13 Top Recruiting Strategies to Use in 2020

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13 Top Recruiting Strategies to Use in 2020

When it comes to recruiting strategies, it’s good to bet on multiple horses. And to increase your chances of winning in 2020, we’ve listed 13 top recruiting strategies. Because let’s be honest, nobody really likes to lose. Happy recruiting! 

Overview of the 13 recruiting strategies
1. Step up your job advert game
2. Get on the programmatic job advertising bandwagon
3. Build a talent pool
4. Create an employee referral program
5. Cater to Generation Z
6. Make internal mobility a priority
7. Get serious about your Employer Brand and EVP
8. Engage with passive candidates
9. Build a social media recruiting strategy
10. Tap into the contingent workforce
11. Hire for diversity
12. Stop guessing, start measuring (i.e. use data)
13. Think of onboarding as part of your recruitment


#1. Step up your job advert game

We’ve mentioned this before, but the way you phrase your job adverts matters (a lot). The words you choose and the language you use determine the type of candidates you’ll attract. 

Logically, this means that your job adverts can either appeal to a large range of diverse candidates… or not. It also means that you’ve got a great opportunity to improve your hiring process right at the start.

You can use a dedicated augmented writing tool that uses data and predictive analytics to determine what kind of writing works for your company and culture.    

Not only does the use of such a tool help you attract a more diverse group of candidates, but it can also help you in making sure your company culture is reflected in your job adverts. This helps in finding people who fit as those who don’t recognize themselves in your company culture simply won’t apply. 

#2. Get on the programmatic job advertising bandwagon

Programmatic job advertising is a phenomenon that blew over from the marketing world. It can be particularly useful for larger companies with dozens of open roles, thousands of applicants and a myriad of hiring managers to deal with.

Put simply, programmatic job advertising is the purchasing, publishing, and optimizing of job ads with the use of software. The technology puts your job ads in front of those people who fit the parameters you have defined before posting the ad. 

Programmatic uses both the browsing data of your ideal job seekers as well as sophisticated algorithms to show them the right ad, at the right time and the right place.

Let’s say you’re looking for a junior content marketer who has an affinity with HR tech and is interested in film and music. Programmatic advertising can help you find the right candidate; the software has meticulous targeting options that enable you to source more applicants with a smaller budget and from a larger candidate pool.     

#3. Build a talent pool 

When it comes to recruiting strategies, building and maintaining a talent pool is not on everybody’s agenda yet. A real shame, since having a talent pool can be a great advantage for your recruitment. 

A talent pool is a database that holds all the profiles of people interested in your organization; those who haven’t applied yet, but might want to do so in the future, and those who did apply before but didn’t get the job, for instance, because they weren’t right for that particular role but did fit the company culture. 

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Having a talent pool comes with several benefits:

  • It’s a safety net – A talent pool can (and should) be the first place you look for qualified candidates when you need to fill a position.
  • It gives access to passive candidates – A talent pool gives passive candidates a no-strings-attach way to follow your company and stay up-to-date with the latest news, relevant content and vacancy without them feeling pressured. 
  • It helps with strategic workforce planning – If you’ve got a talent pool full of qualified talents, you can take these profiles into account when making your long-term planning. 
  • Employer Brand – The content you share with the people in your talent pool allows you to show them what your organization stands for as an employer.
A talent pool can help with passive candidates
A talent pool can be a great way to engage with passive candidates and perhaps one day turn them into active candidates.

#4. Create an employee referral program 

Employee referrals are a great way to find candidates. As an added bonus, they come with several benefits: 

  • Referrals are a better culture fit – Your employees only refer people they think will be a good fit, both for the job and the company culture. So in a way, they preselect the candidates. 
  • Referrals are more engaged – As a consequence, referrals tend to be more engaged right from the start; they already know at least one person in the company who will show them around and make sure they feel at home. 
  • Referrals are more likely to stay – Referred employees are happier, operational faster and more productive than people who’ve been hired via a different source. 

Creating an employee referral program doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. Just make sure your program includes the following elements: 

  • Incentives – This can be cash incentives (they usually work best), but extra holidays or other types of perks also work.
  • The easier, the better – Make sure your referral program is super easy to understand and use.
  • Feedback – Keep employees who’ve referred someone up-to-date about the status of their referral. That is if you want them to keep referring candidates…
  • Recognition – Think of a good way to celebrate employees who’ve successfully referred someone to give them the recognition they deserve. This doesn’t have to be complicated, a mention in your internal company newsletter can be enough.   
Recruiting strategies to use
Top sourcing channels according to a 2018 white paper called “What does 2018 have in store for recruitment?”
Image source

#5. Cater to Generation Z 

Generation Z, also referred to as the iGeneration or Digital Natives, no longer just fills entry-level or internship positions. Slowly but surely, the cohort born between the mid-nineties and 2012 is becoming a bigger part of the global workforce.

When it comes to recruiting Gen Z, it’s good to know who you are dealing with. If you want to meet generation Z, here are some of their characteristics.

  • They know their weaknesses – A study among 4000 generation Z members revealed that 37% worries (among other things) about their potential lack of people skills and their ability to communicate.
  • They’re tech-savvy – Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up in a world full of digital devices since the day they were born. As a result, they know how to use tech for virtually every aspect of their lives. 
  • They value security – Having seen the damage the 2008 crisis did to their families first hand, generation Z attaches great value to a certain level of (job) security.
  • They’re all about video – Unsurprisingly, Digital Natives know a little something about how to present yourself – the natural result of growing up with a camera in your pocket. 

