How to lower the cost to hire an employee in 2024: A complete guide

9 min read
How to lower the cost to hire an employee in 2024: A complete guide
How to lower the cost to hire an employee in 2024: A complete guide

Finding the perfect talent is crucial, but in today's competitive landscape, soaring hiring costs can leave your budget strained. Fear not! This comprehensive guide is your secret weapon to navigating the 2024 hiring scene without breaking the bank.

Gone are the days of throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping for the best. We'll delve into strategic methods to attract high-quality candidates, streamline your recruitment process, and unlock hidden cost-savings opportunities.

From leveraging free job boards to harnessing the power of employee referrals, discover innovative techniques to cast a wider net without burning a hole in your pocket.

Prepare to say goodbye to exorbitant hiring costs and hello to a smarter, more strategic approach. Remember, attracting top talent doesn't have to be a budget-buster. With the right guidance, you can build a dream team without sacrificing your financial goals.

What is the definition of cost to hire an employee?

Employees are looking the recent trend and costs with a giant magnifying glass
What is the definition of cost to hire an employee?

The "cost to hire an employee" refers to the total expenses incurred by an employer during the process of recruiting and bringing a new employee on board.

This cost includes various components, both direct and indirect, internal costs, associated with the hiring process. Some common elements contributing to the cost to hire an employee include:

  • Recruitment costs: Expenses related to advertising job openings, using recruitment agencies, or any other methods to attract potential candidates.
  • Screening and interviewing: Costs associated with conducting interviews, pre-employment assessments, and background checks.
  • Onboarding: Expenses for orientation programs, training materials, and any other resources needed to integrate the new employee into the organization.
  • Compensation and benefits: This includes the salary or wages offered to the new employee, as well as any additional benefits such as health insurance, retirement contributions, and other perks.
  • Administrative costs: Costs related to administrative tasks, such as paperwork, office supplies, and software used in the hiring process.
  • Time investment: The time spent by hiring managers, recruiters, and other staff involved in the hiring process, including their salaries and associated overhead costs.
  • Technology and tools: Costs related to using recruitment software, applicant tracking systems, and other technologies aimed at streamlining the hiring process.

Considering the comprehensive nature of these recruiting costs helps organizations make informed decisions about their hiring processes and optimize them for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Understanding the cost to hire is essential for budgeting and assessing the overall impact of recruitment efforts on an organization's finances.

How do you calculate the cost per hire?

Employee is calculating with a huge calculator
How do you calculate the cost per hire?

Calculating the cost per hire involves adding up all the costs associated with the hiring process and dividing that total by the number of hires. The formula for calculating the cost per new hire here is:

Cost Per Hire = Total Cost of Hiring/ Number of Hires

Here's a more detailed breakdown of the process:

  • Identify costs: List all the costs associated with the hiring process. This includes recruitment costs, advertising expenses, interviewer salaries, onboarding costs, technology and software expenses, and any other relevant expenditures.
  • Sum total costs: Add up all the identified costs to get the total cost of hiring during a specific period.
  • Determine number of hires: Count the number of new hires made during the same period.
  • Apply the formula: Divide the total cost of hiring by the number of hires to get the cost per hire.

For example, if the total cost of hiring over a quarter is $50,000 and the company made 10 hires during that period, the average cost per hire would be:

Cost Per Hire = $50,000/10 = $5,000

This means, on average, the company spent $5,000 for each new employee brought on board during that specific time frame.

Calculating the cost per hire is a valuable metric for organizations to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of their hiring processes and to make data-driven decisions about their recruitment strategies.

It can also help in budgeting and optimizing recruitment practices to reduce costs without the benefits of compromising the quality of hires.

Why is reducing employee hiring cost of paramount importance?

Employee is standing next to a huge calculator and downward. trend
Why is reducing employee hiring cost of paramount importance?

Reducing employee hiring costs is of paramount importance for several reasons, as it can have significant positive effects on an organization, employee's wages, overall financial health, efficiency, and competitiveness.

