What are some good recruiting strategies

The successful 2020 recruitment strategy


The War of Talents is on!

New professions and educational paths are emerging, as are new technologies and the associated knowledge niches.

Without a defined recruiting strategy, it is almost impossible to address the right staff in all of the online channels available. In addition, you and your HR managers cannot know every job and in which target group you will find the candidates you are looking for.

In addition, in the "War of Talents", as Steven Hankins called it for the first time in 1977 [1], you have to stand out against competitors in order to win over and keep the candidates you are looking for.

Although the corresponding Mc Kinsey study by Hankins and colleagues says: "Better talent is worth fighting for.", The fight should at best not consume too many resources and, above all, be worthwhile in the long term. Many aspects come together and together form human resource management.

Even if you don't have a recruiting strategy right now, that is your strategy. In the following, we will show you how you can easily and sustainably ensure solid recruitment


Employer branding and EVP as a launch pad (step 1)

The mere fact that there are training branches such as “Employer Branding Managers” [2] shows how important this area has become for personnel recruitment. Rightly so, because your employer brand is the basis on which you plan and execute your strategy.

Without a defined self-image with which to confront the talents in the market, you have no authentic arguments. Above all else, the following points are decisive for this:


Many companies already know from advertising that developing a good product is not enough to attract customers. The potential buyer must also know that the product exists.

For this, in turn, it is necessary that he recognizes it wherever it appears. Recognition is created by following a uniform line in marketing, which also includes corporate identity [3] (CI for short).

It is of the utmost importance that the company itself exerts a positive image that is carried over to its product. The same goes for an employer. Because he is the marketer of his product, in this case the job he wants to bring to the “customer”, the employee.

As with a product, it is crucial which target group is addressed and whether the product is recommended. The target group reached should ideally represent the same values ​​as the company. It must therefore first clearly define which values ​​these are.

Nowadays, topics such as
  • Environmental protection / energy
  • Remuneration models of the future
  • equal opportunity
  • Work-life balance.

That can change and it is necessary to review its values ​​and how they are implemented from time to time. Look at the competition for that too. Ask yourself: What do I offer, how can I convince?

In order to successfully market a vacant position, an employer brand is required before the strategy is drawn up, one that already cultivates such sought-after, positive values ​​and wins over the employee. Because at best, the candidate will identify with your company in the long term. Then he is motivated, achieves correspondingly good performance and ensures an increase in the value of his employer in the market through positive word of mouth. Developing an employer brand falls into the area of ​​employer branding.

It's about long-term goals, real values ​​and, above all, authenticity.

Because if you don't stand behind your brand consistently and honestly, sooner or later your facade will begin to crumble.

If everyone is looking for the young, agile IT-native trainees, it is important to clearly position and differentiate yourself in the offer. "[4] And the McKinsey study already put the question in front of it: "Tell me again: Why would someone really good want to join your company? And how will you keep them for more than a few years? Yes, money does matter. " [5]But the salary has long ceased to be the factor that young talents are primarily concerned with.


Define talent search with market mapping (step 2)

So, first of all, you need to find out what candidates expect from you and what you can offer them.

Do expectations and feasible offer match, or are there serious discrepancies that need to be resolved?

Take stock of your own company and the market you want to target with your strategy.


Develop a market mapping strategy

If you do not know in which environment you are made up of competitors, offers and inquiries, you cannot develop a strategy. Talent market mapping is about the first steps in the direction of the talent you are looking for.

The mapping is intended to identify all potential candidates on the job market, identify the relevant trends on the job market, as well as competitors and competitors and their strategies.

Thanks to Google and various analysis tools, it is relatively uncomplicated to know your competitors on the World Wide Web these days. The analysis of the possible candidates for a vacant position turns out to be more difficult.

The Wirtschaftswoche quoted Prof. Matthias Ehrhardt from the IESE Business School in 2017:

“We live in a talent economy, talented young people are the key factor for companies. [...] As is well known, millennials hardly feel tied to individual companies. "[6]

Surveys show that today's 18-35 year old professionals still value a certain stability.

If you want to keep your talents, you have to deal with their wishes. Open-ended jobs are increasingly being demanded, temporary jobs are being rejected.

According to a survey [7] carried out for NEON magazine, luxury for the young, up-and-coming generation no longer consists of financial achievements, but from time, freedoms and experiences.

Those who take this into account as HR managers are in trend as an employer and retain employees.


Definition of the target group

With the entry into market mapping, you are already on the way to the next decisive step in your recruiting strategy: defining your target group.

Regardless of which position you are looking for candidates, you will focus on (young) specialists who are motivated to perform for your employer brand, increase their success and advance the company. In short: you expect commitment at all levels.

Your target audience expects the same. But how can and should you show her your commitment if it is not mainly about the salary?


Statistics [8] show how the under 20s imagine their future. The fact that more than 65% of young people want to start a family with children changes their demands on the job. In a logical conclusion, the following have priority:

  • Solid, growing income
  • Career / training opportunities
  • Long-term contracts / job security
  • Well-balanced work / life balance / good working atmosphere


But what does the target group understand by the individual aspects and how do you as an employer convey that you value and cultivate the same values?

