5 ways to reduce your recruitment costs

Up to 70% of UK businesses expect to reduce hiring over the next year in a bid to cut costs, according to a nationwide CFO survey by Deloitte. With Brexit on the horizon, an increasing number of businesses are focused on cost reduction as the continued uncertainty around the country’s EU exit takes its toll. Recruitment, however, is crucial for business growth and remaining resilient in a changing economic climate. It also gives the business an innovative and competitive edge by having the best people working for the company.

Recruitment costs

Creating a workforce of highly skilled and ambitious people is what all companies strive for, but this takes strategic recruitment which can come with a hefty price tag. The total cost of recruitment can vary greatly, however, if you include advertising, onboarding and the length of time the new employee takes to get up to speed, the average cost of replacing one employee can be up to £30,000, according to Oxford Economics.

Reducing the cost of recruitment

Regardless of who you are hiring and the methods you use to find and select them, there are various ways you can reduce recruitment costs while still attracting quality candidates to fill your vacancies.

1.   Create employee ambassadors

Employee advocacy is a powerful and inexpensive tool that can have a huge impact on your advertising and recruitment. Peer to peer influence and word of mouth marketing can help you reach relevant candidates for those harder to fill roles. If you feel confident that you are doing everything necessary to make your employees feel happy, supported and engaged, then encourage them to share their experiences online. This will not just give people a positive insight into your organisation but it also works as free advertising and marketing. Research by LinkedIn has found that companies who successfully use their employees as brand advocates are 58% more likely to attract and 20% more likely to retain top talent.

2.   Introduce a recruitment referral scheme

If you struggle to find candidates to fill certain roles, consider using existing employees to help you find the talent you need. Employees are likely to only refer people they know will fit the role’s requirements and company culture. Referral schemes help reduce recruitment costs, improve staff retention and speed up the onboarding process. You may have to set aside some budget to give employees an appropriate thank you bonus for a successful introduction, but in the long-term, this can be hugely cost-effective.

3.   Take advantage of social media

The report by Oxford Economics reveals that companies spend an average of £370 on advertising per employee. A survey by SimplyHired found that using social media helps to reduce the cost of recruitment by at least 50%, while significantly reducing the amount of time spent on identifying suitable candidates. Social media is now an important tool in recruitment for both job seekers and recruiters. It enables organisations to reach out to job hunters and those who aren’t actively looking. While there are considerable long-term gains, in the short term you do need to invest time in putting together the right messages and interacting with other users.

4.   Create a clear and relevant job advert

To get value for money, especially in today’s candidate market, your job advert should be engaging, search optimised and clearly outline the job’s key requirements and responsibilities. Make sure the requirements you include on your advert are relevant and genuine. This helps to ensure you don’t attract applicants that aren’t suitable and you don’t alienate your ideal candidate. For instance, don’t say candidates should have a degree if if it would be more advantageous to emphasise that they have relevant knowledge skills and experience. If the role could be part-time, flexible or remote working, then the job advert should state this to help broaden the range of candidates who can apply. Making these small adjustments won’t cost you anything and can make a huge difference in finding the right person sooner. 

5.   Reduce the need to recruit

One of the most effective ways to cut the cost of recruitment is to reduce the need to recruit in the first place. This means reducing staff turnover by improving the way you support and engage your employees, such as offering clear career paths and opportunities for growth, along with competitive pay. A strong emphasis on company culture, highlighting team and individual successes and creating a positive and motivating working environment can have a significant impact on improving staff retention. Refining your recruitment processes will also help you to improve the quality of the talent you hire which in turn should lead to higher retention and less staff turnover overall

For advice or support with your next recruitment campaign, contact HR Solutions on 0844 324 5840. Find out about our Fixed Fee Recruitment service by visiting




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