Here are some key reasons why minimizing hiring costs is crucial:

  • Financial efficiency: Lowering hiring costs directly contributes to improved financial efficiency. By reducing the amount spent on recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees, organizations can allocate resources to other critical areas such as product development, marketing, and innovation.
  • Budgetary control: Controlling hiring costs helps organizations manage their budgets more effectively. A clear understanding of the cost per hire allows for better forecasting and planning, preventing unexpected financial strains associated with recruitment.
  • Profitability: Lowering hiring costs can contribute to higher profit margins. When organizations spend less on acquiring talent, they can enhance their bottom line by increasing profitability, especially in competitive markets where cost control is a crucial factor.
  • Competitive advantage: In industries where talent acquisition is competitive, reducing hiring costs can provide a competitive advantage. Organizations that can attract and hire top talent more efficiently than their competitors are better positioned for success.
  • Resource optimization: Minimizing hiring costs ensures that resources are used more efficiently. By streamlining processes, adopting cost-effective technologies, and optimizing recruitment strategies, organizations can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources.
  • Sustainability: Sustainable business practices involve not only environmental considerations but also financial sustainability. Reducing unnecessary costs in the hiring process contributes to the long-term financial health and sustainability of an organization.
  • Employee morale: Efficient hiring processes that focus on cost-effectiveness can positively impact employee morale. When employees see that the organization is mindful of its resources and invests wisely in talent, it can foster a positive workplace culture.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Organizations that can adapt their hiring strategies to be more cost-effective are better positioned to respond to changes in the business environment. This adaptability is crucial in dynamic industries where agility is a key factor for success.
  • Return on investment (ROI): Calculating the return on investment for hiring costs helps organizations understand the value they are getting from their recruitment efforts. Maximizing ROI ensures that the resources invested in hiring translate into tangible benefits for the organization.

What costs should be considered when hiring an employee?

New hire crossing a bridge through huge helping hand
What costs should be considered when hiring an employee?

When hiring an employee, various costs should be taken into consideration. These costs can be categorized into direct and indirect payroll taxes and expenses associated with the recruitment and onboarding process. Here's a comprehensive list of costs to consider:

1. Recruitment costs

  • Job advertising expenses (online platforms, job boards, print media)
  • Recruitment agency fees
  • Employee referral bonuses

2. Screening and interviewing costs

  • Time and resources spent by hiring managers and interviewers
  • Costs associated with conducting pre-employment assessments
  • Background check fees

3. Administrative costs

  • Paperwork and documentation costs
  • Office supplies used during the hiring process
  • Software and technology expenses, including applicant tracking systems

4. Onboarding costs

  • Training materials and resources
  • Onboarding software and tools
  • Mentorship or buddy program costs

5. Compensation and benefits

  • Base salary or wages
  • Overtime pay (if applicable)
  • Bonuses or signing bonuses
  • Health insurance, disability coverage and other benefits (e.g., retirement contributions, dental, vision)

6. Relocation costs

  • Relocation assistance (if applicable)
  • Moving expenses

7. Technology and equipment

  • Costs for providing necessary technology and equipment (computers, phones, etc.)

8. Facilities costs

  • Office space, furniture, and utilities for the new employee

9. Travel expenses

  • Costs associated with bringing candidates in for interviews (travel, accommodation)

10. Time and productivity loss

  • Time spent by current employees assisting in the hiring process
  • Potential productivity loss during the onboarding period

Top 7 strategies to consider implementing to reduce hiring costs

Employers are planning their next strategies
Top 7 strategies to consider implementing to reduce hiring costs

Reducing hiring costs is a common goal for many organizations, and implementing strategic measures can help achieve this objective. Here are seven strategies to consider:

1. Leverage employee referrals

Encourage and incentivize current employees to refer potential candidates. Employee referral programs are often cost-effective and can attract high-quality candidates who are a good fit for the company culture.

2. Optimize recruitment channels

Evaluate the effectiveness of different recruitment channels and focus on those that provide the best return on investment. This might include using online job boards, social media platforms, or industry-specific forums to target the right audience.

3. Utilize technology and automation

Invest in applicant tracking systems (ATS) and other recruitment technologies to streamline processes and reduce manual work. Automation can help with tasks like resume screening, interview scheduling, and communication, saving both time and resources.

