setting a budget
In-Finite Opportunities Network

Setting Your Budget: How to Plan Ahead for New Hires Next Year

Once you and your team have a good understanding of the past year’s hiring performance (meaning: your hiring performance and how well you executed on team growth), it’s time to dial in your budget needs for the next year. 

Already?

Already. We’re here. It’s December, suddenly.

For executive teams, delving into the budget for next year’s recruitment efforts entails more than just crunching numbers and squaring the bottom line. It involves assessing the current team, grasping the changes in recruitment costs over the past 12 months, and ensuring that your hiring strategy aligns seamlessly with broader business objectives.

Now’s a perfect time to examine those questions.

Here are a few tips for managing that process as you talk through the numbers.

Analyzing Team Dynamics

Think of your company as a project team gearing up for a crucial phase: preparing for the next fiscal year and its attendant business goals. You want your team in tip-top shape, so take a look at how it currently functions.

To lead this “project” effectively, executive teams need a thorough understanding of their current team’s dynamics. Who’s involved? Who’s doing what? Analyzing your team’s skills, workload, and areas for improvement sets the stage for strategic decisions about growth. You’re bound to find strengths and you’re bound to find weaknesses. Be honest about each.

Regularly revisiting your team’s overall structure ensures that when new team members are onboarded, their skills complement and elevate the existing team.

This process will also give you a chance to budget for those new hires. Are you missing a key player in project management? Is your team growing fast enough to warrant a new entry-level employee to execute strategy? Do you envision significant growth after a Q3 product launch? 

Get your ducks in a row now and budget for the hiring moves that will come later.

Questions to guide the conversation:

  • What are the key skills and strengths of our existing team, and how can we leverage this information to strategically augment our workforce?
  • How well do we understand the current workload distribution within our team, and what insights can guide us in identifying areas that may require additional support?
  • In what ways do we envision our team’s duties evolving over the next 12 months?

Navigating the Financial Landscape of Hiring

Now, let’s dive into the specifics—like actual recruitment costs. If you think in a more micro-oriented mindset, it might be easier to assess the big picture of your company. Look at the cost behind each of your recent hires, and factor that into your overall recruitment budget as well.

Executives must budget meticulously for every aspect of the hiring process, from advertising job openings to conducting interviews and, ultimately, to paying out salaries and benefits. This is crucial for financial leaders at the helm, as understanding where every resource is allocated in the hiring process enables smart, informed decision-making from the top down.

It’s not just about spending; it’s about recognizing that quality hires are a long-term investment, positioning your team for sustained success.

How has your hiring process gone in the past year or two? Do you see ways to trim those costs by bringing in a talent acquisition firm to take some of the work off your plate? Is there a chance to shorten the hiring cycle and reclaim some of your managers’ time spent scouting new team members? 

These are fundamental questions that you must consider, and it all comes down to costs and revenues in the end, balancing these considerations against the inevitable bottom line. 

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Questions to guide the conversation:

  • Can I clearly outline and categorize the various costs associated with the hiring process, from advertising positions to onboarding?
  • What cost-efficient practices can be implemented to streamline the hiring process without compromising the quality of our recruitment efforts?
  • How do we view the recruitment process–as a short-term expense or a long-term investment in the company’s talent pool and future success?

Setting Clear Objectives

Moving on to aligning hiring strategies with the company’s overarching plan, it’s critical to be mindful of the company’s overall budget. What percentage of internal costs is being chewed up by recruitment? Is that too much? Too little? 

Those questions can only be answered when considering the company’s overarching business plan and growth strategy. Your team has its north star, so let that guide these more recruitment-specific conversations. 

Setting clear hiring objectives ensures everyone is on the same page and helps executives avoid deviations that could derail the company’s progress (and cost a lot of money). 

Much like project leadership, executives need a clear destination, and the hiring plan serves as the roadmap steering the organization toward its goals.

Better yet: Print your hiring plan and tack it to the wall for your eventual executive meetings. Distribute it to team leaders. Remind yourself of the long game when it comes time to make a job offer to someone. 

Questions to guide the conversation:

  • Are our hiring objectives well-defined, and do they align with the strategic goals of our organization?
  • How realistic are the timelines we’ve set for the recruitment process, and what adjustments can be made to ensure both efficiency and quality?
  • To what extent have we communicated and aligned our hiring objectives with key stakeholders?

Crafting Attractive Compensation Packages

talent retentionNow, let’s discuss the critical topic of salaries and benefits: Here’s where the real nitty-gritty budget work comes into play.

This is the part where you negotiate a package with your key team member, enhancing the deal to keep them committed and satisfied while aligning that package with your overarching company vision.

In the business world, it’s about benchmarking industry standards for salaries and offering competitive benefits. For executives, this is about staying competitive in the talent market while distinguishing your company as an attractive target. Top talents want more than just a role; they seek a comprehensive package. Executives need to recognize that being generous here is an investment in team morale and performance—a win-win for everyone involved.

The budget process for the following year is not a time to skimp. You can always negotiate the nuances of those packages when it comes time to make job offers, but give yourself some clearance to up an offer, too, when you’re in the trenches of budgeting. 

Questions to guide the conversation:

  • Have we thoroughly researched and benchmarked industry standards for salaries and benefits to ensure competitiveness?
  • How well do we customize compensation packages to align with the individual preferences and needs of potential hires?
  • In addition to attracting top talent, how can our compensation packages contribute to long-term retention and job satisfaction?

Building a High-Performance Team

In wrapping it up, think of these considerations as essential elements for a recruitment strategy that not only attracts but retains top talent. Remember: You can’t think of talent acquisition without thinking of talent retention. The two must go hand in hand. 

It’s not just about the immediate financial implications; it’s about building a team that propels the company forward, ensuring sustained success and a competitive edge in the talent market.

Questions to guide the conversation:

  • What proactive strategies do we have in place to retain our existing top performers while bringing in new talent?
  • How can our budgeting decisions positively impact team morale, contributing to a high-performance and collaborative work environment?
  • In what ways does our budgeting approach contribute to creating a competitive edge in the talent market, positioning us as an employer of choice?

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