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Working Closest to the Dollar

Since the moment I began my recruiting career it was engrained in me to always “Work Closest to the Dollar”.

For those who are not familiar with this phrase it simply means focus on the things that matter the most. In the industry of recruiting and talent acquisition this can mean many things, but for me it means only two. Focus on the efforts that reduce the vacancy costs and align with your forecasted budget.

Aligning talent needs for the company with the budget seems pretty straight forward, but my approach may be unconventional. I look at every opening as money sitting unused. The longer money sits in a budget unused the greater the chance that budget will go to fulfill another need. Think about your company budget as allocated funds to complete a project. At the end of the month being under budget and having access to funds can only mean one thing, your project is behind! You may have set that money aside to build a deck, but leave it sitting around long enough and Joe from IT may turn that into a portico.

Cost of Vacancy is a more familiar term - the money lost in productivity or revenue due to a position sitting vacant. The ability to reduce this measurement boils down to a few key elements: forecasting, communication and pipelines. Forecasting with hiring managers to understand future needs is critical to building talent communities and filling pipelines. Forecasting can also include looking at historical values such as turnover from past years and peak business cycles or seasons. Reviewing these two data points with hiring managers is important when planning for contingencies and leads to formulating strategies that can counteract the effects.

Communicating team member changes is also critical for successful recruiting. Whether the information is routed through a human resource partner or sent direct from a department manager, the minute a voluntary or involuntary termination happens the recruiting team should be looped in. The longer we sit in the dark directly affects Cost of Vacancy. Not all positions are backfilled exactly the same, but the sooner we have conversations to determine the business need, the sooner you have talent to fill the void.

Having a group of candidates already educated about and engaged with your company is the best way to fill short-term future needs. Give your recruiter a 30-45 day heads-up before opening a requisition and see what happens. Chances are your position is filled in record time with a high quality candidate.

As a recruiter I didn’t always look at my role as having the ability to control organizational costs, but at the end of the day my efforts directly affect the bottom line. Working Closest to the Dollar is a motto that reminds me to focus on the efforts that matter most. I call it my core focus. As part of a fun New Year’s resolution I started sending myself reminders in the form of a question. The last one sent every day is “did your core get a workout today”? If I’m focused on the things that matter most my core is burning by 10:00AM. Here’s to you finding your core, the things that matter most.