4. Implement video interviews

Use video interviews as an alternative to in-person interviews, especially in the early stages of the hiring process. This can significantly reduce travel costs and can save money and time for both candidates and hiring managers.

5. Focus on employer branding

Develop and maintain a strong employer brand to attract candidates who are genuinely interested in working for the company. A positive employer brand can lead to increased organic applications and reduce the need for extensive external recruitment efforts.

6. Negotiate with vendors and agencies

Negotiate fees with recruitment agencies and vendors to ensure cost-effectiveness. Consider alternative pricing models or explore partnerships that provide value for money on employee costs while still meeting hiring needs.

7. Cross-train internal employees

Train existing employees to take on additional responsibilities related to the hiring process. This could include having team members participate in interviews, assist in onboarding and hiring employees, or help with administrative tasks. This not only reduces external hiring costs but also promotes internal development.

How does proper employee engagement help you reduce hiring costs for your organization?

Employees are hi-fying each other
How does proper employee engagement help you reduce hiring costs for your organization?

Proper employee engagement plays a pivotal role in reducing hiring costs for organizations. Engaged employees are more likely to stay with a company, resulting in lower turnover rates. Reduced turnover means fewer vacant positions, minimizing the need for frequent recruitment and onboarding efforts.

Moreover, engaged employees tend to be more productive and contribute positively to the work environment, fostering a culture that attracts and retains top talent.

Effective employee engagement strategies also enhance workplace satisfaction, job fulfillment, and a sense of belonging, reducing the likelihood of employees seeking alternative employment.

This leads to significant savings on recruitment advertising, agency fees, and other such external recruiting costs and hiring expenses. Engaged employees are more inclined to participate in referral programs, becoming brand advocates who attract like-minded individuals to the organization.

Additionally, a strong internal culture and engagement initiatives contribute to skill development and career advancement within the company, reducing the necessity for external hires.

By focusing on employee engagement, organizations not only create a positive and inclusive workplace but also establish a cost-effective approach to talent retention and attraction, using internal recruiting costs and ultimately bolstering the company's financial sustainability and competitiveness.

Significance of having a good eNPS score to reduce hiring costs

Employee answering a survey with emoji metrics
Significance of having a good eNPS score to reduce hiring costs

A high eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) is significant for reducing hiring costs as it reflects employee satisfaction and loyalty, directly impacting talent retention and recruitment efficiency.

A positive eNPS indicates that employees are likely to recommend their organization as a great place to work, serving as internal brand ambassadors. This positive sentiment can attract top talent organically, reducing the need for extensive and costly external recruitment efforts.

A strong eNPS also correlates with lower turnover rates. Satisfied and engaged employees are more inclined to stay with the company, leading to decreased vacancies and diminished costs associated with frequent hiring, onboarding, and training.

Furthermore, a positive eNPS contributes to a positive employer brand, making the organization more appealing to potential candidates and reducing the reliance on external agencies or costly advertising to attract talent.

Employees with a high eNPS are more likely to participate in other employee's salary referral programs, actively referring to skilled individuals within their professional networks. This not only streamlines the hiring process but also brings in candidates who are likely to align with the company culture, resulting in higher retention rates.

In essence, a good eNPS is a valuable indicator of a healthy workplace environment, and it directly contributes to cost reduction in hiring by the soft costs, fostering employee loyalty, attracting top talent, and minimizing turnover-related expenses.


The effective management of employee engagement and the cultivation of a high eNPS are indispensable elements in shaping a cost-effective and resilient talent acquisition strategy for organizations.

The impact of these factors extends far beyond mere workplace satisfaction; it directly influences the bottom line by minimizing hiring costs and fostering long-term success.

A positive work environment and elevated employee satisfaction contribute to lower turnover rates, curtailing the frequent need for human resource management--intensive recruitment, onboarding, and training processes.

Simultaneously, a robust eNPS acts as a beacon, attracting top talent organically and reducing the reliance on external recruitment channels, thereby cutting advertising costs and agency fees.



Santhosh is a Jr. Product Marketer with 2+ years of experience. He loves to travel solo (though he doesn’t label them as vacations, they are) to explore, meet people, and learn new stories.