The Pros and Cons of Recruiting Strategies When You're on a Tight Budget

Stellar recruiting strategies are key to company growth, but sometimes, recruiting solutions do not align with recruiting budgets.

According to LinkedIn's Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report, 35 percent of businesses cite "limited budget" as one of the biggest talent acquisition challenges they face. To make budgetary matters worse, a November 2016 CareerBuilder survey found the average cost of a bad hire to be nearly $17,000.

The CareerBuilder survey also found that 75 percent of employers admit to having hired the wrong person for a position in the past. The high expense of these bad hires could be avoided by simply improving the recruiting process.

However, that may mean stretching the recruiting budget even thinner.

To decide which recruiting strategies are best for your budget, consider the pros and cons of these solutions:

Talent Management

Many companies find success handling in-house talent management manually. Others invest in talent management systems to gather data and better inform decisions.

1. In-House Data Analysis

Pros: In-house data analysis saves on the investment in additional technologies and boosts team morale. Employees are more engaged when they can offer insights on important hiring matters like skills gaps, job descriptions, and cultural fit. In-house data analysis also builds confidence in HR, enabling the department to make the best hiring decisions with the whole team's interests in mind.

Cons: In-house data analysis disrupts workflows by pulling employees from their regular workloads to contribute to recruiting strategies.

2. Talent Management Software

Pros: You can spend more time concentrating on core business practices and streamlining operations. Intuitive hiring metrics yield better hires.

Talent management platforms can offer more accurate metrics to assess current employee engagement and new hire retention. They can also produce high returns on investment by better identifying skills gaps, leading to more informed hiring decisions.

Cons: Investing in talent management software can come with a hefty upfront cost, as well as possible hidden costs in terms of updates and contract renewals. Talent management software can also be compromised, leading to the leak of confidential information.

The Takeaway

Determine whether you have the necessary expertise in your existing team to establish a means of identifying and assessing hiring metrics. If not, talent management software may be a valuable investment.

Talent Sourcing

Sourcing talent through in-house recruiting efforts can produce results similar to those produced by staffing agencies. Make this decision based on your budget and available resources.

1. In-House Talent Sourcing

Pros: Using existing staff to source talent saves on recruiting costs. Your staff also knows the company culture best.

Cons: Executing proper recruiting strategies takes time. According to SHRM, it takes an average of 42 days to fill a position. High-volume recruiting can also disrupt company workflows and requires training for specialized recruiting staff.

2. Sourcing Through a Staffing Agency

Pros: Staffing agencies can alleviate staff workloads, cut down the average time-to-fill, and help your organization grow a quality workforce.

Cons: Outsourcing to a staffing agency can be expensive, and the staffing agency may not understand your company culture as well as your employees do.

The Takeaway

Look at what roles need to be filled and the skills your company needs. How will you access the right talent pools? How quickly do you need to make a hire? Will the job be full-time or seasonal? Can you use internal resources to source talent? Do you have access to job boards, social media, etc.?

If answering these questions is difficult, you might want to look into partnering with a staffing agency.

Talent Screening

Reviewing and screening applicants in-house requires commitment from your staff. If this is not possible or desirable, some companies choose to invest in applicant tracking systems (ATS) and video technology to make the task more manageable.

1. In-House Screening

Pros: In-house screening saves money. Candidates can be directly exposed to the company culture. Decision-makers meet each person individually and can assess body language. No technology is needed to screen candidates.

Cons: Meeting with or calling candidates takes a lot of time out of the workday. This interrupts workflows, and scheduling conflicts can cause significant delays in the hiring process.

2. Using ATS and Video Technology

Pros: Recruiting technology can streamline and automate the recruitment process. It can also help build a large talent database. Video screening saves on travel costs for long-distance candidates.

Cons: You may miss out on great candidates because the ATS read applicant data incorrectly. Candidates must have easy access to the internet and a webcam to apply. Technical issues can also interrupt the process.

The Takeaway

Determine whether an in-house approach to screening is feasible by considering the time and staff you'll need to dedicate to the hiring process. If it isn't feasible, invest in technology that can help.

Try out a few different options until you discover what works. The best outcomes involve mixing and matching recruiting strategies to meet your budget needs while still attracting top-quality talent.

Andre Lavoie is CEO of ClearCompany.