4 things HR must have to save millions on recruitment

In-house recruitment hasn’t delivered on its cost-saving potential, because companies have typically ended up with a large and expensive internal recruitment team.

Because of this reason, some companies have been going in and out of the in-house vs. outsourcing-to-agencies vicious cycle for years now, and without achieving the significant cost saving they’d hoped for.

In this article, I argue that there is now a third and much cheaper option available to those companies who are looking to save money on recruitment.  Actually not only I claim that they can save millions (saving value is proportional to the size of the company), but they could also achieve a better quality recruitment.

In this article, I challenge you that a business can manage recruitment in-house with a skeleton HR team and achieve significant saving!   Yes, you heard me right, I am indeed saying you can run recruitment in-house without a large and expensive recruitment team.  How? Let me explain…


You do it by harnessing
the army of hiring managers
you already have
in the business.

These managers would love to get involved and add value but need access to the right strategy and tools before they can get on board.  By tools, I mean a modern and connected recruitment software platform. Software that’s managed by HR and provides just the right level of visibility to each person in the recruitment process, so they can add maximum value but without stepping on each other’s toes.



The largest costs of recruitment are the salaries of the people involved in the process, and over time some businesses have attempted to reduce costs by outsourcing some or all parts of the process to a service provider. Some continued using dedicated in-house recruiters in the HR team to manage the process while others used a mix of in-house and outsourced recruiters. Whatever they did, it was a trade-off between paying the costs of in-house recruitment staff or those of service providers, and savings attributed to using one or other of the two approaches could often be marginal depending on the business.

But now the latest recruitment software enables businesses to keep (or take back) recruitment in-house without the cost of dedicated recruitment staff in the HR team. For large businesses that can mean reducing whole teams of recruiters leading to savings in the millions.  It allows a single recruiter to manage the overall recruitment process by collaborating with hiring managers across the business, irrespective of their department or location.

In this new scenario, businesses are engaging their army of hiring managers to go into battle and help win the war for talent. Hiring managers are empowered to take control of the hiring process themselves and interact directly with candidates. They get the candidate they want in the timescale they need without relying on HR or external service providers. And they do so at a lesser cost for the business. This is a win/win for HR, for hiring managers and for executives who all want to hire the best talent for the lowest recruitment costs.

However, for businesses to take advantage of potential cost savings they must get all three main stakeholder groups on board: hiring managers; the HR team; and senior executives. Significant cost savings will only accrue if hiring managers have software that helps then hire efficiently and easily, if the HR team can easily oversee the whole process, and if executives have confidence in reporting that provides evidence of improvements. They can only achieve the desired cost savings if their recruitment software offers four critical capabilities:


Simplicity – Intuitive with no Learning Curve

Most managers only hire a few times a year, and so they have to relearn the software at each role. Faced with a steep learning curve each time they come back to it, would dampen their enthusiasm towards it and will ultimately drive them away from it.

Front-line hiring managers want recruitment software that’s as intuitive and easy to use as social media tools like Facebook. If you provide them with tools they can quickly use from any device – including their phones and tablets – you’ll win their buy-in to a streamlined recruitment process that empowers them to deal directly with candidates. If you burden them with complicated software and processes you’ll lose their engagement and you’ll fail to fully realise all the potential cost savings.




To make a highly collaborative process work, HR more than ever will need to be able to fine-tune the role and visibility of each of the stakeholders involved in the process, as well as the workflows too.

HR teams need recruitment software to be flexible enough to accommodate their own unique and optimal recruitment process.  The software must have the flexibility to link all 3 parties – HR, hiring managers and executives – via such optimal process. This enables processes to be fine-tuned and improved, resulting in reduced staff in HR because a single HR staffer can direct, coordinate and report on all key activities in the process.

Flexibility is even more important for large organisations who often have special requirements in different departments or subsidiaries. Multinational businesses need flexible processes to meet legal requirements in different countries. The software must also allow for multiple processes that support recruitment of particular types of staff because, for example, businesses recruit executives in different ways from interns or graduates.


Collaboration for connecting HR and the managers

In order for the hiring managers to add maximum value to the recruitment process, the recruitment software platform in use must have world-class collaborative tools that enable multiple stakeholders to work in full harmony on the same role.

Recruitment software must empower collaboration between hiring managers, HR and executives. All staff involved in a hire must have access to the software, yet with the appropriate access level that allows them to do what they need to do and nothing more. They must be on the same page and able easily to share information and build consensus between each other.

They must be able to work together in harmony and complete each step in the recruitment process efficiently to avoid losing valuable applicants to competing organisations. When the software makes it easy for staff across different departments and locations to efficiently complete their tasks in the recruitment it leads to increased buy-in from all stakeholders.


Insights and accountability

There’s no point engaging your army of hiring managers if you don’t also ensure they’re delivering on their commitments. Recruitment software must track and record enough footprint information so both HR and hiring managers can be held accountable for their respective responsibilities in the process.

Reporting should uncover where bottlenecks are occurring, and pinpoint which people need to improve their performance in the recruiting process. This type of performance reporting helps avoid situations where hiring managers complain about HR failing to provide candidates only for HR to respond by pointing out the hiring manager has failed to follow up with a number of candidates.

Reporting must also provide key recruitment measures like time to offer, time to fill, and effectiveness of sources of applicants. It should support drill-down reporting with reports sliced and diced by departments and hiring managers to identify best practise performers and those who are lagging and may need support and/or coaching.

In summary, businesses can dramatically cut recruitment costs with recruitment software – but only if it’s intuitive, flexible, supports collaboration and delivers insights.


Until next time



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