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Jun 15, 2023 — Carly Miller

10 SMART Goals for Recruiters to Set Today

Recruiting top talent is one of the most critical aspects of running a successful business. However, in today’s competitive job market, attracting suitable candidates and ensuring they stay with your company long-term can be challenging. This is where SMART goals for recruiters come into play.

By setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, you can improve your hiring process, streamline your efforts, and ultimately achieve greater success in your recruiting process.

In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide on SMART recruitment goals, including what they are, how to create them, and ten examples that can help you take your recruiting strategy to the next level.

What are SMART Goals?

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SMART goals are a framework for creating specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives. Each letter in the acronym represents a critical factor to consider when creating goals that will drive productivity and success in recruitment.


A specific goal is clear and well-defined. It answers the questions of what, who, when, where, and why. A specific goal leaves no room for ambiguity and helps to focus the efforts of individuals or teams. Effective goals are specific and help define exactly what is to be achieved.


Measurable goals involve quantifiable metrics that allow progress to be tracked. When a goal can be measured, it’s easy to see how close or far someone is from achieving it. Measurable goals help people stay motivated as they see progress, and they also help identify areas that need adjustment to improve performance.


Achievable goals are realistic and attainable. It’s essential to set achievable goals that challenge people to stretch beyond their limits but not to the point of overwhelm and burnout. Achievable recruitment goals should be within reach and consider available resources, such as time, money, and skills.


Make sure your goals align with your overall recruitment strategy and are aligned with your larger business objectives. This means selecting goals that will have a real impact on your recruitment efforts and help you achieve recruitment goals.


A time-bound goal has a specific deadline. This deadline creates a sense of urgency and leads to increased productivity among teams. Setting a deadline also allows people to identify and prioritize the tasks needed to achieve their goals and track their progress over time.

How to Create Effective SMART Recruitment Goals

Understanding how to set SMART recruitment goals is essential for improving your success rate.

By following a structured approach to goal setting, recruiters and hiring managers can improve their hiring process, streamline talent acquisition efforts, and ultimately increase the quality of hire.

There are four key steps to setting SMART recruitment goals:

Identify Areas That Need Improvement

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The first step in setting recruitment goals is identifying areas needing improvement.

This might include reducing time-to-hire, connecting with more candidates, strengthening your recruitment marketing efforts, improving the candidate experience, enhancing company culture, increasing diversity, or optimizing your talent acquisition strategy.

Set Specific and Measurable Goals

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Once you have identified areas that need improvement, the next step is to set specific and measurable goals.

This means creating recruitment goals that are clearly defined and quantifiable, so you can track progress and determine whether you’re on target to achieve success.

Ensure Goals are Achievable and Relevant

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When setting recruitment goals, it’s important to ensure they are achievable and relevant, given your existing resources, time, and skill set. This means setting challenging yet attainable objectives aligned with your larger business objectives.

Set a Timeline For Achieving Goals

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Finally, setting a clear timeline for achieving your SMART recruitment goals is important. This means having a realistic target date of when you want to achieve your objectives and setting milestones along the way to assess progress.

10 Examples of SMART Recruitment Goals

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Setting SMART recruiting goals that challenge your existing talent acquisition strategy is essential for improving your hiring process and attracting top talent.

By setting ambitious yet achievable goals, you can drive innovation and growth in your recruitment strategy while tracking progress and making data-driven decisions.

Take a look at these 10 SMART recruitment goals to get started.

Increase the number of qualified candidates in the talent pipeline

This goal is specific because it targets the talent community and is measurable by the increased number of qualified candidates.

Achievability can be determined by analyzing the current talent pool and evaluating candidate experience and qualifications. Relevance can be assessed by requiring job seekers’ skills to align well with the requirements outlined in your job descriptions.

Reduce the time-to-hire by 20% within the next quarter

This goal is specific as it identifies a clear metric for success, is measurable by calculating the time it takes to hire a candidate for an open position, is achievable by implementing strategies such as reducing the number of interviews per candidate, and is realistic by giving the company enough time to adjust its processes.

Diversify the talent community and leadership team by 50% over the next six months

This goal is specific and measurable by the percentage increase in the number of diverse individuals in the candidate pipeline and employees and hiring managers within the organization.

Achievability and relevance can be determined by finding candidates from new channels or recruiting events targeting underrepresented groups.

Greatly improve the existing recruitment marketing strategy

This goal is specific and measurable by tracking website traffic, social media engagement, and candidate feedback on the new marketing strategy.

It is achievable by researching the latest recruitment marketing trends and implementing them into the existing strategy. Relevant factors could include identifying the target audience and the types of platforms where they are most active, creating a more compelling employer brand message, and leveraging analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of the new marketing channels.

Improve candidate experience and satisfaction by 30% over the next six months

This goal is specific and measurable by using feedback surveys to track the satisfaction levels of job seekers.

Achievability and relevance can be determined by identifying the areas of the recruitment process that candidates find most challenging or frustrating and making improvements, such as offering stronger job descriptions or using recruiting software for a faster application process.

Increase the number of passive candidates by 40% within the next year

This goal is specific and measurable by tracking the percentage increase in the number of passive candidates, or candidates who are not actively looking for jobs but may be open to new opportunities.

Determine achievability and relevance by identifying recruiting channels that passive job seekers frequent (such as LinkedIn or job boards) and developing outreach strategies targeting these channels.

Decrease hiring costs by 15% within the next six months

This goal is specific and measurable by calculating the total cost per hire and comparing it to previous periods.

Determine achievability and relevance by finding cost-effective ways to source candidates and decrease cost per hire, such as leveraging social media or partnering with low-cost recruitment agencies.

Improve the quality of hire by 20% over the next year

This goal is specific and measurable by analyzing new hire performance and comparing it to previous hires.

Determine achievability and relevance by implementing pre-hire assessments, improving the interview process, or using artificial intelligence to identify high-quality candidates.

Develop a strong employer brand within the next quarter

This goal is specific and measurable by tracking website traffic, social media engagement, and candidate feedback on the company’s reputation.

Determine achievability and relevance by analyzing the company’s current employer brand and identifying areas for improvement, such as creating a more engaging career page or showcasing employee testimonials.

Decrease the turnover rate of new hires by 15% within the next year

This goal is specific and measurable by analyzing the percentage of new hires who stay with the company after a certain period.

Determine achievability and relevance by identifying factors contributing to employee turnover (such as poor onboarding or lack of career development opportunities) and implementing recruitment tools and strategies to address them.

Recruit Smarter With SMART Goals

SMART goals

SMART recruiting goals provide a practical framework to set measurable objectives for each stage of the recruitment process.  Tailor your goals to meet specific business needs and monitor them to track progress.

By setting clear goals and implementing strategies to reach them, you can ensure that your recruitment efforts are effective and efficient.

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