Containing spiraling recruitment costs - Business Works
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Containing spiraling recruitment costs

by Dee Caporali, Divisional Director, Access Group Today's job market is a scary prospect for employees and businesses that have to contend with the recruitment market which has never been so tough. Economics, legislation, government and globalisation have all combined to create a 'perfect storm' of uncertainty, where fewer jobs exist and many more people are applying for them. Factors include more people applying for jobs outside the UK, more graduates, plus an increase in people staying in and applying for jobs, writes Dee Caporali, Director of Access Group.

As a result, organisations are left with an abundance of CVs, yet quantity doesnít necessarily mean quality. The pressure placed on businesses to fill positions means sky high admin costs which increase in proportion with every CV.

We believe a stand needs to be taken against the rising cost of recruitment and not simply by basic measures such as cutting agency and advertising fees. The responsibility for this lies not just with HR, but with the board. After all, businesses are increasingly wasting money by using inefficient and ineffective processes throughout the organisation during the recruitment process.

How to establish what recruitment is currently costing your organisation

As well as advertising and agency fees, direct and indirect costs need to be considered. Gathering basic 'direct' costs of labour turnover comprises several factors, such as leaverís costs, HR administration and induction fees.

In addition to this, there are 'indirect' costs of labour turnover, which can be difficult to quantify. These include costs to the business, such as loss of sales, arranging cover while a position is filled, reduced output or customer service. Assessing the impact of these will depend on the nature of the business and type of role.

To get a handle on the cost of labour turnover, you firstly need to establish a system for basic record keeping and reporting. The specific measures to cut these costs can be put in place.

How to cut recruitment costs

In light of overall budget-cuts and pressures, recession-hit organisations are likely to implement short-term measures to drive down recruitment costs. Implementing an HR system is of course a bigger project, but one that can pay significant long-term dividends.


Utilising self-service can play a crucial role in reducing costs. It provides staff and managers with access to data held within the HR system. By enabling staff to update information and submit requests, the admin burden is lifted from HR and dispersed to the wider business, and data accuracy is vastly improved. The key benefits of self-service include providing managers with visibility of applications and offering secure online access for staff.

Reporting on demand

Having a place to record all your recruitment activity is essential, but getting accurate information 'out' is just as important. The ability to produce reports quickly not only lifts the admin burden on you, but also enables you and your decision-makers to gain an accurate picture of your recruitment spend and set measures in place to improve performance. A good HR system helps to eliminate the use of spreadsheets, all information is in one place and you get a real-time view of KPIs.

Implement pre-screening

In the past, the only way to decide who had the relevant qualifications and experience was to sift through hard copy CVs. HR systems make this process much simpler by ensuring candidates meet specific criteria before submitting their application. Information is then downloaded straight into the HR system so that applicants can be reviewed at your own convenience, helping you to quickly prioritise relevant candidates, speed up the time taken to process applications and lift the burden on line managers.

Talent pooling and social media interfaces

Vacancies can be posted directly to social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, encouraging candidates to apply directly and allowing existing staff to share the links, which is more effective than spending money with recruitment agencies.

Companies can also encourage candidates to express an interest in a type of role, rather than applying for a specific vacancy. They can then be stored in the 'talent pool' and emailed when a relevant vacancy arises.

Utilise automated messaging

While itís important to keep candidates up-to-date with their application, the sheer volume received can make it impractical to reply to each person. Many employers do not have time to let candidates know when their application has been received. However, using automation messages can be sent within a few clicks. HR systems make it easy to keep applicants in the loop and strengthening your company brand, in a fraction of the time.

Establishing recruitment costs goes beyond calculating basic measures. It is so important to keep accurate and timely records for every stage of the recruitment process. By implementing key measures as explained above, you can reduce administration across the whole organisation, all of which can play a significant role in driving costs down.

For more information about Access Group, please visit:

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