How to Recruit Top Talent on a Budget?

Learn how to recruit top talent on a tiny budget! Discover creative, cost-effective ways to attract and recruit top candidates. Hiring the perfect talent for your company doesn’t require settling if you don’t happen to have a large budget. 


You don't need a large budget to attract and hire top talent!

Recruiting has become less about flashy ads, and more about appealing to the right audience with the right messaging. 

By keeping your current employees happy, keeping up with your social media, and making sure your messaging is consistent, the external image of your company will be positive and you will build an attractive employer brand

Importance of employer branding statistic

Because of this, potential job seekers will be interested in the position and the company as a whole. Keep in mind that there are cost-effective ways to put your business out there, so don’t feel limited due to your budget. 

The information below shares unique ways to recruit on a tiny budget, as well as the examples of companies to gain inspiration from

How to recruit on a tiny budget? 

Get creative with the ways you recruit! 

There are many successful recruiting methods. For recruiting software programs, places like TalentLyft and LinkedIn Talent make it fairly simple to effectively target the qualified candidates. 

If you want a more personal approach, colleges and high schools offer career fairs for people actively seeking jobs or internships. Currently, many colleges and universities have online career fairs as well. 

Top 4 low cost recruiting methods

Referrals, job fairs, social media recruiting and organized job postings are all ways that people will gravitate towards your company. Soon enough, you’ll be able to attract committed, loyal employees to add to your work family. 

Depending on which medium you choose and prefer, the ways below go more in detail on how to approach them cost-effectively. 

4 low cost recruiting methods

Recruitment method #1: Make an eye-catching job posting

Glassdoor study shows the top 5 things people care about when researching a company and open job positions. 

The bullet points below are things to consider to create an eye-catching job posting while curating advertisements and promoting the positions, and what the message you should try to promote through them. 

Salary, benefits, and locations are the top three things that matter, so creating a posting with those at the top might be a good marketing approach. 

Job description statistics

Recruitment method #2: Go to job fairs 

Job fairs are an impactful way to communicate face-to-face with people who are actively looking for a position. You can research colleges near you, and depending on what industry your company is looking for a person in, you can go to the specific major’s career fair. 

For example, with a marketing position open, the college of communications and the business school would be an effective way to find qualified candidates. This is also a cost-effective approach, with most booths costing around $50-$250. 

Nowadays, with COVID-19 in full force, many places have shifted the career fairs to virtual platforms, so no need to cancel this option out. 

Recruitment method #3: Ask your employees to refer people

According to Glassdoor, 45% of people have found their job from a friend referral. Employee referral programs are great opportunities to get like-minded people at your company, so the risk of clashing with employees is lowered. It also gives a face to your business and serves as a personalized testimonial as well. 

Employee referrals statistic

In order to increase this initiative, it might be a good idea to give your employees a referral rewards program to increase your chances of getting more people on board. 

The refer-a-friend initiative can include the strong advocates receiving various things depending on your budget: 

Recruitment method #4: Update social media platforms

With all the great things that you and your business are doing, having a presence on social media is extremely important now more than ever. It helps candidates get to know who the employees are, what the company stands for, and daily life in the workplace. Without a social media presence, it might lead the job seekers to think that your business is secretive and not up-to-date. 

Nowadays, people seem to gravitate more towards companies that are appreciative of their employees, which are transparent and have a strong social media presence as well. 

According to a study on Resume Lab, after someone receives a job offer, 37% said they will move on to another job offer if they can’t find enough information on the company online.

Social media recruiting statistic

This shows that there are different things to prioritize when making your company marketable and appealing to job seekers, and they aren’t necessarily things that will break your budget. 

Social media is a free tool that is a big part of people’s job search, so make sure to start your business platform (or revamp the one you already have). 

BONUS: 2 proven ways to attract top talent

With satisfied employees voicing their testimonials online, it automatically makes the job more attractive to people stumbling upon the position and business itself. There are businesses that may seem nice throughout their website and job descriptions, but in reality, they aren’t. 

Job seekers care about this, and that’s why it’s important to focus on internal employee satisfaction. There are other ways to make a company more appealing as well. 

The list below provides 2 additional ways to keep employees happy within the organization, and ways to promote things externally as well for a possible job seeker to see.

Talent attraction tip #1: Promote gratitude in your organization

A place that uplifts people and makes them feel recognized is a place that doesn’t go unnoticed. Through gratification within the organization, you will create happy, motivated employees that will hopefully pass along the message to relay to others. 

That can be through social media or places like Glassdoor, where employees can write their reviews on how their experience at a company has been so far. For cost-effective gratification, consider words of encouragement when projects are successfully completed, or recognizing their yearly work-anniversary with messages from the whole office.  

With websites like Glassdoor that make people's testimonials towards companies public, it’s important to make your company appealing within the organization, for it to be appealing externally. There are ways to make employees feel recognized and cared about, and words of gratitude is a great place to start. 

Talent attraction tip #2: Provide a generous paid time off

To promote a healthy work-life balance, a generous paid time off is important for many employees. It allows them to take a break from work and focus on their mental and physical health. 

Work is such a large part of people's lives, and a company that actually cares about the wellbeing of their employees is a job people want. This is a benefit that possible employees will see, take note of, and hopefully encourages them to apply. 

Importance of employee benefits for recruiting

Learn from the best: How to Google, Facebook and Tesla attract top talent?

Although the companies below typically have big budgets, they have found innovative ways to be cost-effective and competitive at the same time. This is something any business, small or big, can learn from. 

Coming up with your own, unique version can help you reach the people you want for the job position. From Facebook to Google, these large enterprises can give some inspiration for what you want to start implementing. 

Example #1: Facebook

The Facebook recruiting process prides itself on being fast-paced. Not only does this show who the quick, timely candidates are, but this ensures that the cost spent on advertising and keeping the job post up, is lowered. 

Efficiency is key if you want to keep prices low, and time spent productively. Another point to note is that the most recent hires’ job search typically lasted less than 2 months, so it’s important to give quick responses and keep people in the loop. 

If you have a long, extended, delayed recruitment process, people might accept another offer somewhere else during that time period. 

Example #2: Tesla

The American vehicle brand has unique and slightly different interviews that many other places. They find candidates who are up for a challenge, and truly know the ins and outs of the position. This calls for fewer hours spent on training, which can help with the cost of hiring. 

According to the Wikibuy post, the average cost-per-hire is $3,000, which can be a lot for smaller, start-up companies. 

Example #3: Google

Google is extremely organized when it comes to their recruitment process. This leaves no room for confusion or inconsistency, which is important to candidates as well. 

They start with phone screenings, then in-person interviews, with a four-point ranking scale that the interviewers have. 

Finding the right candidate can be difficult, and with the right organization and process like Google has, it makes things more structured and efficient. 

Key takeaway: No recruiting budget? Get creative! 

It’s important to find the right employees. Thankfully, discovering the perfect talent for your company doesn’t require settling if you don’t happen to have a large budget. 

There are many creative ways to stand out on the FREE job posting sites, career fairs, and online job advertisements as well. 

INFOGRAPHIC: Additional ideas for recruiting on a budget

Interested to learn more ways to obtain the right employees for you while still keeping the recruitment low-cost?

For more detailed information on how to recruit top talent on a budget, make sure to check out the infographic below, created by the team at Wikibuy:On a budget recruitment ideas infographic

About the author

Luke Fernandez runs Growth at Wikibuy, a consumer product that helps shoppers know when, where, and what to buy. As a Product and Growth leader, Luke has helped Fortune 500 companies and startups alike drive best-in-class marketing through technology and data.

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