March 10, 2020 BestCompaniesAZ

Inexpensive Recruiting Ideas to Attract and Retain Talent

(Originally published March 2016, Updated March 2020.)

With the average cost-per-hire at $4,425, human resource professionals must navigate how to recruit top talent without breaking the bank.

One of the best ways to save recruitment advertising dollars is to keep the staff you currently employ by reducing turnover. However, no matter your retention rate, you’ll inevitably still have to use affordable tactics to fill vacant positions.

Money saving recruiting ideas to start the recruitment process

1. Win awards and get featured for an outstanding work culture and achievements 🥇

By highlighting your culture and unique employee perks through award programs, you can solidify your employer branding. As a result, you’ll gain a competitive edge in attracting top talent. By creating an inbound recruiting channel, candidates will come to you, saving time and costs.

How does this work?

  • Get added to a “Best Company” list and immediately increase your media exposure.
  • Spread the word that your company is one of the best places to work through marketing materials and social media campaigns.
  • Highlight the Most Admired Company status everywhere – email signature blocks, website, and social media to name a few.

2. Implement an employee referral program 🗣️

The best candidates out there may already exist in your current employees’ networks. By awarding a bonus to any employees who refer a successful candidate, you cut down recruiting costs and get quality candidates in the pipeline.

Did you know? Employee referrals are the top source of hires. Average tenure also tends to be longer for referred employees, meaning that you’ll also save costs from higher retention down the road. If you don’t have an employee referral program in place, you’re missing out on one of the best inexpensive recruiting ideas.

3. Grow your digital footprint 💻

Social media channels, such as LinkedIn, are prime channels to target both active and passive candidates. By building up your brand, you’ll send clear messages about what your company is all about. You can also leverage social media channels to announce any hard-to-fill positions. Passive lurkers and those looking out for job seeking friends are sure to keep a sharp eye out for exciting new opportunities while scrolling through their own networks.

The Most Inexpensive Recruiting Idea? Retain Current Employees

Hiring new employees is costlier than retaining the current employee base. It’s more than base pay. If unable to retain current talent, consider the costs of a new employee such as taxes, benefits and worker’s compensation. Plus, there are soft costs to consider such as training, new equipment and lost work during that initial onboarding phase.

Turnover can cost a company an additional $15,000 per employee replaced.

Understanding the relationship between retaining employees and the bottom line is simple. Less costs to recruit, hire and train new employees means more money for the bottom line.

Straight-Forward Tips to Retain Employees

1. Are current employees satisfied? How can you find this out? Ask!

Money is not the only motivating factor. Consider no or low cost programs that are proven to increase employee engagement and satisfaction, such as an employee recognition program, ability to telecommute or flex-time schedules, and casual dress days to name a few.

2. Promote from within the company.

Communicate open positions within the company. Encourage suitable employees to apply for these positions. Create a talent database where employees and managers can see who might be suitable for backfill or new positions.

3. Be Innovative.

Create interdepartmental work groups who can share ideas and create new products or services. Use the talent you have and recognize innovators for the contributions.

4. Revise professional development opportunities

The most common preventable reason for which people voluntarily leave their job is to pursue career development. If your people feel like they’re hitting or approaching a glass ceiling, it should be no surprise that they’re seeking growth elsewhere. Evaluate what your career development programs involve, and if they are being communicated to potential candidates as part of your branding.

As before any project, research the true need for additional help before beginning a campaign of inexpensive recruiting ideas. You may have the talent in the organization already which means the cost of recruitment is zero.

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