• Your 2023 Commitment: Maximize your Recruitment Marketing Budget

    Posted by Allison Padgett on January 17th, 2023

    As we begin a new year, you might not be thinking of recruitment marketing, but maybe you should be. Recruitment Marketing is a strategy used by talent acquisition, human resources and marketing professionals to promote the value of working for an organization and establish a corporate culture, or brand, to attract candidates. You might be asking yourself, ‘isn’t this just employer branding?’ Not quite.

    Employer branding and recruitment marketing do go together, but recruitment marketing is what helps you push your employer brand to candidates. Before implementing a recruitment marketing strategy, it’s important to have a solid employer brand. For more information on developing an employer brand, check out our eBook.

    So, what factors should you be considering as you evaluate your recruitment marketing budget? A recruitment marketing budget should not just be viewed in terms of dollars, but also in time invested. The key is to source candidates faster and in doing so, attract not just any talent, but the right talent. Before we jump into the budgeting breakdown, we want to share a tip for maximizing the ROI of your advertising spend that has worked for many of our clients:

    Use Technology and Data to Your Advantage.

    • Use automation so your recruiters can devote value-added time to other, more strategic work. For instance, consider automating job title testing and location expansion. You can also use software to post ads in multiple cities, which makes it simpler for your jobs to appear in multiple markets.
    • Make data-driven decisions and don’t rely solely on gut instinct. Look at your data to know how many applications you need for each open position and build your budget around that.

    Let’s Break it Down

    1. Strategic and flexible

    Every year, budgeting seems to take unexpected twists and turns as the markets and industries continue to evolve and change. And it’s not just yearly that these changes happen, they happen consistently throughout the year, causing even more of a headache, especially when it disrupts the other strategies you have in place. How do you deal with this? What steps as a company can you take to continue to have success? To be successful long term and attract the best talent, you have to take a proactive approach and always have ongoing strategies in place that can adapt to the changes.

    2. Flexible vs. fixed

    An effective recruitment marketing budget must consist of both fixed and flexible funds to help your company create and maintain hiring success. Your budget should never be fully fixed. It should be a mixture of fixed, along with some flexibility.

    Mixed budgets might make some professionals hesitate, but let’s use monthly job orders as an example of why your budget needs to combine fixed and flexible funds. First, monthly job orders aren’t consistent month to month. Think about your recent job orders, or your seasonal demand for your company. One month, maybe you have an order coming for 100 openings. For months 2 and 3, however, that order might decrease to 15 openings. If your organization has a fixed spend of $7,500 a month for the year, you will be missing out on opportunities to fill positions in month 1 because that budget isn’t big enough. In Months 2 and 3, the set budget is excessive for the number of openings your company will have, so you could be wasting money.

    Maintaining flexibility with your recruitment spend allows you to shift your resources as needed. In Month 1, for example, you can increase that budget by 60%, while in Months 2 and 3, you can decrease the budget by 55% a month, leaving you with additional funds to use in another high job order month.

    If you’re still not sold on a flexible budget, it might help to look at the pros and cons.

    Even though a fixed budget might be easier and quicker, it’s important to remember that it might not be what actually works best for your company to maximize your overall performance.

    3. Strategy

    With the ability to be flexible with the monthly budget, recruiters are able to create effective, efficient strategies. If you can reduce the number of jobs advertised, it can reduce your spending, which can significantly decrease the cost per application. Often organizations will only look at the current month and ignore the upcoming. We suggest looking ahead and creating your strategies in advance, adjusting as necessary.

    4. Creative

    Part of your strategy should involve creative assets. Planning your strategies in advance can help you tailor your creative pieces and create graphics that are time-appropriate, attractive and consistent with your hiring needs. Here are a few excellent examples of our clients who aligned their creative assets with their hiring needs.

    Whether it’s hiring specifically for the holidays, announcing higher pay rates or highlighting a specific job position, our clients are able to implement these strategies by having flexibility in their monthly budgets.

    5. Put it all together

    When everything is brought together, talent teams find they can move the needle on recruitment marketing strategies when they specify budget allocations. This is a great, simple, self-explanatory visual to show how that’s possible.

    By dividing the budgets into buckets, organizations can optimize their ROI. So far, we’ve mentioned two major budget buckets, fixed and flexible. A fixed budget is just that. It’s for monthly, recurring expenses. Things such as software and various other technology, licenses, memberships or industry fees. A flexible budget is used for marketing campaigns, or in this case, recruitment marketing campaigns. This budget allows you to have a set yearly budget but be flexible on a monthly basis to ensure you are filling all of your hiring needs.

    Lastly, we want to suggest a third budget bucket called the possibilities budget. This is a smaller bucket that can be used for last-minute costs. It’s your ‘let’s do it budget’ to test out new or different creative or recruitment marketing strategies. Maybe strategies that you’ve never executed before or implementing a project that keeps your company’s recruitment marketing fresh and ahead of competition.

    Once you’ve made decisions about our budget and how to allocate it, it’s time to create and execute the strategies. That’s an area where NAS can help. Contact us and we’ll help you bring everything together to fully maximize your budget.


    Allison Padgett

    As Director of Digital Marketing for NAS, Allison brings over 20 years’ experience to the team. She specializes in PPC/SEM and social where she brings her expertise in planning, strategy, execution, and analyzing, by creating employment marketing campaigns for numerous NAS clients. Not only is Allison determined and motivated about her work, she is also a very dedicated wife and mother to two children. Any free time she gets, you can find her volunteering at the school helping children read or spending time with her family.

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