How to Get a Bigger Hiring Budget

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fingertips walking across coins Seventy-four percent of HR professionals across the world believe that their organization should be adopting more innovative hiring and talent management processes, according to a recent FutureStep survey . It’s clear that today’s talent management executives believe that innovative hiring and talent management practices are key to winning the war for talent. What the study also revealed, however, was that in the U.S. at least, “a lack of senior buy-in as well as a shortage of both financial investment and time” were the main obstacles to them engaging in more innovative practices.

So, since securing financial investment for innovative hiring initiatives is currently providing problems for corporate recruiters, below are some tips on gaining senior management buy-in and investment from decision makers.

For starters, don’t be afraid of asking your CEO or boss for money, because research suggests that most bosses are pretty spooked about talent shortages and are eager and willing to make changes.

Yes, PwC’s 2014 Global CEO survey  revealed that a massive 93 percent of CEOs acknowledge the need to change their talent strategies and less than a third have acted on these plans. This shows that there is a massive window of opportunity for bold recruiting and HR professionals to step forward and take their piece of the budget pie. In particular it seems that CEOs want to hear all about innovation, with nearly half of them seeing in-house innovation as being crucial to success.

Next, bring a focus on innovative technologies as CEOs are basically sold on the importance of technology with more than 80 percent believing that technological advances will transform their business over the next five years. I think that recruiting and HR budget seekers will massively increase the chance of the CEO taking a ‘punt/chance’ on their idea if it is technology related.

Don’t forget to work on your CEO’s fears as they are powerful motivators to act. The PwC research shows that 47 percent  are spooked by the speed of technological change and see it as a threat to their growth prospects. This is up 42 percent from last year. So, benchmark your organization and show them that you are lagging behind the competition in terms of innovative recruiting practices. Tap into this fear of falling behind in the technology race by clearly showing that your organization is falling behind in terms of HR. By showing that your lack of innovative hiring practices is making it harder for you to source talent, you’ll tap into the other key fear of CEOs, which is that 63 percent of them are concerned about the availability of key skills.

Yes, if you really want to sell to your boss, you need to appeal to them on an emotional level. It’s widely accepted in advertising that the most effective and successful adverts appeal to the viewer on an emotional level, be that hopes and fears, and this is what you need to do to effectively lobby your CEO.

Of course, at some point you’ll need to work through the contractual small print of initial outlay, ROI, etc., but this will all run much more smoothly if you have generated a wave of excitement, be that hope or fear, based about your new HR innovative.

By Kazim Ladimeji