The solid, increasing income can be combined with long-term contracts and a career plan drawn up in advance, which also covers training opportunities.

There are countless programs that can be specifically and individually coordinated with the candidates. This also creates an approach to a good work / life balance. The desire for more freedom and flexibility is also hidden here. It has its roots in the globalization and digitization of the world of work. As an employer, you can use these means to respond to the requirements of the target group:

Offer home office hours or flexitime that can be easily combined with the family life of your candidates, or offer childcare places. Ask young talents specifically about their ideas and be open to new models if you can see added value for yourself.

Approaching personnel management with a willingness to change and communicating openness to modern models means a good, adaptable working atmosphere for your employees. According to the NEON survey, a good relationship with the boss is more important to young talents than financial incentives or the company car.


The correct target group approach (step 3)

Now it's time to bring the new ideas and the target group together. For most recruiters, the specific approach is less of a problem than the choice of the appropriate channel in today's multi-channel posting (MCP).

It is true that there is no longer one real recruiting channel unless the entire Internet is referred to as one.

Because that's where the battle for talent takes place. In addition, the target group is increasingly mobile and likes to communicate in an uncomplicated, quick and concise manner.

The graphic (see above) shows that 52% of the young talents surveyed feel “uncomfortable without a smartphone and cut off from the world”.


Efficient multichannel recruiting takes skill

This means that WhatsApp, Xing, Facebook and Twitter have become serious recruiting channels. This mobile recruiting or e-recruiting can also be used on online job portals. They represent an immense part of the modern candidate search and can be used on the desktop PC as well as on the go via smartphone or tablet.

Job portals have a large reach, are already pre-sorted and can be filtered by job seekers and HR professionals.

In contrast to job search engines, which collect what is posted on the job portals, the latter offer interested parties real added value in the form of advice texts, tests and salary comparisons.


Use the right job portals

Let job portals do some of your work for you and adapt your profile to the style of the platforms in order to pick up the target group in the best possible way.

You should find the middle between adaptation and authenticity. As an entrepreneur, you have the chance to have your employer brand conveyed by the portals and conveyed directly to the target group. The portal operator determines the tonality and wording for you, because he knows the candidates and needs them as multipliers, so he hits the right note.

If you have not already done so in market mapping, do sufficient research here as well: Where do your competitors advertise? Where do these advertisements appear and what special offers do they attract attention?

Events such as an open day or a stand at the city festival or the next trade fair are particularly popular with young professionals.

The job advertisement as a figurehead

Make use of the research results from your market mapping when it comes to formulating your employee application.

Advertising, or “posting”, is different online than in the print version and is part of a coherent strategy.

The lecturio HR magazine writes: "While in the print version the appearance and placement are decisive for the response of an advertisement, online findability plays a much more important role." [9]

What is meant is that you choose your logo or an appealing image file and formatting in the newspaper in order to attract attention in the standard formatting of the usual texts.

Optimally, you stay in your CI in terms of font, color choice and language. The same thing also plays a role for an online advertisement, but at most you would design an advertising banner like a newspaper advertisement. You will attract attention with keywords and clear formulations that make it clear at first glance who is looking for whom and for what.


Requirements for a good job advertisement

But above all else, it should reflect your professionalism and seriousness.

Correct spelling and grammar are mandatory. Either have a third person proofread your ad or use a copywriting agency. "[10]

The latter may seem excessive. But an ad filled with all the positive aspects of your company, well positioned and easy to find, is of no use if it contains typing errors and lacks the necessary care. As an entrepreneur, you can certainly formulate it in style, but a text agency will approach it more professionally. In addition, the structure and rhetoric should be right.

Like any other piece of writing, your ad says more about you than is written in the published text. Recognize your ad text such as your website and your company profile on Xing or Facebook as a figurehead for your values.


Active sourcing - smart precaution

Active sourcing is recommended as part of the overall strategy so that you do not only become active when the personnel bottleneck is already apparent due to project enlargements, fluctuation or parental leave. "Active sourcing is an essential part of a proactive recruiting strategy [and] supplements reactive recruiting activities (eg, advertising in print or online and [waiting] for applicants) with a component in which employers proactively and specifically target certain potential candidates approach. ”[12] As a HR manager, you do not need to wait until your desired candidate contacts you or finds you. Active sourcing has long been a well-known strategy at executive level, but now more and more specialists are being sought via direct contact on, for example, Xing or LinkedIn, as the following graphic shows. [13]

They do not have to be permanent employees. Project-related freelance work by freelancers is not uncommon, especially in the field of IT, graphics or other creative professions. Especially for such temporary collaborations, HR professionals go to online portals and specialized talent pools to find suitable candidates. Active sourcing is recommended as part of the overall recruiting strategy. Precisely because it takes time and capacity, it doesn't have to be a permanent part, but it should be a part that is used regularly.


