No matter what stage your business is at – a newly launched startup, a massive corporation, or something in between – budget is a top priority. If you want your outfit to be profitable, you have to budget and spend wisely.
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But how do you prioritize all your costs – the salaries, training, payments to vendors, recruiting, etc?
According to Google, recruitment comes first. The company has been dominating the tech market for years, and a big reason for that is its recruiting strategy.
When it comes to budgeting for recruitment, Google offers some great lessons:
1. Invest in the Best
In business, the less you have to spend, the more you can make. However, that doesn't mean you should avoid spending on principle. Some things return more value when you spend more.
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According to Google's former vice president of people operations, Laszlo Bock, that includes recruiting: "We spend more than twice as much on recruiting, as a percentage of our people budget, as an average company. If we are better able to select up front, that means we have less work to do with them once they are hired."
Google learned early on what many companies are just now discovering: If you want to make more money in the long rum, you need to spend more on talent at the outset. Hiring the highest-quality candidates from the start is one of Google's most important keys to success.
2. Incorporate Employer Branding Into Your Budget
When you think of Google, you probably have a pretty good idea of what the company's brand is and what kind of people work there. That didn't just happen on its own. Employer branding is an active and ongoing effort, and you'll have to spend some money on it to get it right. As Google has shown through its innovative strategies and market domination, employer branding doesn't just cost money – it also makes money.
Moreover, branding matters to candidates: 11 percent of job seekers say they would decline a job offer from a company with a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed. While 11 percent may seem like a small number, every bit counts when you're trying to source in-demand skills in fiercely competitive recruiting landscapes. Failing to invest in employer branding means you could be missing out on talented candidates.
Don't have a Google-sized budget? Focus on your current employees. Call them out on Instagram, tag them on Facebook, and feature them on your blog when they've completed a large project. These are easy things companies of any size can do to show candidates what it's like to work there!
3. Be Extremely Thorough
Google's recruitment process is intense and rigorous. The company's average time-to-hire is six weeks – which is no wonder, considering the thorough vetting each candidate goes through.
Google receives more than two million resumes per year and only hires a fraction of a percent of those applicants, so strict vetting is as necessary as it is helpful. Being this extreme in your recruiting process is going to cost you a little extra up front, but it will pay off in terms of avoiding bad hires, each of whom can cost employers as much as 30 percent of their salary.
Investing so much of its budget in finding and securing the right hires positively affects Google at multiple levels. The company has paved the way for other organizations large and small to realize that quality is more important than cost when it comes to hiring.
Use Google's recruiting tenets as guiding principles as you build your hiring strategy. You may not be Google yet, but if you put talent first, you could be one day!
A version of this article originally appeared on the ClearCompany blog.
Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.