Do you ever feel like you’re standing on opposite sides of a line in the sand with your CFO? Or maybe that the CFO treats Talent Acquisition (TA), recruitment, and HR like mere cost centres rather than a strategic investment? And let's not even get started on that "you vs. them" feeling during company-wide budget discussions!
Guess what? It’s not your CFO’s fault.
Your CFO doesn’t care about the recruitment stack.
While this may sound a tad blunt, it's important to understand that your CFO's focus and priorities differ from yours. Their role is primarily about the financial health and sustainability of the organisation. They need to ensure that every dollar spent is accounted for and is contributing to the company's profitability. The recruitment stack, while essential to you, isn't directly tied to the CFO's key metrics and concerns.
Put simply, your CFO isn't losing sleep over whether you're using the latest applicant tracking system or recruitment CRM. Instead, they're interested in the cost of these systems, the ROI they provide, and their impact on the bottom line. They need to know if the funds invested into these tools are producing the desired results - attracting high-quality talent in a shorter time and reducing hiring costs.
They're not uninterested in recruitment; rather, they view it from a different lens. They need to understand how the recruitment stack influences operational efficiency, cost savings, and ultimately, the company's financial performance.
To get the CFO on board with your vision for recruitment automation, you need to present a robust business case that clearly highlights the financial benefits and the tangible impact on the company's growth and profitability.
How to make your CFO care
Look for ways to connect with your CFO and get to know them better. You can start by asking about the current challenges they're facing and really listening to their response. Don't be afraid to ask follow-up questions to learn more and show that you're genuinely interested in understanding their perspective.
CFOs live by data, and for strategic decision-making, they need to see hard numbers. The goal is to make your CFO understand that investment in employees often means better cost benefits for the company.
By taking the time to understand your CFO's concerns and getting to know them on a personal level, you'll be able to build a stronger, more authentic relationship with them. This will also help you identify what's most important to them and what issues they're most passionate about.
Here’s the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that both of you might be a common ground:
These KPIs are essential for recruitment leaders to track and improve the recruiting process continuously, making it more efficient, effective, and appealing to top talent. This doesn’t mean it is any less important than the ones mentioned above. However, you need to get on the same page as your CFO and talk about the KPIs they care about. The way to do it is to talk about recruitment in finance terms.
Time to show your CFO the money.
Remember, you’re asking for tools, not toys. Justifying recruitment tools and software investments requires presenting data that shouts ROI. Senior executives, particularly CFOs, may not understand the intricacies of these tools, but the language of data and ROI is a song they're happy to dance to.
For example, if you’re making the case for a recruitment automation tool (like Kula), here’s how you need to explain the impact on the metrics mentioned above:
- Cost Per Hire: Recruitment automation can reduce cost per hire by streamlining the recruitment process. It can automate tasks like candidate sourcing, resume screening, and scheduling interviews, reducing the man-hours required for these tasks. It can also help find high-quality candidates more efficiently, reducing costs related to poor hires.
- Time to Hire: Automated tools can expedite various stages of the recruitment process, from job postings to candidate screening to interview scheduling, thereby reducing the time to hire. Speeding up these processes allows the organization to fill positions quicker, mitigating the costs associated with vacancies.
- Quality of Hire: Recruitment automation tools can enhance the quality of hire by using intelligent algorithms to identify high-quality candidates who match the job requirements and company culture. They can also help engage candidates more effectively, improving the likelihood of attracting and securing top talent.
- Hiring Source Efficiency: These tools can track the success rate of various hiring sources, allowing the team to focus their efforts on the most productive channels. This targeted approach results in more effective use of resources and improved ROI.
- Turnover Rate: By improving the quality of hire and ensuring a good match between the candidate and the organization, automated tools can help reduce turnover rates. They can also improve candidate experience, which can impact employee retention positively.
- Offer Acceptance Rate: By ensuring a smooth and swift hiring process, recruitment automation tools can enhance the candidate experience, increasing the likelihood that job offers will be accepted. They can also provide data to help fine-tune job offers to align with market expectations, further improving acceptance rates.
In essence, recruitment automation tools can make the hiring process more efficient, cost-effective, and successful, which would be music to a CFO's ears. It's all about ensuring that recruitment contributes to the company's financial health and success, which is the CFO's primary concern.
Bringing your CFO to the Recruitment table
Let’s say you have done your research and have nailed down the key talking points about your discussion with your CFO on getting a recruitment automation platform implemented. But, how do you break the ice?
How do you draft that first email to the CFO? What points to cover? How to get her attention? And how to communicate everything with efficacy and confidence?
We have put together a letter, on behalf of you, addressing the CFO about initiating the conversation about Recruitment Automation. You can send it as a ready email.
Initiating the conversation
Let’s say you want to pitch Kula for Recruitment Automation. Here’s how the email would look like:
Dear [CFO Name],
I hope this message finds you well.
We're about to start working on Recruitment Automation. I would like to request your approval for the purchase of Kula’s platform subscription for X recruiter seats in our company.
Kula offers several benefits that would greatly enhance our recruitment operations:
- Operational Efficiency: By streamlining our processes, Kula can help us reduce recruitment time and costs. It will also increase our internal recruiters' productivity, reducing our dependency on costly external agencies.
- Faster Hiring Times: With Kula, we can expedite our hiring process, minimizing productivity loss from vacant roles and cutting down on resources spent on recruitment.
- Accurate Forecasting: Kula's recruitment analytics can provide more precise hiring forecasts based on our active pipeline, reducing the uncertainty in our financial planning.
Kula's user-friendly interface, seamless integration with our existing tools, and a strong reputation among reputable companies make it an excellent solution for our needs. The investment in Kula is $XXXX, a cost we believe will pay for itself in improved efficiency and quality of hires.
If required, I propose to reallocate funds from our recruitment agency budget to cover this expense. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need additional information.
Kula is the best solution to address these issues head-on for the following reasons:
- User-Friendly: Kula's interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate, which means it's easy to adopt and integrate into our existing hiring process.
- Integrations: Kula integrates with many of the tools we already use (e.g., Google Suite, LinkedIn, our ATS), which makes it easy to use and customize.
- Reputation: Kula has been used by many reputable companies including Praxent, Temporal, GoJek, and OnDeck, and has received positive reviews.
We're looking to invest $XXXX in implementing Kula, and we believe it will provide significant ROI by increasing our hiring efficiency, improving our quality of hire, and enhancing our collaboration.
If needed, I can reallocate our recruitment agency budget to pay for Kula. Please let me know if you have any questions or require further information.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Remember, the essence lies in crafting a dialogue that resonates with the CFO's priorities. You're not just asking for tools; you're demonstrating the value these tools bring to the organization's financial health.
Transforming talent acquisition isn't just about adopting the latest tools, but about aligning these tools with your organization's financial objectives. Only then can we truly demonstrate that recruitment isn't just a cost centre but a strategic investment contributing to the company's bottom line.