Recruitment Tactics and Trends in 2020

Expectations of the recruitment experience are evolving. Years ago, many recruiters and hiring managers had the upper hand when selecting talent and now candidates hold the power during the job search in today’s candidate driven market. The Guardian states; ‘In the fight for survival against squeezed budget and increasing competition, colleges are getting more innovative.’1 Institutions are starting to treat candidates as customers instead of applicants needing employment.

To ensure your college is ready for the new world of work, here are five recruitment tactics and trends to look out for in 2020.

1. Candidate experience

One of the foremost trends in 2020 is enhancing the candidate experience, defined by the feelings, behaviours and attitudes fostered by jobseekers during the recruitment process. With this in mind, there are three key components for your college to consider; creating a consumer-grade experience throughout the application process, developing an approach that aligns with your organisation’s culture and tailoring messages for your target audience.

One of the world’s leading digital travel companies has taken candidate focused content to a new level; ‘Candidates can explore career options and watch videos introducing their prospective teammates, check out a day in the life at various offices, and even learn about how certain product decisions were made.’ 2 In this candidate driven market, giving an insight into the company’s culture and values should result in higher numbers of applications, job offers and re-application rates. On the other hand, a poor candidate experience can be detrimental, resulting in a high applicant drop off rate throughout the recruitment process.

2. Employer brand

An employer’s reputation and employee value proposition are becoming increasingly important factors for candidates when deciding whether to apply for a vacancy. Companies are finding new ways to showcase their achievements, values and culture to raise awareness of their brand and generate applications. LinkedIn has even found that ‘75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job.’3 Colleges and institutions with a weak employer brand may not only struggle to attract candidates, but to retain them. LinkedIn also states; ‘When your employer brand is strong, recruiters experience less friction introducing your company to talent.’ 4 This can result in more candidates applying for roles and receiving an interview.

3. Recruitment marketing

Recruitment marketing is a trend that is set to continue in 2020, demonstrating that companies are becoming more proactive in their efforts to nurture and attract talented candidates. Hire, the recruiting software by Google, states; companies should ‘use data to track the performance of your marketing efforts, and you’ll be able to make adjustments and improve your ability to attract and nurture job seekers over time’ 5 Organisations can then benefit from setting tangible recruitment goals and developing a deeper understanding of their audiences, to underpin impactful candidate attraction campaigns. More targeted campaigns will help to build a stronger employer brand, improve overall candidate experience and provide an opportunity to establish meaningful relationships. Colleges that adopt these recruiting practices are more likely to attract talented applicants when they need them the most.

4. Social media marketing

Recruiting through social media goes beyond posting jobs on your institution’s social media pages, it now offers so much more. Social media networks enable recruiters to proactively search for candidates, build relationships and encourage them to apply for vacant positions. Social media trends that will support this activity in 2020 are; using Instagram stories to showcase your college’s work and position the institution as an employer of choice. Colleges can then upload photos or videos without worrying about editing; it is in-the-moment storytelling. This should provide a positive and true reflection of the college for potential employees.

The second trend is utilising LinkedIn pages to share the story behind your institution’s brand with an engaged audience of prospective employees. This can include sharing thoughts about your services, leaders, team members, history and more. Colleges can use this content to raise their profile and showcase their culture, ethos and values.

Recently Facebook has turned its attention from still photos to videos. Marketers are highlighting that videos are the most prominent type of content on the social media platform. Marketing author for Buffer, Brian Peters mentioned; ‘when it comes to taking your Facebook strategy to the next level, there’s no better way to do so than through video content.’6 Whether your college chooses to share a video in an ad, a post or live streaming, this can result in higher levels of applications from potential candidates.

5. Recruiting with flexibility

A competitive market means that colleges could benefit from introducing a new hiring model in certain circumstances, to overcome the challenges brought about by skills shortages and restrictions on staffing budgets. The CIPD Flexible Working Report mentions; ‘It is important to make the case for employers to invest in creating more flexible working opportunities across their workforce, and to help in attracting people from different backgrounds and experiences.’7 Adopting this new hiring model will create more opportunities for short-term, mid-term and project based work, which could provide colleges with access to a larger talent pool and a more cost-effective recruitment solution in certain circumstances.

1The Guardian Online
2 Greenhouse Blog – 7 Companies with game-changing candidate experience –
3 LinkedIn Business
4 LinkedIn Blog –
5 Hire by Google –
6 Social media today –
7 Flexible Working Report
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