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Talent on a budget: Top strategies to rein in recruitment cost


Are you a recruiter struggling to balance finding top-notch talent and keeping your recruitment costs in check? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!Let’s reveal some game-changing strategies to rein in your recruitment costs without compromising quality. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to discover the secrets of attracting exceptional candidates without breaking the bank!


Recruitment costs are like a two-headed monster, with internal and external expenses weighing your budget. But fear not, savvy recruiters have found ingenious ways to tame this beast and save their organizations valuable resources.From harnessing the power of social media to leveraging the strength of employee referrals, a whole arsenal of strategies is waiting to be explored.However, reducing recruitment costs goes beyond just cherry-picking a few tactics. It requires a comprehensive approach that addresses each stage of the recruitment process, ensuring maximum efficiency and minimum expenditure.After all, the goal is to find exceptional talent that aligns perfectly with your organization’s needs while staying within the confines of your allocated recruitment budget.
Now, let’s dive into the top strategies to rein in recruitment cost.


So, what’s a recruitment budget?

A recruitment budget is an annual estimate of hiring costs, encompassing internal (recruiters’ salaries) and external (tech stack, advertising) expenses. In addition, it includes unplanned costs from staff turnover. The budget must align with the organization’s annual and long-term business strategies and any plans set by the CEO and Board of Directors.


How to reduce recruitment costs – Top strategies

  • Use the Power of Social Media

Reaching out to candidates through social media platforms is an efficient and straightforward way to attract talent, especially among millennials and Gen Z. With 86% of job seekers using social media to find jobs, platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube offer opportunities to connect with potential candidates.

Beyond job postings, social media also helps build a strong employer brand, which can significantly reduce costs when candidates and existing employees advocate for your organization.

  • Prioritize Quality over Quantity

Instead of attracting as many candidates as possible, focus on attracting the right talent. Evaluating a large pool of candidates can be more costly than evaluating a few highly skilled individuals. Consider reducing spending on sponsored job postings by shortening their duration, allowing more time to focus on each candidate and shortening the hiring timeline. Detailed and specific job descriptions also help ensure that only the right candidates apply.

  • Embrace Automation

Adopting automated software, such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, may involve initial costs but brings long-term savings. Automation reduces direct costs and minimizes errors that can result from manual processes. It also saves time and effort, especially for high-volume hiring. In fact, 78% of companies using an ATS report that recruitment technology has made hiring easier than ever. According to SHRM, 88% of companies worldwide already utilize AI in some capacity for HR.

  • Opt for Online Interviews

With the shift towards remote work due to the pandemic, face-to-face interviews are no longer the sole option. Conducting interviews online eliminates the logistical costs associated with in-person meetings. In addition, automated interview scheduling tools reduce confusion and save time by facilitating easy agreement on suitable interview times.

HR software also provides access to candidate information during interviews, streamlining the hiring process and reducing recruitment costs.

  • Be Selective and Data-Driven in Candidate Evaluation

By focusing on the quality rather than the quantity of candidates, you can save costs, time, and effort. Clearly define job role criteria and evaluate candidates based on specific benchmarks. Consider psychometric assessments to assess cultural fit and make informed, data-driven recruitment decisions. Streamlining the screening and hiring process reduces costs.

  • Build Talent Pools and Communities

Engage with potential talent by creating talent pools and communities. Talent pools consist of skilled candidates who have expressed interest in your organization or have applied in the past. Even if they aren’t suitable for current openings, they may be considered for future opportunities. Alumni networks can also be formed for rehiring purposes. Building social media communities fosters candidate engagement, especially with passive candidates who gain access to your organization’s opportunities.

  • Leverage Employee Referral Programs

Your employees can be powerful recruiters. Implement an effective referral program where employees can recommend suitable candidates from their personal or professional networks. Reward them with incentives for successful referrals. Employee referrals reduce time-to-hire and cost-per-hire ratios, improve candidate quality, and enhance employee retention. Monitor diversity and inclusion and trust the hiring process to ensure fairness.

  • Explore Internal Talent Mobility

Internal hiring is a cost-effective method that saves on sourcing, screening, and onboarding expenses. Encourage employees to apply for new positions, and participate in job rotations, lateral movements, or project placements. As a result, internal hiring boosts retention, accelerates new hire productivity, and streamlines the hiring process.

  • Focus on Employee Retention

Retaining existing employees reduces the need for external hiring. However, the cost of losing an employee can be substantial, including lost productivity, skills, knowledge, and the expenses associated with hiring and training replacements. Therefore, prioritize employee engagement, career development plans, training, coaching, and fostering a safe and positive work culture to retain talent.

  • Invest in Affordable and Effective Technology

Selecting the right recruitment software is crucial. First, define the problems you want to solve and your business goals, then seek software that addresses those needs. Consider factors such as ease of setup and use, intuitive design, and affordability. Look for free or freemium plans that align with your requirements and hiring plans.

  • Consider Outsourcing for Smaller Projects

Outsourcing smaller projects or routine, repetitive tasks can help reduce costs. Collaborate with third-party consultants or freelancers for specialized expertise or high-volume tasks. Shadow consultants to acquire skills and knowledge, enabling your team to handle similar projects independently in the future.


So, these are the effective approaches to optimising budget allocation in talent acquisition. By implementing these strategies, organizations can successfully control recruitment costs without compromising on finding the right candidates.

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