing is missed?

Focus on these areas to ensure your company is equipped to meet the challenges ahead:

Career Website

Every great company should have a career website (or simply a career area of their site) where potential applicants can search through new openings, learn more about what it is like to work inside the company and walk through the hiring process. In fact, 64% of candidates listed career sites as a top resource channel for researching new opportunities. And, ensuring that your site as all these necessities can increase costs, especially when you factor in the constant maintenance that this may require.

Simply having a seperate site or area for all this information doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it. Just like your normal company site, this resource needs to be constantly monitored and optimized to ensure you are meeting the needs of your desired audience. With this understanding, it is easy to see how finances can stack up in order to keep everything up to date and pleasing to your future applicants.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your career site is optimized without breaking the bank:

  • Have an easy-to-find career page for people to learn about your culture. This means ensuring that the section or site you wish to use for career purposes should be accessible through the navigation bar.
  • Make it very easy to apply for open positions. Candidates don’t want to fill out a lot of forms for a position they may not even get. Make the application quick and easy to fill out with a place where they can upload their resume.
  • Feature quotes from company employees and senior management. They are the ones who have the most insight on what it is like in the company, so let them tell their story. Your applicants will thank you!

Overall, even if you can easily do these things in-house, it’s important to understand the work and time that goes into keeping things up to date and fresh for interested applicants. Consider the budget and time needed from your own staff while considering the potential to outsource if it makes more sense. It may be helpful to reach out to marketing or talent management companies if you struggle with attracting the right talent or managing your career site. Additionally, it’s always safe to proactively budget for problems you COULD have in the future.

Social Media and Promotions

Today, everyone is using social media to stay connected on the latest happenings. However, did you know it’s a great way to advertise for recruiting as well? Not sure if this new way of recruiting is really for you? Consider this — 73% of millennials found their last position through a social media site. That’s traffic you might not want to be missing out on.

By using ads or even boosted posts, you can easily showcase your open positions to a variety of candidates. These specialized social media ads and posts allow you to refine your viewership based on demographic, location, specific keywords and even personal interests. To accommodate for this, you will want to budget accordingly. Formulate a monthly ad spend for various specific ad campaigns as well as individual posts that will lead back to your profile and website. For this, it may be best to research competitors to get a better understanding on what your industry is spending and on what. Many times, the individual posts are roughly $20 a day. However, when struggling to fill a position, that cost can quickly add up.

CRM Systems

In any recruitment setting, communication is key! Customer relationship management systems are a great way to keep this (as well as candidate data) in check while putting new recruitment strategies in place. Although most businesses use these systems to organize leads or new clients, they can also be used as a way to keep tabs on those within your talent pool as they make their way through the hiring process. Not to mention they offer great ROI — if budgeting is done correctly. In fact, a study by Nucleus Research states that CRM systems often pay back at least $5.60 for every dollar spent.

Instead of staying in the dark and hoping for great return, here’s what how to understand your budget and get the best system for your company:

  • Recognize your needs. Discuss the information you want to gather from candidates with your hiring team. What will you need to know to make your data accurate, useful and beneficial to your developing strategy? It may be ideal to even start by identifying problems that already exist inside your process. By looking at these, you can figure out solutions and discover what needs to be done to correct them.
  • Build contingency. No matter how much research is done there is always a chance for error and unforeseen expenses. Be sure to look into hidden fees surrounding implementation and understand that actually training for this system is going to take both time and money. Employees will be learning the new process instead of or alongside their everyday tasks. To lessen the blow, find a CRM that both meets your needs and is easy to manage.

Overall, be prepared to pay for quality. It might take a bit of extra cash to get the right features and functionality, so plan for potential circumstances that arise to make the most of your decision and experience recruitment success.

Recruiting Events

Want to keep those within your talent pool engaged and interested in your company? Then you should start hosting recruiting events. These gatherings are a great way to get individuals associated with your team, company culture and work environment. That way, when the time comes, their onboarding and adjustment period is quick and simple. These events are important to new hires and current employees because increasing employee engagement investments (with events such as these) by 10% can increase company profits by $2,400 per employee per year. Hosting gatherings is a great way to get everyone involved, making them feel like a part of the team while also showcasing you company in general.

However, these amazing events can come with a hefty price tag and it’s important to be prepared.

If this is something your company has never done, it may be hard to budget for the event. Extensive research might be necessary to get the most out of your spend. Look at local event venues for pricing, catering options and the number of individuals they are able to host. Use this and the number of candidates you want to hire during the new year to estimate attendance. Recruiting events require a great deal of thought, but can be great for connecting to your talent pool. It’s important to note that not all events are treated the same. Find out which one works best for your company’s needs and the industry.

Not sure what recruiting events your company could plan? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Hackathons
  • Competitions
  • Expos/Conferences
  • Weekend Retreats
  • Company-hosted Recruitment Fairs
  • Career Fairs

Preparation is key to success, no matter what your recruitment strategy is going into the new year. Plan out what practices you want to implement, then focus on gathering details and understanding what it will take to make the event a reality. Do your research on your audience and industry standards and get feedback from past applicants and current employees.

With a focus on these key areas, you can take your recruitment to the next level in a budget-friendly way. Still unsure of how to put it all together in a cohesive manner? For more guidance, check out this eBook to plan your hiring budget and maximize recruiting spend!