If you’re ready to invest in a recruiting platform, then you know you’re in for countless weeks, or maybe months of due diligence—tireless research, vendor comparisons, wading through user testimonials, and reviews. But perhaps just as important as finding the right recruiting platform is getting executive buy-in for investing in your platform of choice. It pays to rally support and start the buy-in process early.
But where to begin? Most CEOs report that finding top talent is their number one business concern. And it’s very likely that your CEO considers recruiting a top priority. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they understand the nuances of recruitment and why a recruiting platform is so critical.
You know the benefits of your recruiting platform of choice and how it will help you manage the entire hiring process more efficiently, from building your talent pool to successfully on-boarding your new hires. Broad talent management or HRIS suites just won’t cut it. They provide limited recruiting functionality. Because in today’s competitive hiring market, recruiting is less about HR and more about sales and marketing. And that includes marketing to your own executives.
But to secure executive buy in, you need to speak the common language of business value and impact, and clearly outline what’s in it for them. This guide is designed to help you do just that. We’ll help you zero in on the numbers and value potential of implementing a recruiting platform. Armed with this data, you can spell out the advantages to executive decision-makers—and then get the technology you need to succeed.
In order to muster executive support, you need to help your decision-makers understand the issue. That means first conveying the importance of recruiting and why recruiting top talent requires a different level of recruiting technology.
Here are some tips for framing the discussion:
Executives may not know all the day-to-day challenges you’re facing with an inadequate recruiting solution (or no recruiting solution at all). Don’t complain, but make sure they understand your biggest pain points, what those challenges are costing the organization, and how a new recruiting platform can change that. Be prepared to clearly show the measurable upside to using a comprehensive recruiting platform—as well as the measurable downside to not using one.
Step back and look at what’s happening in the market to find drivers that will support the need for a recruiting platform. For example:
These market dynamics, paired with your carefully prepared business case, will help you make a strong strategic argument for a recruiting solution.
Don’t discount the importance of other stakeholders and influencers who can help support your case. Look beyond your team to identify other people in the organization who would directly and rapidly benefit from a recruiting solution, like a department head who has had a difficult time finding quality candidates, or a manager looking to quickly hire more salespeople before a product launch. Once you’ve identified your allies and stakeholders—including your own recruiters, sourcers, and hiring managers—get them involved early in the process, so you can maximize their support to help drive consensus. Don’t forget about influencers. Maybe there’s a tenured sales rep who has the CEO’s ear or a tenured hiring manager who can help you drive change.
Understanding each decision-maker’s unique concerns will help you develop a proposal to win them over.
With any important conversation, timing is everything. It’s important to find the right time to raise your proposal. Notice when your stakeholders are beginning to care about a larger topic or trend that’s related to recruiting and hiring. For example, when key players leave or join the organization or when talent shortages in certain areas get widespread media coverage. Provide your stakeholders with context and content about the role of recruiting in your organization and the results you’re driving.
It’s important to be mindful of deadlines as well. A major product launch on the horizon may drive the need to hire new salespeople quickly. Your key decisionmakers will be more open to your proposal if you can link your recommendation for a recruiting platform to an organizational priority or shift. At the same time, be aware of other pressure facing your executive-level decision-makers. If an executive is especially busy or a deadline is approaching, then make sure you’re not overloading them with details.
If your decision-makers or influencers like to be involved in the details, include them in the process early. Provide opportunities for them to talk to you, read reports, or sit in on meetings with vendors. Get IT involved early. Your IT team will likely have questions about security, downtime, data backup, and more. Put your IT team at ease by discussing these topics, along with other critical infrastructure requirements, so you know what solution will best cover your bases.
And, lastly and most importantly, take key decisionmakers along the journey with you so that they continue to understand the original problems you’re trying to solve and the steps you’re taking to fix them.
Numbers speak volumes and your executives will want to understand the measurable return on investing in a recruiting platform. Calculate the ways in which the right recruiting technology will help you save time, boost productivity, reduce costs, and hire longer lasting, more qualified talent. Your recruiting platform vendor should be able to provide you with an ROI analysis of their product.
This is where the details count. Know your current metrics, such as cost to hire, time-to-hire, time-to-fill, application rates, quality of hire, and more. Be ready to prove how your new solution will report on those numbers, surface insights, and recommend actions to take to improve them.
And, don’t underestimate more qualitative factors that will impact your ROI such as delivering a great candidate experience. Whether it’s a mobile apply process or a winning career website, your recruiting software should support everything you need to showcase your employer brand.
If you don’t know your metrics, look for industry stats and benchmarks to support your case. Learn a few easy ways to become a data-driven recruiter. If you’re in the process of evaluating recruiting platforms already, get your vendors help with building a business case. It’s in their best interest to help you prove value and ROI. Leverage their case studies, testimonials, references, cost analysis, and ROI calculators to build your case.
Talent is the lifeblood of your organization. But top talent can be hard to come by in today’s highly competitive hiring market. That’s why you need to harness all the tools at your disposal to successfully meet your company’s hiring goals.
The right recruiting platform can be a game-changer. But getting executive leadership to understand this—and invest in recruiting technology beyond the generic HR suite—can still be an uphill battle.
However, if you put your sales and marketing skills to work, do your homework, align with the right influencers, and put together a strong business case that demonstrates measurable ROI, you will earn executive buy-in for the recruiting platform you need to succeed.