Maximizing recruiting ROI through structured hiring: Advice for financial decision-makers

Team brainstorm with post its

4 mins, 52 secs read time

In our post-2020 world, uncertainty and unpredictability have made employees look for more agency in their careers and place a greater emphasis on their total well-being. This has resulted in tension between the phenomenon of “quiet quitting” and numerous organizations rising up to the challenge of meeting employees where they are by giving them what they want.

The costly state of hiring today

Today’s candidates are also increasingly traversing non-linear career paths and are a bit less predictable in their goals and expectations. These changing dynamics have often resulted in adding costs to an organization’s hiring process, particularly within larger enterprises with year-round hiring demands.

These added costs can logically be associated with an elongated hiring cycle as unpredictability usually adds both time and risk to the process. Then we have the costs that cascade or branch into other downstream or adjacent costs, such as when job candidates deep into a hiring process voluntarily “opt out” (otherwise known as ghosting), or when they join an organization and then leave shortly thereafter.

Clearly, these various types of costs have required financial decision-makers like CFOs and FP&A leaders to think differently – broadening their traditional recruiting ROI lens which historically may have focused on staffing agency fees. These executives are responsible for controlling people costs and maximizing outcomes such as recruiting ROI. They’re also recognizing how often their org is paying above-market compensation or when there are instances of overlapping salaries due to contractual obligations attached to incoming and exiting employees.

Some trends to consider

In the most recent 2024 Greenhouse Candidate Experience Report, close to one in every two employees (42%) cite that they are actively looking for a new job within the next six months, indicating that mobility is not slowing down. On the latter point, the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report cited 30% of employees leaving during their first 90 days on the job.

When jobs routinely take longer to fill or are filled but then perhaps need to be filled again in a short time, these facts rarely escape the radar of top CFOs within major business entities, especially when business results might already be coming in below target, or when the economy can’t be described as robust overall. These circumstances tend to prompt an even greater emphasis on recruiting ROI. In fact, most forecasts project consumer spending growth to cool and for overall GDP growth to slow to under 1% over the balance of 2024.

How structured hiring can help

The majority of today’s HR departments understand that a disorganized interviewing and hiring process characterized by candidates being asked whatever questions seem appropriate or interesting to the interviewer will often allow bias to creep in. The result of this approach? Hiring the wrong person for the role, having to let them go and restarting the hiring process, which costs valuable time and money and leaves hiring teams wondering where they went wrong.

Instead, a structured hiring and interview process with a hiring software like Greenhouse complete with job kickoff features for stakeholder alignment, interviewer scorecards, predetermined questions and identifiable focus attributes, will result in the right hire and a ton of savings.

A structured hiring process with Greenhouse can save companies $121K per recruiter every year.– 2024 IDC White Paper commissioned by Greenhouse, The Business Value of Greenhouse

Processing applications quickly also leads to less frustration among candidates, and more broadly, to a more positive employer brand for attracting top talent. In the newest Greenhouse Candidate Experience Survey, nearly 8 in 10 candidates across the US (77%) expect a response from a prospective employer within two weeks of applying. This is all a product of a great structured hiring process that’s constantly improving.

Three ways financial decision-makers can collaborate with HR for business success

When recruiting costs begin to escalate for an organization, CFOs and FP&A executives will become more focused on the different ways to shave material costs from the process. These key stakeholders should become Talent Makers® – leaders who recognize the power of structured hiring as a strategic business advantage. There are, however, a few nuances financial stakeholders should keep in mind when collaborating with their HR colleagues:

  1. Financial planning: Remember that hiring should be a priority in any financial forecasting. When you collaborate with HR, you can better accurately adjust headcount forecasts based on business needs. Regularly meet with your talent operations leader to understand your employees’ lifetime value (ELTV) to be able to predict the value of your hiring efforts and adjust accordingly.
  2. Crisis management: HR teams have deep knowledge of the overall needs of the workforce and can help financial leaders in the decision-making process in moments of crisis, such as economic downturns. Their talent ops team’s data (effectiveness of hiring or where there are redundancies) becomes invaluable in difficult times like this. Ensure that the right data is being consistently shared for informed decision-making.
  3. Compensation and rewards: When budgets are tight, businesses have to get creative to retain great talent. HR has an opportunity to use onboarding and annual and exit surveys to understand what employees want and align that with overall financial goals. Finance teams should use this to their advantage to see where non-monetary compensation can elevate engagement and reduce attrition (and of course, cut costs).

As an increasing number of organizations have evolved from proactively managing people costs to applying the same level of rigor to optimizing ROI on HR-related activities (such as recruiting ROI), CFOs and FP&A executives are becoming more attuned to best practices relative to hiring. The business leaders that understand their role in hiring are the ones who will set themselves apart from the rest, and take their companies to the next level.

Steve Goldberg

Steve Goldberg

Steve Goldberg's 30+ year career on all sides of the HR process and technology includes HR executive roles on three continents, serving as HCM product strategy leader and spokesperson at PeopleSoft and co-founding boutique recruiting tech and change management firms. Steve’s uniquely diverse perspectives have been leveraged by both HCM solution vendors and corporate HR teams, and in practice leader roles at Bersin and Ventana Research. He holds an MBA in HR, is widely published and is a feature speaker around the globe. He’s been recognized as a Top 100 HRTech Influencer. When he's not offering his perspectives on HCM and HR tech, Steve enjoys playing jazz and blues piano (self-taught as a teenager), and has given talks as a volunteer to groups of inmates at maximum security prisons in three states. Connect or keep the conversation going with Steve on LinkedIn and X.

Ready to become great at hiring?

Request a demo today