Want to thrive post-COVID? Cut your cost per hire

Posted on 9 Sep 2020 by The Manufacturer

Dan Kirkpatrick reveals the six secrets of hiring the best people for less.

In the fight for survival after Coronavirus, your most vital weapon is your employees. You need to recruit the best. But where’s the money going to come from?

It’s hard to woo top talent when you’re competing against giants whose recruitment budgets have hardly been dented by the pandemic.

With a single vacancy costing an average of £4,500 to fill, many businesses simply can’t afford to compete.

However, there are ways to cut your cost per hire dramatically – and it’s not about finding a dirt-cheap recruitment agency or skimping on advertising.

1. Employee referral schemes

Turn your staff into a recruiting machine with an employee referral scheme. Your people already understand what it takes to work for you, so they can send you candidates who’ve got what it takes.

This is a very cost-effective method of recruiting, even if you pay cash referral incentives – and you don’t have to. Non-cash rewards, special recognition and prize draws can all encourage staff to make referrals.

Even better, referral schemes can boost your employee retention rates, saving you more money on hiring down the line.

2. Candidate personas

What experience does your ideal candidate have? What background do they come from?

When you know this, you can save time and money by targeting recruitment more effectively.

Use employee surveys, focus groups and discussions with hiring managers to create a candidate persona – an image of the personality traits, experience and skills of your dream candidate. It will cost you nothing but could transform your hiring process.

3. A talent pool

Not hiring just yet? Create a talent pool of people who are interested in working for you, and start prequalifying them now – it will make the eventual hiring process faster, easier and cheaper.

Just make sure you comply with GDPR when storing and processing their data.

You can also fill your talent pool by putting an enquiry form on your careers page where people can sign up for emails about future opportunities.

Also, remember and re-visit those people who came a close second when hiring previously.

Finally, stay in touch with former employees. They may want to return for a new role – or know someone who’d be perfect for it.

4. Group interviews

We’re all short of time – including your HR people and hiring managers. That makes group interviews a win-win for certain roles, even if they currently have to be conducted in a suitable socially distanced way or via online platforms.

Interviewing candidates in groups will save you both time and money, including fees for your HR professionals and revenue costs.

What’s more, observing your applicants in groups makes it easier to compare them, assess people skills and spot leadership ability.

5. Recruitment software

If your advertising budget is looking thin, and you don’t have a strong talent pool to draw on, turn to a talent sourcing platform.

For example, Hunter charges just £500 (excluding VAT) per role to connect you with a talent pool of more than 20 million active and passive jobseekers, and you can track and manage each candidate through a user-friendly online interface.

With recruitment fees varying depending on the level of role, this type of fixed cost model, which includes all software and remote support from professional recruiters, is a cost effective way to work.

6. Social media

Social media is a very effective – and often completely free – way to attract applicants and promote your employer brand.

Engage people’s attention with images and insightful blog posts and use videos to draw them into the daily life and culture of your company.

Being transparent and authentic on social media will not only bring you more applicants – it will bring you more people who understand and share your culture and values.

No one thing will be the silver bullet. Investing time and doing everything you can yourselves will help significantly. As will partnering with the right providers now. All of this can save you significant amounts of money and thereby reduce your cost to hire ratios.

Many SMEs are still grappling with this and basing their thoughts on older ways of working, while at the same time being very cost conscious and risk averse.

But in these post-lockdown times as we focus on the new normal, when it comes to hiring there must be a fresh approach. An approach that does not comprise on the quality of hire while also keeping HR departments happy by reducing the cost to hire metric so many are measured on.

Please contact Dan on [email protected] for details on how to claim your FREE TRAIL* worth £500 


 *To all new clients 

Dan Kirkpatrick is Head of Customer Success at Hunter, The Manufacturer’s Official Talent Partner. He has 17 years’ experience in engineering and manufacturing recruitment across all sectors and disciplines.Dan Kirkpatrick is Head of Customer Success at Hunter, The Manufacturer’s Official Talent Partner. He has 17 years’ experience in engineering and manufacturing recruitment across all sectors and disciplines.

*Header image courtesy of Depositphotos