As you brainstorm talent acquisition strategies, prioritize hiring goals and create your annual Recruitment Marketing Plan for 2020, you’ll inevitably find yourself facing the big B word: Budget.
Securing financial resources can be time consuming and difficult, but it is a critical step in achieving your Recruitment Marketing goals and will only happen if you ask for it.
One way to do this successfully is to ensure that your Recruitment Marketing Plan aligns with your talent acquisition strategy, and clearly outlines the different tactics where you want to focus your efforts for the year.
When you pitch your 2020 Recruitment Marketing Plan to leaders and key stakeholders, be clear about the channels where you want to invest efforts, the anticipated ROI and the funds you’ll need to successfully deliver on results. Consider it a negotiation and be prepared to postpone or reduce the scope of projects that risk being under-resourced.
Depending on your priorities and short- and long-term goals, here are some of the budget line items you may want to consider as you create and pitch your Recruitment Marketing Plan for the year ahead:
7 Tactics to Include in Your 2020 Recruitment Marketing Budget
1. Programmatic Job Advertising
Programmatic is the latest frontier in job boards and job advertising. Programmatic job advertising automates and optimizes the placement of job postings across a network of job boards. So, rather than purchasing and managing job postings and sponsorship campaigns on individual job boards yourself, programmatic charges on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis and an algorithm does all the work for you.
2. Technology & Services
Contracting with an outside agency, vendor or technology platform is often one of the most economic solutions to fill in gaps and optimize TA processes, especially for small teams. Professional services or technologies may be wise investments if they: save time or money elsewhere or provide superior results.
Saving time or money elsewhere:
Each second you spend completing a manual, inefficient task is one second taken away from your big-impact work and strategic goals. Technology platforms and software as a service (SaaS) vendors can provide valuable streamlining and automation for a range of TA processes, from distributing job postings to scheduling interviews. Likewise, a full-service Recruitment Marketing Agency can act as your liaison between job boards and advertising channels, saving you the time it takes to manage each individual contract and relationship.
Providing superior results:
If certain expertise is not available to you in-house or if your current TA infrastructure provides a sub-par candidate experience, there is likely a consultant or technology vendor who can deliver a higher quality solution than you would be able to produce yourself – faster and easier, too.
For example, if email marketing is untapped territory for your team, email campaign managers like Mailchimp and Constant Contact allow you to produce consumer-grade marketing emails that are often superior to what you could create with your ATS or standard email provider. Plus, they offer features like campaign performance metrics and tracking.
Similarly, developing a comprehensive Recruitment Marketing strategy, designing content and managing digital marketing campaigns are all services you may want to trust to the professionals at a full-service Recruitment Marketing agency like Bayard or an Employer Brand consulting firm like Exaqueo.
From a tech standpoint, you might also consider allocating budget towards innovative products that will elevate your candidate experience, for example:
- Texting/SMS provider, like TextRecruit
- Chatbot/virtual assistant, like Paradox’s Olivia
- Interview scheduling automation tools, like Goodtime
- Dynamic job descriptions, like Vizi
You can also take a look at other examples here in Kristen Magni’s recent blog for Rally, 5 Candidate Experience Boosting Technologies Here to Stay.
Plan ahead for the recruiting events you’ll be attending or hosting. For in-person recruiting events and career fairs, be sure to budget for registration fees, travel, displays for your booth and branded swag to hand out. If you’re going to host a career open house or networking event, budget for how you’ll market the event, and consider food and beverage costs for any in-person events.
4. Employee Referral Incentives
Employee referrals and referrals from company alumni are a critical talent pipeline. Set aside some budget for building, maintaining or refreshing your referral program. Even if you don’t have the funding to offer significant cash bonuses, smaller-scale awards like gift cards to nearby coffee shops or branded swag can still incentivize employees to submit referrals.
Aside from incentive awards, make sure you are investing in the infrastructure to support your referral program, like program websites, job sharing mechanisms and tracking tools, as well as the marketing resources to raise awareness and drive participation.
5. Job Boards
Most job boards support a range of budgets and hiring needs with offerings like basic job postings, an automated feed or scrape of all jobs from your careers site, sponsored job advertising and display ads.
Many job boards offer package deals that bundle job advertising with recruiter search licenses or employer profile pages. As you consider paying for extras, keep in mind the realities of your team’s bandwidth and your company’s hiring needs. For example, it would be a shame to spend thousands of dollars on a search license if you don’t have a sourcer who will actually use it.
Another wise job board investment is to ensure your jobs appear on Google for Jobs. While the service itself is free (for now), building and maintaining the integration between Google for Jobs and your ATS or job distribution provider may cost you if you don’t have the IT resources available in house.
6. Employer Review Sites
Employer reviews and ratings have never been more important. If most of your candidates are checking out your company on Glassdoor, it may be a wise investment to put money towards making a more positive impression while they’re on your profile.
While you can’t hide the negative reviews, paying for an enhanced Glassdoor employer profile will allow you to showcase positive reviews, build additional sections for featured content and prevent other companies from advertising on your profile. Similar offerings are available on The Muse, LinkedIn, kununu as well as sites like Fairygodboss and InHerSight, where female employees rate their companies’ inclusivity, growth opportunities and environment for women.
7. Social Media
While social media is technically free, your time is not. Cranking out consistent, engaging Recruitment Marketing content across your social channels requires an incredible amount of time, especially if you’re working solo.
Consider investing money instead of your time. Paying to sponsor social posts is one way to get more from your social media presence, providing an effective and cost-efficient method of driving up follower engagement. Another investment worth considering is a partnership with a social media distribution tool, like iCIMS, which streamlines and automates sourcing across social channels.
You may not be able to control the size of your budget, but as a Recruitment Marketing practitioner, it’s in your power to see every single dollar working towards your TA priorities and Recruitment Marketing strategy. Keeping these 7 categories in mind as you move into 2020 may help you to determine how you can see the biggest impact from the budget you do have access to – or it may provide you with the ammunition you need to ask for an increase in budget! Good luck!