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4 steps to building a business case for your HR & talent initiatives

Liv Anderman
VP of Marketing
January 12, 2021

There’s no way around it – disruptive forces are changing the way we live and work. Regardless of how the workforce changes in the coming years, hiring A+ talent will always be essential for a business’s long-term success.

Staying ahead of the curve requires investment into HR and talent initiatives. However, it’s not always easy to convince key decision makers to invest in this without a clear picture of why the investment is worth it.

Whether you want to invest in new technologies, building out a stronger team, or launching a new training program, you’ll need to develop a business case to present to your leadership team.

Following these 4 steps will help you prepare your business case and present it to key stakeholders in an effective way.

1) Align with a business objective

The first step is to tie your new initiative to a real business objective. For example, saving time in the hiring process can save a business a significant amount of money over the long-term. If your board or executive team is intent on decreasing overhead, and your initiative can help with that, you can use it as an anchor for your pitch.

Tying your initiative to a current business objective will show the broader impact and benefit that it can have throughout the organization.

2) Show how your initiative will impact the business objective

Now that you’ve made the connection to a business objective, it’s time to show how the tool or system you’re proposing can help the business get there. Outline all the features of your initiative along with how they relate to the specific objective.

It’s really important that you explain the how behind the connection as opposed to just saying that investing in X will lead to Y. Your CEO and CFO in particular will want to see a clear roadmap that forecasts what its impact will be.

3) Show the initiative’s value with relevant metrics

This is a critical, yet challenging aspect of the pitch. Although it’s not always easy to make a clear case with metrics, it’s important to gather relevant data that connects the business objective to your new initiative. Be prepared to dig a little bit to find the right data to fit your specific business case.

Let’s say you’re interested in implementing a new training program for employees. An example of something you could measure is the cost of an unproductive employee. What does that end up costing the company long-term? If an employee was 10% more productive, how would that impact the bottom line of the business?

The clearer your data, the stronger your pitch will be.

4) Highlight the ROI potential

At the end of the day, you’ll need to be able to articulate why the investment is worth it. If the ROI isn’t there, it’s not going to get approved.

It takes a bit of creativity to find ways to put a dollar amount to your business initiative, but there are ways to do it. Think about the cost of attrition, employee turnover, or the ROI potential of increasing productivity. Although they can’t be hard numbers, you can calculate a ballpark figure and make a solid case for your initiative.

For example, let’s say you’ve discovered a new technology that would allow you to decrease the time to hire for an engineer by three weeks. You could have a chat with a lead engineer at the company and have them put a numerical value on that time saved.

Wrapping up

These steps can be used as a guideline next time you’re building out a business case for your HR and talent initiatives. With the right foundation in place, you’ll be well prepared to make a strong pitch that convinces the key decision makers to give you the green light to move forward.

Want to learn more about how to convince your leadership team to invest in HR and Talent? Watch our on-demand webinar featuring Leslie Kurkjian Crowe, former Chief People Officer at TripActions and former VP of Talent at MuleSoft by clicking here.

This post is part of a larger series on building your own talent acquisition strategy. Follow the link for our most helpful tips.