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Talent Strategy | 5 minute read

How to build a compelling business case for talent acquisition budget

February 9, 2024

Securing investment for talent acquisition isn’t always easy, but as companies struggle to hire and retain talent (and will continue to do so in the years ahead due to crippling skills shortages), it’s never been more important. Talent acquisition leaders, therefore, must build a compelling business case for budget. The right planning tools will ensure you gain that all-important executive buy-in for investment in talent acquisition. 

How do I build the business case to secure investment in talent acquisition?  

The first step is to review your entire talent acquisition function and consider spend in three core areas: people, processes and platforms.

As a talent leader, it’s your job to understand the resource needs across the whole company. Look at what’s needed from an operational and growth perspective and base your talent strategy around this. If you put it in these terms, key stakeholders will better understand the resourcing and hiring needs – and the budget request that goes along with it. Consider a layered approach to your cost estimate so you can show executives that it’s negotiable.

85% of businesses either have, or expect to have, shortages in critical skills according to a report from PwC. 

People: Align your talent strategy with key stakeholders 

Work with key stakeholders across the business to understand their objectives and ensure the talent strategy is aligned. Compile a list of the skillsets they’ll need to hit their objectives in the short, medium and long term. Be sure these considerations are incorporated into your workforce planning strategy. Revisit and recalibrate as needs shift. 

Top tip: In talent acquisition, the people cost is usually the highest, followed by investment in HR technology. You may be able to lower the people cost and improve efficiencies by investing in technology and/or process improvement. If you need help with this, consider partnering with a talent consultant as they will be able to advise on talent acquisition tech and process improvement.

Processes: Adjust your workforce planning strategy regularly 

To thrive, talent leaders should be honest about any obstacles they foresee impacting the talent acquisition strategy and proposed budget. This shows stakeholders that you’ve taken a considered approach by thinking through all possible scenarios and will get you that much-needed buy-in. Your list of needed skillsets should be incorporated into your workforce planning strategy. Revisit and recalibrate as needs shift, too. 

Read more: The HR metrics you should be tracking

Platform: Evaluate how your tech stacks up 

Be sure to identify opportunities and gaps within your current talent acquisition tech stack in order to make the biggest impact. Do the platforms generate more productivity, or can they provide better data visibility? Compile these platforms you’re missing from this analysis in your budget and detail the reasons why your talent acquisition function would benefit from them holistically. You can also ask HR tech vendors for case studies and additional data to demonstrate ROI to the stakeholders you’re trying to influence. 

Looking at all angles and showcasing the value of the investment will do well in showing you intend to act quickly and form an immediate plan for improvement. 

Securing investment for strategic growth

The right level of investment can turn your talent program into a strategic, business-impacting function. Continuous improvement must be baked into all talent acquisition strategies, whether you decide to keep talent acquisition in-house or if you decide to outsource it by partnering with an RPO provider. 

To get the action items or key takeaways for each of the above people, processes and platform sections, download our toolkit in securing investment in talent acquisition below. 

Securing investment in talent acquisition
Read our interactive toolkit on how to gain stakeholder buy-in for long-term growth.
Download the toolkit
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About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent workforce solutions, talent consulting and talent intelligence.