Recruitment budget – how to plan and monitor it?
July 16, 2020

If you have a clear annual recruitment budget, it is very important to plan for what kind of activities you are going to use it. It is never welcome to state the last month of the year that your budget is over.

Before you plan your precise expenses, ask yourself how you will cooperate with your controlling department on monitoring the budget – this business unit will for sure control your spending so it is key to make sure you are on the same page.

The planning phase of the recruitment budget

Avoid lumping all activities together. Try to categorize them properly. For sure you have some historical data and experiences about the kind of activities you will expect to implement the following year.

  • Take offers from the job advertising portals and select them. For some positions, such as Business Analysts, Project Managers, or back-office roles using the most popular and general job portals can work quite smoothly. On the other hand, for some very technical roles, like Developers or IT Architects, a partnership with specialized IT portals can bring a better effect. Try to diversify your job advertisement providers.
  • You should also plan the cost of licenses on professional social networks such as LinkedIn or Xing. Do not look only at the current situation. If you plan to grow your recruitment team during the year, you should include it in your budget.
  • Social media campaigns on Facebook can be of course free but in some cases, such as recruitment to internships program, it can be justified to spend some additional money to boost them.
  • Think about activities that are at the crossroads of recruitment and employer branding. These also should be included in your budget plan. Participation in job fairs, IT events targeting candidates or university meeting supports not only the awareness of your company brand but also the recruitment results. It should be analyzed how this cost will be split between these two units.
  • If you have a referral program, you should confirm whether the cost of bonuses will be included in the cost of your department. Maybe it is going to be a part of another department (for instance, the one that will finally employ the recommended person).
  • In recruitment, you always need to be prepared to think out of the box… About sourcing tools or the possibility that business decisions will change within the year and will influence the need for revision of some of the plans from the beginning of the year. That is why you should be sure you have an additional reserve for new ideas or unexpected situations.

Monitoring phase

If you already have the full list of types of activities,  gathered all pricing offers, and can estimate the cost, it is important to monitor it at least each month. You can do it together with your controlling department because it’s important for them too. If your company does not have any advanced system to do it – do not worry, simple MS Excel is an easy and sufficient tool. It is recommended to not only insert all the spending but also the difference between the planned budget and the budget you used. The remaining amount can be added to the next month allowing you to flexibly manage. Decrease or increase the budget each month.

Remember that usually, the recruitment cycle has some ups and downs. Time of holiday and Christmas causes usually some slowdown. If you need more hires these months, probably you should be prepared to post more job advertisements right, before these periods. Spring and autumn are usually very rich in job fairs. These months you will probably need to be ready to spend more of your recruitment budget on participation in them.

HR Director