New Optimism for Recruiting. Same Old Recruiting Budget?

Over the past month or so, I have spoken with startups, staffing firms, software players, a couple of hospitals and even some HR vendors. People are seeing signs of life and there is optimism in their voices. People are feeling good, and I don’t expect this good feeling to fade along with our summer tans. There WILL be momentum in recruiting this fall, and this is good news for job seekers, HR executives, recruiters and the economy.

Why am I still worried then?

I’m worried about YOUR budget. I’m worried that you may risk your budget and your sanity by jumping back into the game with the same approach you used in 2008. I’m worried that you won’t allow yourself the time to think strategically about using new channels to find candidates. Here are three things to consider before committing yourself to the same old recruiting budget and risk flushing some of your precious, reinstated budget down the drain in 2010 and beyond.

#1 – Know your past by the metrics. What channels have led you to quality candidates and hires? Really review the analytics and have the recruitment marketing ROI in hand before you start buying again. This way, you don’t go to the same well and come up empty.

#2 – Diversify your approach as you market your jobs. When I say diversify, I don’t mean try different job boards. Target a portion of your budget to test new but proven ways to market your job openings and your organization’s employment brand. This includes job search engine optimization, recruitment pay-per-click marketing and social media recruiting.

#3 – Think about contingency search now. By being proactive with your contingency search plans, you can negotiate a fair and reasonable rate with staffing firms before their business picks up as well. They are hungry for business, and you can leverage that hunger into a reasonable deal. If you “just don’t use staffing firms” – even better, they will want your business even more. Find a few strategic staffing partners and negotiate with them more aggressively.

Seriously considering these three important recruiting budget issues will make me worry a little less tonight.
Optimism is back. New momentum is rising. The quickest way to make these things disappear like the summer is to jump back into your same old recruiting budget. Are you ready to innovate? Great. Buckle your seat belt for a wild ride.

Neil Costa is the Managing Partner and CEO of HireClix, an interactive recruitment marketing agency located in Gloucester, MA. HireClix works as a trusted adviser to corporate recruiting teams and staffing firms as they develop new and innovative ways to use search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, targeted interactive advertising and social media to build their employment ... and target job seekers. Find us on the web at

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