How to get executive buy-in for adding new tech to your recruitment budget
May 23, 2023
Recruiting—and retaining—the right talent is crucial for the success of any organization. But the process of finding and hiring the right candidates can be time-consuming and resource intensive. That’s where recruitment software comes in. This technology can automate and streamline many aspects of the recruitment and hiring process, making it faster, more efficient, and ultimately more successful. Of course, if you’re a talent professional without these solutions at hand, you likely already know what you’re missing.
The problem? Many companies are looking for places to slash their budgets right now, not expand them. And in uncertain times, Recruiting is often one of the first teams to lose resources. In order to get the go-ahead to expand your recruitment budget, you’ll need executive and CFO buy-in. And execs are short on time and leery of big business expenses.
In order to make your recruitment budget negotiations a success, you’ll need to do your homework—and approach the conversation with a bit of tact.
Explain your company’s current hiring pain points
Before you ask for new software during your budget meeting, you need to set the scene by explaining why this investment is necessary. Your own employees and a few hard-hitting statistics will be the best resources for this information.
First, use your own employees to gather data on your company’s hiring process, and pair this with the quantitative data you already have on things like candidate rejection reasons.
New hires: Ask anyone hired in the past two years to take an anonymous survey on their experience—from first touch all the way through to offer-accept. This gives you valuable insight into the sticking points in your recruitment process from the perspective of a new employee.
Talent team: Poll your recruitment team to find out what elements of their jobs or stages of the recruitment process they find the most frustrating. The issues recruiters experience won’t always align with any frustrations new hires recently had, so soliciting feedback from both groups ensures you get the full picture.
Candidate dropoff or rejection reasons: Candidates drop out of your hiring process for any number of reasons—life circumstances change, the timing isn’t right after all, they receive a counter-offer from their current employer, and so on. Dig into your data and observe the rejection reasons that can be attributed to your recruitment tech (or lack thereof). Was your hiring process too slow? Did candidates take offers with a competitor before you were able to extend them one? Did candidates simply fall through the cracks because your recruiters didn’t have a full view of the pipeline from where they sat?
Use this data to search for trends—for example, that more than one recruiter or new hire agreed that a certain aspect of recruitment was challenging. These commonalities should become the main issues you address in your presentation to leadership.
Take note: There’s a chance that your exec’s response to these issues is, “So what?” Many leaders are big-picture thinkers. To get their buy-in, you need to connect the identified problems to the business’s bottom line. Exactly how you do this will depend on what you find in your surveys.
Say you found a pattern of new hires complaining that the recruitment process took way too long. Your talent team agrees, saying that hiring managers sometimes take weeks to enter their scorecards, and recruiters often had to dig in to find out where the bottleneck was in a given open role. To present this pain point to leadership, pair it with a statistic that shows how this issue can cost you a good candidate.
For example: “Both our recruiters and our new hires say our interview process takes too long. That may seem unimportant, but actually, a new study recently found that 52% of people will refuse a good job offer if their recruitment experience is negative. And 66% said keeping the process timely was the best way for a company to stand out. It costs us x number of dollars every day a role like this stays open. Can we really afford to lose good candidates over this?”
While your research may have turned up many issues a new technology solution can address, keep your pain points to just two or three for times’ sake—and choose the issues you can most readily back up with a statistic.
Demonstrate how new technology is the solution
Once leadership is aware of the problems you’ve identified, you’re teed up to show them how new technology in the recruitment budget is the solution.
First, take your list of identified needs and do some research into how various recruiting solutions can solve them. If you already have a particular solution in mind, reach out to their team—most sales reps are more than happy to help you build a case for their product.
When you take your suggested solution to your executives, use a “problem—solution” format.
Problem: “Our new hires say our recruitment process takes too long—a fact backed up by the 47% of candidates who dropped out of our process because they took other offers first. Our recruiters say the lag is because they have little visibility into where candidates are in process, and they have to manually push them through our hiring steps. That issue is costing us good talent, since over half will refuse an offer if they had a frustrating recruitment experience.”
Solution: “A data-driven CRM like Gem will help us automate our recruitment processes. Gem’s two-way sync with our ATS allows us to see where the bottlenecks are in our hiring process (by role, by hiring manager, by location, and more); and the color-coding in Gem’s Talent Pipeline alerts us to when an action needs to be taken on a candidate because an SLA is past due. This will shorten our time to hire so we don’t lose out on any other great candidates.”
Lack of efficiency is just one problem modern recruiting CRMs like Gem can solve. If budget is an issue for your team, for example, you can share how the upfront cost of new recruiting tech saves money on hiring or turnover in the long run. Or if your issue is a lack of visibility into candidates’ needs, you can discuss how a CRM collects data to give you insights into what candidates want. Again—lean on your chosen CRM’s sales team here.
For bonus points, tell your leaders how the new tech won’t just solve your current problems but future issues, too. For example, a good CRM will allow you to automate the sourcing process so you can build pipeline well ahead of requisitions. Or you can explain how a sophisticated recruiting capacity plan will allow the team to pivot and respond to future hiring demands; so even if your team has slowed hiring in this market, capacity planning is one way they can use their tech to spend this time.
Outline the details of your proposed plan
Now that you’ve set the scene and offered your solution, it’s time for The Ask. Most execs and finance leaders prefer that you ask for what you need clearly and directly.
Initial investment: Tell them how your recruitment budget needs to change, including how much your new tech will cost initially, and over time. If your solution will require training for staff and leadership, or you’ll need to hire someone dedicated to managing it, include this in the upfront investment.
Proposed timeline: Hiring slumps like the one many businesses are currently experiencing are actually a great time to implement new tools because they give your team downtime to pilot new processes and improve your candidate experience without having to test them on real candidates.
Results: Share with leadership how long you think implementation will take and when they can expect to see an ROI. Mention how you plan to measure success and how often they’ll be updated. And be prepared to meet and respond to the objections you expect you’ll hear from them.
It’s a good idea to leave your proposal and information with them, so they can consider it over a couple of days. Before leaving, give them a deadline for when you’ll be reaching back out to get an update. This will help them properly prioritize your request while building a sense of urgency so it doesn’t get forgotten.
Make your recruitment budget go further with Gem
With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a successful dialogue with leadership—and hopefully, a new tech solution will be coming soon.
Compare service providers once you have your new budget to determine the right fit for your needs. And when you’re doing your research, be sure Gem’s on your list! Our modern recruiting CRM can be seamlessly integrated with any ATS to accelerate your recruitment process while optimizing your budget. Our user-friendly interface, hassle-free setup, and comprehensive enterprise-level features are tailored to meet the needs of your entire talent team. Want to learn more? Reach out to request a demo, or sign up for a free trial today.
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