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How to Set Your 2024 Hiring Goals

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What are hiring goals?

A hiring goal is a goal set by HR to help hiring teams achieve a specific outcome or goal within a specific time period. These goals are most effective when they are aligned with a company's strategic needs.

Recruitment and talent acquisition goals are important for setting the agenda and prioritizing initiatives related to improving HR processes to attract, hire and onboard high-quality candidates.

Types of recruitment targets

Recruitment goals fall into two main categories:

1.Talent Recruitment Goals

Goals to improve a company's ability to attract, hire and integrate high-quality talent with the right skills and culture. These goals can include specific areas such as: E.g :

  • Employer branding: Increasing positive brand perception among potential applicants.
  • Candidate experience: For example, improving candidates' overall experience during the hiring process.
  • Quality of Hire: Improve the quality of hires by evaluating performance and cultural fit.
  • Talent acquisition: For example, increase the efficiency of talent acquisition.
  • Internal mobility and development: For example, facilitate internal career and development opportunities.
  • Digital HR work: For example, use technologies to improve recruiting processes.
  • Talent retention: Improve employee retention, for example.

2.Operational objectives of recruitment

Objectives to improve HR recruiting capabilities, processes and performance. These goals may include:

  • Integration with HR and the business: Improve collaboration between HR and business units to achieve better alignment.
  • Speed and Efficiency: Reducing time-to-fill and streamlining the recruiting process.
  • Recruitment: For example, develop and empower the recruiting team with technological and digital skills.
  • AI integration and automation: Integrate e.g. AI and automation tools for more effective and data-driven recruiting.
  • Measurement and evaluation: For example, set goals and key results (OKRs) to measure and improve recruiting effectiveness.

Why set hiring goals?

  1. Translate company strategy into actionable results: Effective hiring goals provide an action plan that is directly linked to overall company goals. Hiring the right talent drives innovation, productivity and business growth.
  2. Focus on talent needs: Hiring goals help you define the specific skills, experience, and cultural fit needed for your company's success. These goals can lead to greater success in developing ideal candidate profiles and more targeted recruiting efforts that attract the most suitable individuals.
  3. Increase efficiency and reduce costs: Well-defined goals guide your efforts and streamline your processes. For example, a more refined search process reduces time wasted on unsuitable candidates. This results in faster hiring and cost savings.
  4. Improve the quality of your new hires: By setting recruiting and talent acquisition goals around skills, experience, diversity and other important attributes, you can better target the composition of your workforce and increase success.
  5. Encourage innovation in your recruiting: Setting challenging goals naturally encourages your team to explore new solutions and ways of thinking, such as: sourcing new channels, leveraging recruiting technologies and refining your outreach strategies. The result? A more competitive and effective recruiting process.
  6. Enjoy consistent progress: Consistently setting goals and measuring results provides you with benchmarks that you can use to track progress, evaluate the effectiveness of your recruiting strategies, and address areas for improvement.
  7. Increase performance: When everyone involved in recruiting has a clear purpose in mind and is clear about the shared goals, it promotes accountability and encourages employees to perform at their best.

Here's how to set recruiting goals in 10 steps

Step 1: Understand your company's needs

Align the goals with your corporate strategy. Analyze your company's overall strategy and growth plans for the current year. Will you launch more products, focus on new initiatives, establish new sales channels or open additional stores? What skills and knowledge are needed to achieve these goals in the next 12 months?

Determine the needs of each department. For your hiring goals to be effective, they must be comprehensive. Speak with HR managers across departments to determine their current and future staffing needs, skills gaps, and projected workloads.

Step 2: Review your past performance

Review last year's hiring goals. Did you achieve what you set out to do last year? Identify areas where recruiting strategies have fallen short of expectations (e.g. high turnover rates or long hiring timelines) and highlight these areas for improvement in the new year.

Use metrics to evaluate your past performance. Eliminate subjectivity and rely on data instead. Track past year performance using HR key performance indicators such as time to hire, cost per hire, source of hires, and new hire retention rate.

