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Recruiting & Hiring

7 Tips for Getting Recruiting Budget Approval ASAP

March 12, 2017
6 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


The days of posting job requirements to a simple job board and hoping for the right candidate to apply are over. Bersin’s Factbook, compiled from surveys of more than 400 talent acquisition pros at midsize and large US organizations, suggests 52 days as the average time-to-hire for most medium to large companies. Almost two months to fill a position? This statistic calls for urgency when it comes to improving our recruitment programs.

From a new ATS or talent management system to new processes implemented throughout the department, revamping has never been so important for organizations. The problem many HR Managers and Talent Acquisition Directors have is getting the recruiting budget approved for these improvements. As you build your case to present to the execs and address this problem, we’ve put together 7 things to do to help get your budget approved more quickly.

1. Goal Alignment

How does your budget and plan align with the overarching goals of the company? A study found that 75% of change initiatives fail and one of the biggest reasons is only 68% of senior managers understand the reasons behind organizational goals. The executives you’ll likely be presenting to have a few things on their mind and one is going to be how this new plan will help the goals already set for the company.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png 75% of change initiatives fail. The biggest reason? Read this:


What to do: First identify the organization's strategic goals then recognize the specific ways your new processes or systems will help the company achieve them. Think in terms of how the budget will solve business problems, not recruiting problems.

2. Money Language

Your recruiting language and KPIs such as quality of hire, turnover rates, retention, etc. may not have an impact on executives. Even if they’ve been in your position before, what’s really going to wake them up is the effect these results in the recruiting department are having on the bottom line. Change your language to make them sit-up and listen. For example, a CAP study found the cost to replace a manager making $40k would be $8,000. (These statistics will be dependent on the size of your company, onboarding time, etc.) If you can increase candidate acceptance by 20%, you are talking real savings.

What to do: Implement increments of money in the strategy to help describe some of these KPIs. Try to work with the CFO or another senior manager in the finance department to convert your company specific recruiting results to dollars.

3. Snag the Best Talent First

Beating your competitors, that’s the name of the game, and executives want to hear how you’re going to do it. How is this budget going to help the organization snag the best talent first? How is it different than what others are doing? And what are the chances of it being reproduced by competitors? By 2020, 46% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. How will this plan target these job seekers better than the competition?

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png By 2020, 46% of the workforce will be Millennials. How will #HR target these job seekers better than competition:

What to do: Be on the lookout for what the competition is doing and stay one step ahead. Add a competitive analysis to your case to show what everyone else is up to and how your plan answers the questions above. Pay attention to economic conditions, skill shortages and employee migration (internal and external) when solving for recruitment.

4. Designate Responsibility

Executives expect to see who will be involved when it comes to new responsibilities to ensure accountability. Who will be accountable if these resources fail? Who will be accountable if they’re a success? Let execs know how invested you are in the outcome of this new process and show them you’ve assembled a team who can tackle the job.

What to do: Who will be on your team when it comes to getting this off the ground? Are they willing to be responsible for the outcome as well? Let the higher-ups know you all have “skin in the game,” and willing to take accountability for the results.

5. Innovation

New processes implemented within an organization should always be forward-looking to help the company move into the future. This does not exclude recruiting projects. How is the plan you’re bringing to these executives innovative and forward looking? In a recent survey, 45% of job seekers say they use their mobile device specifically to search for jobs at least once a day. How will your case address trends in the industry?

What to do: Start your case off with the need for innovation and how your plan will answer it. Let execs know your process tackles the latest developments in the industry like mobile capabilities, social recruiting, multilingual settings and more.

6. ROI

Approval can ultimately boil down to ROI. The cost of the project compared to the value of its results. Be sure to have this number ready because it’s inevitable the individuals you’re presenting to will be looking for it. In addition to ROI, try to provide numbers that will get the CFO on board like a short payback period, immediate start and increased productivity.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png7 things to keep in mind when pitching the execs your new recruiting budget: 


What to do: Compare the ROI of your case to those of approved projects throughout your organization in the past in terms of percentage. Is yours higher? Most likely. Let them know the advantages of approving this project over another.

7. What Will Happen If We Wait

It’s taking companies longer than ever to bring in the talent they need, and it’s hurting them in the long-run. Kick the urgency into gear by bringing execs up to speed on how the problem could just continue to get worse if action isn’t taken soon rather than later.

What to do: Will the budget go up if you wait? By how much? Put those numbers in your presentation to really get your execs thinking.

Feel like your plan needs some more work before the higher-ups see it? Take a look at these quick tips to building and managing a recruitment budget!

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