How to build a business case for recruitment investment

January 29th, 2021
HireVue Team
Metrics & Analytics,
Recruiting Teams

As the HR technology market continues to mature and advance, HR professionals are finding themselves in the challenging position of appealing to the C-suite for new investments...again.

In order to compete for top talent, today’s recruiters feel the need to be on the cutting edge of virtual recruiting methods, conversational ai, as well as the latest assessments that aid data-driven hiring decisions.

There’s just one problem: the thought of venturing into the “C-suite” can often feel overwhelming. Why? HR is often viewed as an administrative business function, whereas other departments, such as Sales or Operations, are often viewed as revenue-generating. The idea of taking a seat at the executive table, which has historically been off-limits to HR professionals, can feel daunting.

However, armed with a few tried-and-true guidelines, you can feel confident in your ability to craft a foolproof business case for the recruitment investment your people need.

Start with the end in mind

HR has shifted dramatically over the past half century, moving from a focus on compliance and safety for assembly line workers to one of strategy and performance management for a growing pool of knowledge workers. As a result, there’s a growing need for strategic, rather than tactical, thinking within the HR function.

So before making an appeal to company leadership for more resources, it’s critical to clearly communicate how HR strategy may be misaligned with the overall company’s strategy, and how you will use new resources to bring the two into alignment.

Start with a company-wide objective, and work backwards. Where’s the disconnect? How is your current technology helping HR to align with that objective? What can be improved? 

For example, let’s say your CEO has set a company-wide growth target of 30% for the upcoming year. In order to support that growth, you know the company will need to increase the number of employees by at least 10%. However, you’re not currently equipped to hire that many new, quality employees in the allotted time period. Failing to make enough hires in time could directly impact your organization’s ability to meet its growth goal.

After demonstrating the problem(s) you’ve discovered, and the potential impact on the company as a whole, craft a list of proposed solutions that clearly align HR goals with organizational goals.

$peak the language of the C-suite

In order to communicate effectively with executives, it’s imperative to tie the warm, softer benefits of HR technology - such as time savings or candidate experience - with cost savings and revenue goals.

Start by demonstrating an understanding that your department is a business resource, which can either generate or lose money. Know your recruitment metrics, and the ways in which they impact the bottom line, inside and out. Get specific by translating your metrics into real company dollars.

Then, prove that your team has considered all of the costs associated with a change, including data migration, training staff, and the need for IT support.

Finally, don’t forget to pinpoint the time at which you expect to get a return on the investment. How long will it take to start saving or making money?

Data first

People operations can be challenging to quantify. However, armed with the right data, you’re one step closer to earning your recruitment investment. Use numbers to paint a picture of where you are now, and where you need to be.

(Not sure where to start? Start with HireVue’s easy-to-use Hiring ROI calculator.)

It’s not only important to know your own company’s data; know your competitors, too. While it might not be possible to get your hands on specific companies’ recruitment metrics, you can oftentimes find industry averages to use as benchmarks, like this one from the Society for Human Resources.

Keep it simple by using 3-5 key data points, and describing how an investment in recruitment technology will increase company performance.

Whether your proposed solution involves new video interview software, assessment tools, recruitment automation, or something else entirely, getting C-level buy-in is no easy feat. However, by developing a metrics-based proposal, thinking as a strategic HR leader, and doing your data and number-driven homework, you can build a solid case for your organization to invest in recruitment software. 

What other actions can you take to influence your recruitment metrics? Read our latest whitepaper:

Beyond Recruitment ROI: How to boost your bottom line with every hire