Review your hiring processes. Are your current hiring processes as effective as possible? Analyze the efficiency of existing sourcing channels, interview practices and onboarding procedures.

Step 3: Define the most important KPIs for the new year

Review your recruiting metrics. What KPIs have you focused on over the past year? Are they still relevant? If not, adjust your KPIs for the coming year. Below is a list of important hiring metrics to consider:

  • Quality of Hire KPIs: These KPIs will help you assess whether your hiring goals are translating into valuable results. Consider KPI metrics such as new hire performance, first-year retention rate, and promotion rate to assess the quality of talent acquired.
  • Recruitment Efficiency KPIs: Are all your HR processes optimized? Put them to the test by including KPIs that measure the efficiency of hiring processes in your hiring goals. This can include time to hire, cost per hire, and application-to-interview conversion rate.
  • KPIs for Employer Branding: Is your company gaining or losing traction in the fight for talent? Assess the reach and engagement of your employer branding efforts by tracking social media metrics, website traffic, and candidate feedback.

Step 4: Make sure your hiring goals are relevant

Consider talent market factors. If you want to stay relevant, you must adapt to the changing trends that shape today's world of talent and human resources. Research industry trends, competitor practices, and emerging technologies to identify the types of talent needed for future success.

Don’t overlook emerging HR trends. The disruptions to “business as usual” that have occurred in recent years continue to impact HR. Pay attention to emerging HR trends such as: E.g. refocusing on finding ways to combat productivity stagnation, expanding your talent pool to include "hidden workers" such as: Pensioners, nursing staff and people without a university degree, as well as training HR staff in business acumen.

Step 5: Consider budget and resources

Align recruiting goals with budget. Make sure your recruiting and talent acquisition goals are within your budget. Consider all costs related to sourcing platforms, advertising, interviews, and relocation.

Optimize resource allocation. Is your hiring department understaffed or overstaffed? Review the efficiency of your existing recruiting resources. Can you streamline processes, leverage technology or consider outsourcing to maximize output within your budget?

Step 6: Set SMART hiring goals

Avoid setting vague goals that don't translate into meaningful results. Instead, use the SMART goal-setting framework to define your aspirations and turn them into specific, measurable achievements.

  • S - Be specific: The first step is to clearly define and articulate what you want to achieve. For example: “Reduce time to hire.”
  • M - Make it measurable: It cannot be managed if it cannot be measured. Include quantifiable metrics to track progress toward your goals. Example: “Reduce time to hire by 20%”.
  • A - Make it achievable: Set ambitious but realistic goals to challenge and encourage your team to aim higher. In our example, a 50% improvement may seem impossible. However, a 20% improvement could be achievable with the right effort.
  • R - Be relevant: Align your hiring goals with your company's overall strategy and needs. In our example, are there specific departments you need to focus on?
  • T - Set a time frame: Goals without deadlines often cannot be achieved. Define a concrete time frame for achieving each of your goals to create clarity and urgency.

So what does a SMART hiring goal look like? Let's go back to our example:

  • Vague goal: reduce time to hire in 2024.
  • SMART Goal: Reduce time to hire in finance, operations and sales by at least 20% (from an average of 12 weeks to 9.6 weeks) by August 31, 2024.

Step 7: Achieve acceptance

Engage key stakeholders. Don’t develop your hiring goals in isolation. Ask HR managers, senior management and HR teams to participate in goal setting to achieve alignment and commitment.

Step 8: Effective communication of goals

Communicate your hiring goals. Don't leave anyone out. Establish a communications plan to reach all relevant team members and stakeholders so that everyone understands your hiring goals and their role in achieving those goals.

Create feedback loops. Make sure communication is two-way. Proactively collect feedback from hiring managers, candidates, and recruiters to identify opportunities for improvement in your recruiting processes.

Step 9: Plan for continuous improvement

Conduct regular checks. Setting effective hiring goals is not a one-time event that only happens in January. Check in regularly throughout the year to see if you are on track to achieve your goals. Schedule quarterly assessments of your recruiting goals, KPIs, and overall strategy, adjusting as necessary based on changing market and organizational conditions.

