Recruitment can quickly become a long and expensive process if you don’t streamline your approach and manage your budget effectively. 

And yes, even companies with a tight budget find the best candidates!

So instead of wasting time, and money on dead-end recruitment efforts, use these tips to hire effectively even if you’re on a tight recruitment budget. 

5 steps to optimizing your recruitment budget

files, paper and a calculator laid out to assess a recruitment budget.

1. Assess your recruitment budget

If you’re on a tight budget, you probably have a number in mind for your spending on recruitment.

Typical expenses incurred during recruitment include:

You should also consider comparing past recruitment budgets to predict your spending on each part of the hiring process. This can help you identify areas to save money or improve efficiency for a more cost-effective hire.

Note: Make sure you’re using the best business phone systems so that remote hiring processes, such as video interviews and conference calls, don’t cut your budget.

2. Track and analyze your recruitment process

Whether you hire two new employees a year or 200, tracking and analyzing your recruitment process is essential for spotting problems and streamlining your hiring strategy

Some metrics you should consider monitoring include:

  • Cost per hire
  • Sources of hire (e.g., LinkedIn, referrals)
  • Time taken to fill the role 
  • Time spent on recruitment 
  • Applicants per hire
  • Offer acceptance rate
  • Retention rate

Include recruitment KPIs in your evaluation for clear benchmarks. This will help identify areas for improvement, like finding weak hiring sources or addressing low retention rates, so you know where to concentrate your efforts.

3. Use digital recruitment channels

Recruitment today is largely dependent on online tools and platforms. But popular job boards like Indeed come with a fee. 

To reduce your dependency on paid platforms, you should make the most of social media hiring. After all, a survey found that 86% of job seekers use social media for their search. 

Social media posts also allow you to personalize your job advertisement, and show off your company culture. 

Make sure your job posting on social media includes:

  • Job duties
  • Salary, benefits, and perks
  • Images of your staff and workplace
  • Visual branding in line with your company
  • A clear call to action

Since your job advertising is already online, consider making your entire recruitment process remote by conducting virtual interviews.  

With the right conference call company, you can ensure that calls and video interviews are considerably cheaper than expenses incurred on paying candidates to travel to your office.

4. Perfect your interviews

a hiring team in an office discussing their recruitment budget.

With 41% of recruiters struggling to assess candidates in interviews, you must have a straightforward, standardized interview process that will help you choose the right candidate and increase employee retention. 

Conducting effective interviews will help you better assess candidates’ skills and show your company culture. 

Here are some tips for running interviews that’ll benefit both you and your candidates:

  • Prepare your questions in line with the applicant. Rather than asking vague questions unrelated to the role or your company, prepare focused questions that align with the specifications you’re looking for in the candidate and your company values. 
  • Ask open-ended ‘opportunity’ questions. Don’t search for specific answers from candidates. Ask questions that allow them to talk about themselves and their experiences.
  • Prepare the candidate. Expecting candidates to interview blind doesn’t help them or you. Instead, send the candidate details of what to expect from the interview, what you expect from them, and a timeframe. 
  • Explain the job and your company at the start of the interview. By reiterating the job description and the details of your company, you and the candidate can focus on specifics and respond directly to the role required. 
  • Create a broad interview panel. Assemble a diverse interview panel to ensure a more comprehensive assessment of candidates, reduce bias, and promote better decision-making. 

5. Leverage talent of internal hires and referral programs

You already have talented, loyal employees, many of whom you might wish you could duplicate. 

During the hiring process, start by looking internally. Consider setting up an employee mobility program and training programs to upskill your employees and prepare them for potential promotions. 

Employee referral programs are a great way to leverage your existing employees and cut costs. 

Referred employees often have better retention rates and a lower cost-per-hire, making 88% of employers believe that referrals are the best source for new employees. 

A lot of companies offer cash rewards for referrals, but there are some alternative referral rewards you could implement to cut costs, including:

Cutting costs when it comes to your recruitment process involves a well-thought-out strategy. You must have a referral program, a hiring team, social media, KPIs, and a budget to manage. 

But if you have a centralized platform to manage your entire recruitment process, you can save a significant amount of resources. With Recruit CRM, you can leverage a streamlined applicant tracking system to store, manage, and track your recruitment data in one place. 

Recruitment should be like any other part of your business — you carefully monitor, analyze, and budget for every step of the process.  


Grace Lau – Director of Growth Content, Dialpad

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad. Dialpad contact center software is an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over ten years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she leads branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Grace Lau also published articles for domains such as WebSitePulse and Codemotion

Here is her LinkedIn.