Strict or Savvy? How Budgets Impact Hiring Processes

Posted on January 2016 By Speller International
Budgeting Balance

​Budgets. They are a part of all of our lives, whether at work, at home, or both. When it comes to hiring, too strict a budget can make it a challenge to get the right people, but it can also give you clearer guidelines and a deeper insight into who is genuinely right for the role. So what are the pros and cons of a strict budget, and how do you make sure you’re getting the numbers working for your hires? Read on.

The Pros of a Tight Budget

They set the boundaries of a project:

Not many hiring managers want to hear it, but budgets are a positive thing. They give you parameters to work within, they give you limits and, therefore, they set your expectations. Far from throwing a spanner in the works, a clear budget allows project managers to set and adhere to strict guidelines, when hiring and otherwise.

They give a clear picture of the people you need:

Particularly when it comes to hiring, a strict budget offers a more informed picture of the resource you are seeking: level of experience, skill background and project/support exposure. You can then relay the correct Job Specification to your HR team or recruitment agency so they can secure the best resource for you.

The Cons of a Tight Budget

You can’t always get what you want:

Many companies struggle to satisfy their need for quality resources within the limitations of budgets and are therefore forced to think of alternative ways of engagement. For example, if a contract resource is needed, the budget may be manipulated to transform this into a fixed term position for a longer duration or into a part-time contract role to extend the services of the consultant. You just have to get a bit savvy with the numbers!

Sometimes the numbers are just too low:

All the savvy in the world just won’t help sometimes, though. Some budgets may be unrealistic and will not secure you the services you require. You may have your hands tied in these instances, nevertheless, voicing your opinion and setting expectations of the calibre of consultant that you want on board for the specified budget is a good idea. This may prompt a budget review or at the very least, ensure that all parties are on the same page regarding the quality of service that will be procured.

So how do you work around a budget that’s too tight?

Look beyond the money when hiring:

Money is not the only motivating factor for candidates. If you have a tight budget then you can always look at other ways to attract top talent, like increased holidays, flexible working hours, option to work from home when appropriate, company car, phone, laptop and other such incentives.

Also, personal development is a good selling point over salary – training someone in a new area and giving them internal or external training can mean much more than money.

Finally, write down your company selling points, team selling points (what makes it a good team) and selling points about the role and even you as a manager. This is a great selling technique for candidates but it also helps you as a manager – as sometimes you forget about the good stuff and can get caught up worrying that your budget is a stopping point.

Find flexibility:

Is there flexibility within your budget? You could try getting approval for your budget to be tied to the team, as opposed to an individual role. This will allow you to spend more money on the business critical skills set/or hard to find skills set and less on other roles where you could hire a more junior resource.

But be honest with yourself – and play the ‘long game’

When working with a strict budget either for a project or for hiring, ensure what you are looking for is realistic. Start with your ideal person or timeline and be prepared to evolve and tweak it as time goes on. Having an unrealistic expectation and a role open for months and months ends up damaging the company image over time, likewise sweating the small things can impact a project worse than a tight budget ever could.