Perfect onboarding & talent management (step 4)

In the human resource management of large companies, onboarding, i.e. the training and integration of new employees, is unfortunately far too often underestimated. This would largely prevent fluctuation within the first few years. Recruiting is by no means over when a new candidate is hired. The really crucial phase is only now beginning.


The onboarding process

The cost of a hiring process is wasted the moment new hires are left on their own. Hardly anything in the recruiting area is more costly than the hasty, poorly planned search for candidates, which therefore only has to be repeated a few months later for the same position.

If the recruiting process is under time pressure, mistakes are made.

These show up either in the final phase, i.e. the hiring process, or in the follow-up to the process, i.e. onboarding. Frequently neglected points:

  • Too many applicants are scrutinized to find at least one halfway suitable, right?
  • too few applicants invited because recruitment is urgent, or
  • hired the first candidates.
  • The induction phase / onboarding process is too short and superficial,
  • the trial period / extended onboarding is already used as regular working time.


All these sources of error can only be corrected in retrospect at additional costs. But a lack of onboarding is not only harmful financially. The employer value proposition built up with employer branding, i.e. your employer profile of offers and benefits for your employees perceived on the market, is also significantly damaged by poor onboarding and a lack of employee loyalty.

So don't leave the new talent alone in the first few months. Both personally and professionally, directions, introductions and coordination are always necessary so that your employees are motivated and productive at work and strengthen the EVP of your company through positive word of mouth. [14]


Planning security through long-term employee loyalty

Corporate management is permanent planning, provision, follow-up and fine-tuning. As an entrepreneur, you must therefore be able to rely on your own strengths. You can only devote yourself to your projects and the growth of your company if you know the skills of your specialists and their ongoing motivation behind you. Regard the skilled workers once you have gained them as your potential for greater success.

This also includes keeping your candidates enthusiastic about your goals over the long term. Successful human resource management focuses on measures and strategies “that have a positive effect on the well-being, development and mood of employees.It is important to create an optimal balance between the strategic direction of the company and basic employee needs. "[15]


Define and evaluate recruiting KPIs (step 5)

Over time, experience and the evaluation of the key performance indicators (KPI for short) show which strategies and which channels are the better.

Recruiting measures cannot be set in stone, because they are supposed to appeal to your target group, which is also constantly changing. With the help of the recruiting KPI, you as a HR manager can evaluate your recruiting measures, channels and strategies and determine a direction. You will act more responsively, even plan ahead, with a strategy you can rely on. The best strategy is only as good as its evaluation and the conclusions drawn from it.

From the first time you use your new methods, you should therefore note relevant key figures and evaluate them afterwards. The top 10 KPIs rated as relevant by experts are:

Even if most of the respondents took the time from the advertisement to the appointment of a candidate (Time-to-fill) as material, it is up to you whether you agree with this assessment. The point is far less debatable Cost-per-hire. As you gain experience in recruiting, you will find that long-term planning and forward-looking recruiting can permanently reduce costs.

Market mapping and employer branding are just two of the aspects of a recruiting strategy that require permanent supply. Therefore, always take a fresh look at your recruiting strategy. Stay agile and follow trends. This is how you become a real recruiting specialist.



[1] http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/ looked up on May 17, 2018

[2] http://www.personalblogger.net/2014/07/31/6- Fakten-zum-berufsbild-des-recruiting-und-employer-branding-managers/, looked up on 08.06.2018

[3] „Corporate Identity, or CI for short, is the entirety of the characteristics that characterize a company and distinguish it from other companies. The corporate identity is thus the company's self-image [...]. " Source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Identity, looked up on May 14, 2018

[4] See also: http://www.employerbranding.org/employer-branding-im-kontext-digitaler-transformationsprozesse2/

[5] http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/article_print.aspx? L2 = 18 & L3 = 31 & ar = 305

[6] https://www.wiwo.de/erfalt/management-der-zukunft/generation-y-was-junge-deutsche-von-arbeitgebern-erwarten/8691794.html,

[7] https://www.haufe.de/personal/hr-management/generation-z-umfragen-zu-werte-in-der-arbeitswelt_80_417304.html,

[8] The Celepedia Youth Study # 2, https://www.de.statista.com

[9] https://www.lecturio.de/magazin/online-stellenangebote/

[10] https://www.pagepersonnel.de/advice/management-tipps/recruiting/wie-sie-eine-erverbindungen-stellenangebote-verfassen

[11] https://de.indeed.com/

[12] https://www.competitiverecruiting.de/ActiveSourcing.html,

[13] https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/528137/umfrage/führung-von-active-sourcing-durch-unternehmen-in-deutschland/

[14] https://www.absolventa.de/karriereguide/arbeit-und-alltag/onboarding

[15] https://www.roberthalf.de/unsere-zollerarbeit/news-info-center/recruiting-tipps/flexible-personalstrategy/personalmanagement

[16] https://www.personalwirtschaft.de/recruiting/recruiting-kpis-auf-diese-zahlen-kom-es-an.html#3787