Recruiting on a budget? How to engage the best candidates

When you’re recruiting on a budget, the idea of engaging the best candidates can seem out of reach. With the UK skills shortage continuing to gain momentum, many businesses are going all out in their approach to attract quality applicants to their roles.

But what if your recruitment budget is more shoestring than stellar?

I’ll let you in to a little secret, if a candidate feels like your business cares about them then they’re far more likely to warm to the idea of working for you. Giving them the best candidate experience possible is all part and parcel of bringing the top talent closer to your business, so let’s take a look at some top tips on how you can achieve this when you’re recruiting on a budget.

Upgrade your career pages

Most candidates worth their pay packet will almost certainly be conducting research into your business before they agree to come to your interview. That’s why it’s essential that you showcase exactly why your position is such an attractive prospect.

Just because you’re recruiting on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t highlight the benefits of working for your organisation. Use your current website career or vacancy pages to really sell your brand by including testimonials of current staff, employee success stories and details of any bonus schemes or professional development programmes you have in place to tempt the best talent.


The job search process can be hard work for candidates, and by leaving them uncertain on where they stand during the application process you’re not going to leave them with warm and fuzzy feelings about your company.

Keeping them in the loop with regular communications about their application shows you appreciate the time they’ve taken to apply for the role, care about them and the experience they receive when dealing with your business.

Prepare your interviewers

The interview gives the opportunity for both parties to measure each other up – so it’s imperative that your interviews are skilled and experienced in creating the right impression when meeting prospective new employees.

For many small businesses who don’t have a dedicated HR resource, interview skills can sometimes be a little sketchy and lead to the candidate leaving with a bad impression, or worse still, being asked interview questions that are invasive or even illegal.

Engaging a qualified recruitment specialist to conduct the interview on your behalf is one option, but if you have several vacancies to fill and are recruiting on a budget the best solution is to provide some interview training for line managers.

Our tailor made interview training packages offer the skills and legal knowledge every interviewer need to get the most out of their time with the candidates. From behavioural questions to safeguarding against illegal interview process, these workshop based packages offer real value for money. Click here to find out more.

Give feedback

If applicants have taken time out of their day to update their CV and express an interest in your role, then the least you can do is provide them with some feedback. Even if the candidate isn’t exactly what you’re looking for right now, that doesn’t mean that they won’t gain more skills and experience in the future.

Treat them well now and they’re far more likely to apply again later on down the line and at least know the reason why they’ve not been successful for that particular role. And don’t forget, your applicants could potentially be your customers so treat them with the respect they deserve.

Luckily, a quick email or letter is fast and cheap to do, so providing feedback will cost you very little but mean an awful lot to your candidates.

For more information on recruiting on a budget, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.