EBA Opinion

Emily Dickson

How to get your CEO to Invest in Recruitment

When it comes to convincing your CEO to invest in a quality recruitment process, it’s all about effective communication to nail your pitch. CEOs are hard-pressed for time, so the few moments you have with them count. The key question you need to ask yourself is:

What does the CEO want and how does a better recruitment process help them get there?

If you can articulate this in a concise and powerful fashion (with a mic drop for added effect. Too much?), then you’ll be on your way to better talent attraction results, meaning a happier team, and a business performing at optimum ability.


1. Drop that ROI stat and link it directly to your company

Many CEOs love nothing more than results - and look for quantifiable evidence, simply presented. In the age of big data, you can’t afford not to capitalise on the sheer amount of information at your disposal to help your case. How much money/time will be saved? How many new applications will you get? If you’re partnering with external specialists, ask them for figures on what you can expect. Talk to them about their results over time with similar organisations. At Employer Branding Australia for example, we can go some way to predicting the number of new social media followers a client can expect, how many new job views and applications, as well as visits to their careers page and improved retention rates, depending on their context and the services they choose with us.

2. Focus on both short and long-term benefits

CEOs want sustainable investments, but paradoxically, want to see change as soon as possible. Whatever it is, highlight the improvements the company can expect to see within a month, 3 months, 6 months, and a year after implementation. Aspects to focus on include: work quality, efficiency, cultural benefits, and importantly, how all of these factors will affect the business’s bottom dollar. If your proposed investment will save HR time, explain how the team will better make use of this time. For example, if you aim to invest in AI to automatically text candidates, how many hours will this save your team each week? Will they use the extra hours to engage current staff and plan workshops and activities?

3. Make your ‘why’ sizzle

Why now? What is it about this particular technology / HR service / idea that makes it so urgent, so necessary? Is there something your competitors are doing that you need to tap into to not get left behind? Is it the changing dynamics and the emerging importance of working with AI? Does the founder of Employer Branding Australia share so many Dad-jokes that you can’t not work with him? (Cough* Mark *Cough). Find that aspect that will linger in the mind of your CEO just that little bit longer.

4. Be transparent

Any investment has associated risks. Spell these out to your CEO. Transparency will foster trust and will show you’ve done your homework, but still have confidence in your proposal. Your CEO will be grateful you’ve done the leg-work, and they will be more likely to make a speedy decision. If the CEO rejects your proposal based on the potential downfalls, discuss their concerns as thoroughly as possible to strengthen future proposals.

5. Remind the CEO that recruitment is an ongoing proactive process to improve the company

CEOs can easily get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business, and incorrectly view recruitment as an inevitable chore; a necessary reaction to resignations. It’s the job of the HR Manager to remind the C-Suite team that recruitment is not to be perceived as a necessary evil but an opportunity to welcome a new employee who will either improve the company, or bring it down. It is only with a robust recruitment system that the organisation can best position itself to uncover the right talent.

Ultimately, taking a proposal to the CEO can require a bit of guts, most definitely some research, and a dash of creativity. But if you back yourself, lay out exactly why your proposal will work, and acknowledge why it might not, you stand a pretty good shot at getting signed off on that proactive project or investment.


If you are looking to attract the right people to your organisation, get in touch with us. We’ll happily chat with you, or your CEO, about how employer branding can optimise your recruitment efforts.

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About the Author:

Emily Dickson is Employer Branding Australia’s Content and Digital Media Manager. A creative marketer who never says no, she specialises in content and social media and loves bringing your talent stories to life. She’s also multilingual, an incredible multi-tasker and better than most at keeping Mark in check.

About Employer Branding Australia:

We exist to help you attract the best talent and keep them engaged. Together, we’ll create and promote your 'Why work for us?' and turn your authentic people stories into your most powerful marketing tool.

Contact us today for a free, honest assessment of your employer branding opportunity.

e: hello@employerbrandingaustralia.com

t: 07 3501 0558