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How To Set Your 2018 Recruiting Goals

Allie Kelly

When it comes to recruitment, you can’t afford to stand still. You need to keep up with the latest trends, keep an eye on your competitors, and develop effective strategies for making the best hires. And to get real results, you also need to put time aside to set periodic recruiting goals. Establishing targeted goals will help inform and drive your strategies, and keep you at the top of your game. Although 2018 is still several months away, it’s never too early to take a look at some of the goals you should consider setting for the year ahead.

now hiring sign in yard
Set concrete recruiting goals to keep your hiring on track for the year ahead.

Make your goals SMART

Any time that you set recruiting goals, you want to make sure that they’re SMART. That means ensuring that each one is:

  • Specific: Define the goal you want to accomplish and why.
  • Measurable: Be able to quantify the goal.
  • Achievable: Determine if you have the ability to accomplish the goal.
  • Reasonable: See if the goal is worth your time.
  • Time-based: Establish a timeframe for reaching the goal.

Doing so will mean that you create realistic goals that you can accurately report back on, thereby taking the squishiness out of the goal-setting process.

Lower your new-hire failure rate

The recruitment process doesn’t end the moment you hire a candidate. You’ve also got to work to keep candidates engaged and on the job. That’s because employee turnover can be extremely expensive, and losing a new hire will put you back to square one. The good news is that if you want to increase retention and lower your new hire failure rate, there are a few things you can do. Increasing the quality of your hiring assessments should be priority number one. Perhaps you need to increase the amount of time you spend assessing candidates for cultural fit during interviews. Or maybe you need to spend more time communicating to them what life is like working for your organization, and what will be expected of them. Remember, misaligned expectations are among the most common reasons why new employees quit.

Improve your speed-to-hire and cut your low acceptance rates

Long, drawn-out recruitment processes are one reason why candidates reject job offers. They might accept another offer, lose interest, or even decide that your organization isn’t as professional as they would like. The last thing you want is to find the perfect candidate, only for them to reject your offer. To reduce low acceptance rates, make sure that your hiring process stays focused. Fostering good lines of communication with candidates and keeping them posted on where they are in that process can also buy you some much-needed goodwill and patience. Making sure your job postings are accurate and comprehensive will help eliminate unqualified applicants who might otherwise overload you with resumes. Spending more time developing and nurturing your talent pipeline, and identifying current employees who have the potential to step up into roles, can also be extremely helpful in accelerating your speed-to-hire.

Focus on diversity

Set goals around diversity hiring to ensure your future workforce fosters inclusivity.

By now we all know that fostering a diverse workplace makes good business sense. So don’t let diversity goals be an afterthought or some meaningless box that you just try to check. Give diversity the attention it deserves in your organization. To improve diversity, you need a sound strategy for diversity hiring. This should include making strong connections with organizations and networks that support diverse workers, and widening your talent pool. You also need to examine your hiring process for unconscious bias and consider how your job postings and application forms could be preventing people from diverse backgrounds from applying. Reinforce your diversity mission and then remove any barriers that may be preventing you from achieving it.

Streamline the recruiting process

It’s easy to get bogged down with repetitive tasks or overloaded with resumes. Investing in recruitment software can help you streamline your processes by keeping track of applications, sending out emails, scheduling interviews, and centralizing information. Some software also automates candidate selection from submitted applications by removing anyone without the required skills or experience. If your goal is to drive down the time you’re spending on administration so that you can reallocate it to more proactive hiring strategies, then software is the key.

Get goal-oriented

When you’re a recruiter, there’s always room for improvement. Good strategies only work with well-defined, measurable, and achievable goals, and you need to keep adjusting the goalposts if you want to keep an edge. Review them regularly, think strategically, and always try to hit your targets. And of course, you can invest in an applicant tracking system to help integrate your recruiting plans and goals with your day-to-day operations.

Allie Kelly


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