4 areas to consider to cut the cost of recruitment

CHRIS KEELING • 25 Oct 2021

Recruitment is a major challenge – according to Reuters, some 41% of UK firms employing more than 10 people are struggling to find staff.

Whilst it is easy to look to the ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit, fuel prices, labour shortages and the pandemic, the reality is that this is a storm that has been brewing a while.

Small businesses, who cannot compete with larger players in terms of advertising budget, have always struggled to be heard and seen in the labour marketplace.  Nearly every small organisation we spoke to when researching this area earlier this year, stated that their spend on advertising was a minimum of £20,000 a year whilst the spend on agencies (staffing or recruitment) was over £60,000. 

That is a lot of money with little reward for far too many organisations. 


So what can be done? How can you reduce spend and hopefully improve your success in attracting new talent?  Well, there are 4 key areas where you can make an immediate difference: 

How to reduce your advertising spend (but not the results!)

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It starts with getting your message out there – on job boards, on social media and in the free channels.  If that sounds daunting, it needn’t be.  If you have a half-decent recruitment system, it will do all these things for you.  In one click, you can post your advert to Indeed, Google Jobs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your own website with no charge whatsoever! 

What is more, if your system is good enough, you can add videos, or pictures (from a library you can add to) to make your advert really attractive.  Do you know that adverts with video or pictures are shared 1200% more times than mere text ones?  You can read far more about the benefits of pictures in adverts via this link.

Assess the effectiveness of your recruitment agencies

Because finding candidates can be such a black art, many smaller companies turn to agencies to help them out.  That is the prime reason why so much budget is spent each year in this direction.  Now, I am not saying that there is no room for agencies – particularly when there are specialist roles to fill.  But most organisations recruit for the same 3 or 4 job types each year – be that care workers, or customer services staff, or retail workers.  So why not try doing it differently and attracting your own applicants; building up talent pools when there are more people than vacancies (admittedly a not too often occurrence at present) and hiring with speed so you don’t lose candidates!  An Applicant Tracking System (that’s a recruitment system for the uninitiated) will do all of this and cut your hiring time dramatically. And your reliance on agencies. 

Reduce the cost of recruitment administration

Posting jobs, handling all the enquiries, shortlisting candidates and contacting everyone to tell them whether they have been successful or not, organising interviews etc.  Let’s face it, recruitment can be a real challenge and very disruptive to the day-to-day role. 

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That is why, when we first came up with the notion of a recruitment system, many years ago, it was driven by the desire to reduce the monotonous tasks, via automation and smart technology, and free up time to allow you to focus 80% of your time on the 20% of candidates who most closely suit your needs. That philosophy has stayed with us throughout the years and is at the heart of our applicant tracking system.

Report back on your ED&I strategies  

Doing the job well is one thing, but showing others what you have achieved can be frustrating.  You know you have done well, but where are the metrics to back it up?  That is why having a reporting suite that allows you to show how many vacancies you have handled over a given period.  How many candidates per role. How much you spent on advertising (or saved)! What was the most successful source of candidates – so you don’t waste money on Job Boards that don’t deliver in the future.  And that is before you have all the compliance data to show what the Diversity and Inclusion performance of your organisation is like when it comes to recruitment. How good does all that sound?  Even better when it is all part of the same system.


So don’t be weighed down by the recruitment challenge you face – embrace it and embrace the technology that will help you and broaden your capability by saving cost and freeing up your time.  It may be the best career move you make!

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