All of us want more budget: Your CFO, your logistics manager, and even your mom could use a few extra bucks to make the world an easier place.
It’s one thing to want more money to do your job with greater efficiency; it’s another thing to ask and receive the cash needed to expand your operations, acquire new technology, and undo the reactionary hiring methodologies that were implemented during the Great Recession.
But how do you ask for extra money when your leaders are focused on increasing margins and achieving double-digit growth?
Here are some ideas.
Ask with a purpose.
Jennifer McClure has written extensively on the techniques behind building a business case. Beyond her incredible advice — which you should read — you need to be specific. Do you need to budget for an increase in search fees? Are you interested in acquiring new recruitment technology? Can you partner with another department to offset the budgetary impact to your department? Make a purpose-driven request and link your actions to the mission, vision, and bottom-line results of your organization.
Ask because the status quo will no longer suffice.
Models will vary, but many organizations link the budget of a corporate function to a percent of operating expenses. Let’s say your recruiting budget is 3.2 percent of operations, and you’ve been asked to do more with less. It’s time to be sneaky, do some research, and benchmark best practices in your industry. Determine if your departmental budget makes sense and how it compares to other organizations of your size and scope. Business and technology consulting firms might be willing to offer up this “intelligence” for free in exchange for an introductory meeting to one of your leaders. Or you can pick the brains of your current technology sales representatives and ask them for insight into their other clients.
Ask because you are preparing for 2025 and beyond.
Remember when everybody talked about HR 2020? That’s four years away, and most of us are woefully underprepared. Tap into the academic communities at Stanford, Michigan, and Cornell. Talk to professors and market leaders. Build a strategic roadmap for talent acquisition using research selected from the best and most reliable institutions of higher learning in America. And ask those noted Ph.Ds and professors to help you make the case for change in your organization.
One final thought on asking for more budget.
Sometimes you don’t need a bigger piece of the pie; you need different bakers. If your talent acquisition team struggles to operate within organizational parameters, maybe you need help becoming the lean and efficient recruiting machines you were meant to be. Think about swapping out existing technology solutions for recruitment technology that might be cheaper, faster and stronger than your current software. Consider adopting old-fashioned talent management programs within your team, and examine recruiter performance on a regular basis.
If you want more budget, make sure you deserve more budget. Never ask for more than you can handle. That’s good advice for work and life.