Five Things to Get the Budget and Buy-in You Need for Success

Delivering ROI is one of the most impactful things you can do as an Employer Brand leader, and managing your budget effectively is a big part of that. You may have seen exaqueo’s CEO, Susan LaMotte, post on LinkedIn last week aiming to empower Employer Brand leaders and practitioners to get set up for ROI success heading into Q4.

Her tips include the following three points to help Employer Brand teams organize their current budget, and advocate for future dollars in the final few months of the year:

  1. “Make sure you really understand what's most important to your leaders in Q4.”
    Review all the internal comms and external news so you know what will get attention in the last quarter. (Pro tip: set up Google Alerts on your company to automatically be served the latest news.)
  2. “Do an ROI report to show value.”
    Look back at business and talent goals for this year – show how Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing investments supported/achieved aligned outcomes.
  3. “Balance short- and long-term impacts. Don't just measure what you can in the moment.”
    Impact measures to track over time: awareness, perception, candidate experience, preference, applicant quality, internal candidate satisfaction, and/or advocacy. 

As a team of former in-house Employer Brand practitioners, exaqueo consultants have been in your shoes. We know this time of year can be important and stressful. These actionable, tried-and-true examples of how you can close out this year with alignment and data on your side will set you up for the 2024 you’ve earned.

To continue Susan’s tips, we’ll break these down into three buckets:

  • What you can do to identify leadership priorities
  • What you can do to show value
  • What you can do to measure long-term impacts

What you can do to identify leadership priorities.

1. Solicit Collaborative Goals – Have you asked your partners/stakeholders what work or ROI they’d like to see for next year? Most likely they can or will be your biggest advocates in continuing to get the support and budget that you need to make your goals a reality. Seek to understand (with some intent and a strategy of course) their goals and wish list for the coming year, then work to align it with yours. 

Think about breaking that out into what you “can do” (given what you have), “could do” (given additional resources/budget), and “dream to do” (aspirational, pie-in-the-sky ideas). 

In terms of aspirational goals: maybe your competitors are doing it, and showing up where you want to be, or, you just want to keep it on the radar, but the more you socialize goals the more leaders will be aware of where you’re headed. This collaborative work will help earn you the advocates and alignment you need to get set up for success in 2024. 

What you can do to show value.

2. Embark on a Roadshow Do your stakeholders and internal teams know (or remember) what you worked on this year? Have you recently presented in their team meetings about the resources you’ve created and/or progress made? Now’s a great time to connect with some face-time to make sure they’re making the most of your partnership and support, and highlighting and promoting the work you’ve done so it’s top of mind.

3. Publish a “Year to Date” Roundup – Whether it’s a company newsletter or a one-off update, send some internal comms sharing what your team has worked on and impacted so far this year. Consider including: key projects, the company/organization/team goals your work maps to, links to the deliverables, and the ROI/metrics. Tell the “story” of your Employer Brand work. So often we’re in the weeds and we forget we haven’t updated folks in awhile or we’ve done so in a way they haven’t quite digested.

4. Enlist External Partners – If you partner with external vendors or partners like exaqueo or technology or advertising platforms, make sure to get updated metrics and progress benchmarks from them. They love to make you shine, have access to the data to back you up, and can customize based on the segments/focuses you need. 

Your partners should also provide you a year-to-date budget to compare to your actual spend to see what is currently available through the end of the year. If it’s helpful, consider putting your budget into a retainer that can show up on the books this year, but that can also continue to be utilized throughout 2024. (Pro tip: you can ask to lock in this year’s rates for added savings!) We all know that “use it or lose it” fear, so lean on those partners to help you keep your budget, effectively.

What you can do to measure long-term impacts.

5. Joint Tracking with TA – Talent Acquisition is likely one of your biggest clients or partners, and working together to manage your shared/joint goals can be monumental in ensuring you’re both showing up to leadership in alignment. Track your progress together, then set a game plan for the final quarter of the year.

Are there any quick wins you can execute to support their goals with employer brand or talent marketing efforts? Are there any resources that might help set them up for success going into 2024? And vice versa – what access does your team need to data (applications, hires, diversity interviews, etc.) to best benchmark and monitor your impact together? Presenting a united front going into budget planning will get you far and ensure you’re not speaking apples while they’re speaking oranges to leadership and finance going forward.

Make sure you’re empowered to advocate for the incredible work you do throughout the year and take the time to secure funds to make next year even more impactful.

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