Step 10: Celebrate successes

Recognize and reward successes. Remember that it is important to celebrate your successes, whether they are big or small. Cheer on your team members when they achieve their hiring goals to keep motivation and engagement high.

Examples of hiring goals

Need some food for thought to get your goal setting started? Here is a comprehensive list of examples of recruiting and talent acquisition goals:

Talent acquisition goals

Employer branding goals
  • Improve your company's image as an attractive employer by communicating your company's purpose, mission and culture to attract candidates who share your values and vision.
  • Communicate your company's commitment to pay transparency, climate adaptation and sustainability policy in job advertisements to present your company as a responsible citizen
  • Develop compelling narratives through reviews, videos, and reports that showcase your company culture, values, and employee experiences.
  • Actively engage on social media and attend industry events to position your company as an employer of choice by sharing employee testimonials to attract top talent.
  • Grab attention and attract talent by running engaging social media ads and using sponsored content to showcase company culture and career opportunities.
Candidate experience goals
  • Create a positive candidate experience at every touchpoint to encourage referrals and re-applications.
  • Ask all applicants (successful and unsuccessful) about the highs and lows of their experience with your hiring process
  • Personalize your job postings by tailoring job descriptions to specific roles and highlighting unique company benefits to attract targeted interest
  • Simplify online applications by eliminating unnecessary steps and offering one-click application options via social media or mobile platforms to improve the experience and increase conversion rates.
  • Respond promptly to all inquiries and keep your candidates informed throughout the process to build a positive employer image.
Talent acquisition goals
  • Align talent acquisition with long-term business goals by identifying critical skills and competencies needed for future growth and success
  • Building a diverse pool of potential candidates to meet anticipated and unanticipated needs
  • Opening up new targeted and niche recruiting channels to identify hard-to-find talent in specific areas or industries
  • Using AI and technology to identify high potential candidates.
Digital HR goals
  • Increase your social media visibility by increasing your followers on relevant platforms by sharing engaging content about company culture, employee testimonials, and job postings.
  • Optimize job postings for mobile devices
  • Developing a mobile-friendly application and tracking progress
  • Use specialized job boards and platforms that are targeted to your industry or desired applicant demographics to reach specific talent pools.
  • Create short, powerful video testimonials featuring employees who are comfortable in their roles and share what they value about your company culture to appeal to potential applicants.
Talent retention goals
  • Increase your efforts to create a positive and engaging work environment
  • Reducing employee turnover and minimizing talent loss
  • Evaluate your overall compensation packages to ensure they are competitive and valued by your employees.
  • Increase performance-related compensation incentives to motivate performance and increase engagement
  • Invest in meaningful development and career opportunities for your employees
  • Conduct regular employee surveys and initiate two-way communication to identify problems and solve them constructively.
  • Promote work-life balance to increase employee engagement and avoid burnout.

Operational objectives of recruiting

Integration with HR and business goals
  • Aligning hiring goals with overall HR and company goals
  • Advice on all areas of the business and work effectively with directors to ensure alignment
  • Linking performance and results to salary, incentives and bonuses
  • Regularly communicate recruiting goals and progress to stakeholders across the organization.
Goals of AI integration and automation
  • Using technology to automate repetitive tasks such as reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, communicating with candidates, and preparing offers
  • Using AI to personalize the candidate experience through tailored communications, relevant job recommendations and information tailored to their skills and interests
  • Using AI to eliminate human bias by assessing applicants' skills through online assessments
  • Using AI algorithms to reduce new hire failure rates by identifying top candidates and predicting their success based on compatibility with company culture, team dynamics, and job requirements.
Measurement and evaluation of goals
  • Ensure all goals are formulated as SMART recruiting goals with clear metrics to track progress and success.
  • Develop data-driven skills that assist in analyzing data, identifying areas for improvement, and adapting strategies.

Setting effective hiring goals is essential for HR success. With IceHrm, streamline your processes and achieve organizational objectives.

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