A few Gen Z recruitment tips are in order since we’re talking about recruiting strategies. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Focus on short voice – or video messages to keep candidates informed about their status (rather than emails). 
  • Avoid lengthy job descriptions, use (visual) platforms such as YouTube to get them excited about working for your company instead 
  • Meet Gen Z candidates where they are, often that means on social platforms (Snapchat or Instagram for instance). Since their preferences can change quickly it’s important to stay on top of the latest social trends though. 

#6. Make internal mobility a priority 

Internal mobility is the movement of employees to new opportunities in the same company. These opportunities can be anything from new positions and supplementary projects to job swaps and mentorships. 

While creating an internal mobility program might not be the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about recruiting strategies, it should definitely be on your radar. Here’s why. 

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Internal mobility helps in attracting and retaining talent
According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay longer at their company if the latter invested in their careers. 

Both job seekers and employees are looking for companies that help them develop their skills and fulfill their professional aspirations. Internal mobility opportunities can do exactly that. 

Internal mobility can save time and money 
Hiring internally when and where possible is, naturally, a great way to save time and money. The hiring costs and risks are (a lot) lower, your ‘new’ hire already knows the company which means they’ll be operational and productive faster. In fact, companies that hire internally are 32% more likely to be satisfied with the quality of their new hires. 

#7. Get serious about your Employer Brand and EVP

Your Employer Brand (EB) is the face your company shows the outside world as a potential employer. It’s the sum of all the different things people think when someone asks them what it would be like to work for company X or Y. 

EB and Employee Value Proposition (EVP) go hand in hand. Your EVP is the promise you make as an employer to your employees in return for their commitment. It’s the sum of all the benefits and rewards employees receive from the organization they work for. 

Now, why is it important to get serious about your Employer Brand? For one, because it helps you recruit candidates. A well-known brand means applicants will find you easier and apply naturally. This, in turn, leads to lower recruiting costs. 

A strong EVP makes your employees proud to work for your company – and more likely to talk positively about you. This can result in more referrals (mentioned above), more raving social media posts triggering potential candidates and just more good publicity for your organization as an employer in general. 

#8. Engage with passive candidates 

While passive candidates might play hard to get at first, that doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance as their next long-term partner. And since recruiting times are tough, it’s worth taking a shot. 

Passive candidates – people who are not actively looking to change jobs, but will consider moving if the right role comes along – make up between 70% and 75% of the workforce.

One way to engage with passive candidates is via your talent pool. Regularly sending them relevant content – that can help them with their career for example – can be a good way to stay on their minds and create a relationship.

Social media are another way to engage with this type of candidate.

#9. Build a social media recruiting strategy 

A list of top recruiting strategies wouldn’t be complete without mentioning social recruiting. Social media recruiting is the use of social media platforms as talent databases and/or for advertising job openings and positions.

A few stats to show you the importance of social media recruiting: 

  • 70% of job seekers search for opportunities on mobile 
  • 55% of job seekers find social and professional networks the most useful resource during a job search 
  • 74% of millennials found their last position through a social media site

Here are a few tips to get you started: 

  • Involve your employees – Ask them to help you with your recruitment efforts and have them share your posts on their social media platforms. What’s even better is if they share current vacancies without being asked, telling people why it’s great to work for your organization in their own words
  • Join LinkedIn groups – We already mentioned this when we talked about Gen Z, but it holds true for the recruitment of other candidates too: go there where they are. In LinkedIn groups, for instance.
  • Share (high) quality content – This one speaks for itself really. 
Recruiting strategies to use
Image source

#10. Tap into the contingent workforce 

Sometimes the situation leaves you no choice but to look beyond the traditional employment setup. Because you need to find someone on a very short notice or because you simply can’t find anyone to fill a position permanently. 

Hiring freelancers, part-timers, and contractors can be a great, cost-effective alternative. While these workers still need to go through a recruitment screening, the cost associated with hiring them is much lower. The consequences also aren’t as big if you happen to hire someone who isn’t a fit. 

On top of that, a freelancer can always turn into a full-time employee if both parties like working together or end up in your talent pool for future opportunities.  

#11. Hire for diversity 

Diversity hiring is good for business. Diverse companies have better financial results, are more innovative, have better performance and greater productivity. 

But hiring for diversity has other benefits too. It grows your talent pool and is good for your Employer Brand, for instance. Organizations that embrace diversity hiring appeal to a wider range of candidates because more people with different backgrounds can relate to them. 

#12. Stop guessing, start measuring (i.e. use data)

You can use the best recruiting strategies in the world, if you don’t measure what you’re doing you might as well be spraying and praying. Recruitment metrics help you evaluate your recruiting process and whether you’re hiring the right people. 

Metrics to keep track of include (please note that this is not an exhaustive list!): 

  • Time to fill 
  • Time to hire 
  • Source of hire 
  • First-year attrition 
  • Quality of hire  

#13. Think of onboarding as part of your recruitment 

Yes, employee onboarding comes after you’ve recruited someone. However, a bad onboarding process does affect your recruitment efforts. People who’ve had an unpleasant onboarding experience might share this on forums like Glassdoor, for instance, free for potential candidates to read. 

A lack of a proper onboarding process also increases the chances of new hires leaving prematurely which means you’ll have to start recruiting all over again. In other words: think of onboarding as an important part of your recruitment process. 


Voila, 13 top recruiting strategies to use in 2020. Of course, not every strategy will be suited for your organization right now. But the list does give you an overview of the (future) possibilities you have in terms of recruitment. If you feel we missed one, please share it with us in the comments below.

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