Set Recruitment Goals You’ll Actually Achieve: 5 Tips for Success in 2020

With the end of 2019 quickly approaching, it’s time for companies to focus on laying out their recruitment goals for the new year. As talent acquisition professionals look to improve their strategies, many find it challenging to know what to focus on.


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Jobseeker expectations are evolving, and preferences are becoming more complex. In order to create effective plans, HR pros need to overcome the challenge of the unknown and set goals based on facts and trends that are rocking the boat.

Here are five must-follow tips that will help you reach your 2020 recruitment goals:

1. Focus on Soft Skills

While technical prowess is crucial to job success, it’s becoming less and less important to managers making hiring decisions. Instead, talent acquisition managers are reaching their recruitment goals by focusing on the soft skills that play into teambuilding, growth potential, and cultural fit.

In fact, recent research at LinkedIn found that a whopping 92% of HR pros find soft skills matter as much as or more than hard skills, and 80% highlight the impact of soft skills on company success.

When you’re looking to build your team, find effective ways to accurately assess soft skills. During the interview process, ask candidates to describe the way they would approach certain situations that could occur in their role. Focus your attention on the way their soft skills play into their answers. Furthermore, ask them to rate their skill sets by providing a self-evaluation of the areas in which they feel they’re strongest.

2. Highlight Workplace Flexibility as a Core Benefit

In January 2019, the mention of work flexibility in job postings on LinkedIn increased by 78% in the previous 2 years. That significant jump tells recruiters everything they need to know—that flexibility is no longer a fun, add-on perk but rather a core benefit that jobseekers see as crucial to their satisfaction and success.

The availability of flexible work is the result of demand. In just 4 years, there has been a 24% increase in the number of people who say flexible work arrangements are a very important factor when considering a new job. Even more surprising, a new report from Owl Labs found that 62% of U.S. workers have some type of remote working arrangement. If you haven’t let go of the strict 9-to-5 yet, it’s time to join the tide.

As you work toward your recruitment goals, connect with departmental leaders to create workflows that allow for flexibility. It’s more likely than ever that jobseekers will pass over fully traditional jobs; don’t miss out on top talent by being unwilling to bend.

3. Focus on Personal and Professional Development

Despite the student debt epidemic plaguing young professionals, the majority of the U.S. workforce still doesn’t have a college degree. According to a CNBC interview with CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky, these workers are moving toward building transferable skill sets.

College degrees actually make candidates overqualified for many entry-level roles. You’re now seeing a focus on specific skills in order to get a footing in a career path before pursuing further education.

Through the practice of skill-based recruitment, you’ll be able to identify candidates who fit your openings. But more than that, you’ll need to prove that you can help them add to the development work they’ve put in. Whether through tuition assistance, continuing education programs, or apprentice-style mentoring, make sure jobseekers know about all the ways you help your team grow.

4. Understand the Impact of Equity and Equality

Antiharassment, gender equality, and equity in the workplace are finally earning the attention they deserve. If they want to continue hiring top talent, companies must respond to the movement.

As you set 2020 recruitment goals, focus on highlighting efforts for an equity-focused work environment. Partner with company marketing teams to create recruitment-specific branding. Clearly illustrate the organization’s commitment to providing equal opportunity regardless of gender, race, orientation, religious preference, etc.

5. Be Transparent About Pay

LinkedIn found that only 27% of talent professionals openly share company salary ranges early in the hiring process. More than half responded that they don’t share and are unlikely to add this tactic to their recruitment efforts.

When employers overcome their hesitancy to share pay rates during recruitment, they realize noticeable benefits. Fifty-seven percent noted that their honesty helped streamline negotiations, while 55% responded that transparency proves their commitment to fair pay.

Companies can also filter out candidates whose pay expectations exceed the maximum salary for the position and use precious interview time to focus on fit instead of pay and benefits.

In our connected world, it’s becoming more common (and less taboo) for employees to know the pay and benefit details of their peers. Remove the questions, and set clear expectations for your new hire hopefuls by listing pay expectations up front.

Karyn Mullins is the President at MedReps, a job board that gives members access to the most sought-after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with MedReps on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.