How to Ensure Recruiting is a Valued Organizational Business Partner

Today, recruiters have a timely opportunity to raise their profile within their broader organization, thanks to advanced recruiting tools and techniques, common sense best practices and better use of data and metrics. These assets are helping recruiters transform themselves into highly valued business partners with three key internal constituents: hiring managers, the finance organization and the executive team. Here are a few key steps to reaching this ambitious objective with each stakeholder.

Build Trust with Hiring Managers

It goes without saying that your relationship with hiring managers is paramount to your recruiting success, but some challenges exist that can lead to the relationship getting off on the wrong foot. The first is communication, or lack thereof. Some hiring managers have a tendency to throw reqs over the wall, with unrealistic expectations, and keep their fingers crossed that great candidates will fall in their lap. Recruiters who don’t push back and actively collaborate with hiring managers won’t be able to fill their roles adequately, and it can create a downward cycle of frustration.

Spending time one-on-one with hiring managers goes a long way to establishing trust, especially if you can share insights into hiring trends, candidate availability based on roles and skills, and industry-wide salary data. Data can also help you set expectations with the time required to source and fill each role, and cooperating on simple things like job listing content geared to appeal better to each candidate will help establish you as a trusted partner who can meet each hiring manager’s needs.  

Speak the Language of Finance

Another key stakeholder is the finance department – the ones who usually control the purse strings for recruiting budgets. Finance is tasked with prioritizing the allocation of financial resources across the company, and it’s up to recruiters to ‘speak the same language’ if they want to justify and lock up their budgetary proposals.

The biggest challenge here is that recruiting ROI is not usually translated into financial terms. It’s seen as a long-term investment in human capital. The sales department, comparatively, can more easily predict how much impact someone will have on revenue to justify a bump in budget. But if recruiters can model out the financial conversation to show the impact they have on the cost of human capital (the biggest expense a company has), they can more easily bridge the gap with finance. By showing how fast you can get people into the right roles (reducing time to hire) and optimizing the matching process of candidates to open roles (reducing the risk of attrition later in the game), you’ll be able to demonstrate your control of recruiting costs and create a tangible model for improving productivity.

Use Data to Build Your Case

Data can help you justify your recruiting budget, whether it’s for better recruiting tools, headcount or salaries. One way to show ROI is to measure how many messages are needed to result in a single hire. You can model it out to finance by multiplying the number of hires needed per year by the number of total aggregate messages to close them, then show how much time will be saved by using automated recruiting tools or subscriptions to improve productivity. In the case of Hired, reply rates are as high as 90 percent because candidates are all active tech talent looking to move jobs right now. That gives you a dramatic and measurable savings of time.

The next step is to calculate the ‘cost of an empty seat.’ Every day a role is unfilled has a financial impact on the organization. By looking at each employee’s estimated revenue contribution (which is actually even higher for tech jobs), you can quantify the lost revenue and downstream productivity cost. Getting a position filled much quicker mitigates those losses and can help you justify your budget – and build a better peer-to-peer relationship with finance.

Show Your Goals Are in Line with Company Objectives

Executive buy-in is the final validation. Providing the right data points on time-to-fill and cost-of-an-empty-seat is exactly the type of analysis the C-suite wants to see. If you speed the hire of an employee that can get a product to market faster and increase user growth by, say, 20-40 percent, you can quantify the impact on revenue. Recruiters should use this type of analysis to show how their operation aligns with the company’s business goals and focuses on an investment in people power that will pay measurable dividends. That’s a value proposition that resonates with every executive team.

To learn more about how you can demonstrate ROI to the finance department, watch our recorded webcast Get the Recruiting Budget Your Deserve.