Setting measurable and attainable goals is a cornerstone of effective recruitment marketing, and might be the single most important aspect of any talent acquisition function.
In a previous post, we discussed key recruitment marketing metrics and performance indicators that every recruitment marketer must track to affect positive change for their recruitment ROI. (Read more on that here.)
Now, it’s time to understand how to appropriately set goals, so that you can use these metrics to track your progress against the objectives you’ve set for yourself.
The following list, put together by our agency team of recruitment marketing experts, details the five questions every recruitment marketer must ask themselves when setting goals for their strategies:
- What specific result and I trying to produce with my goals?
If you’re answer to this is “a better ROI,” then you haven’t thought hard enough about what it is you want to accomplish. Every business will have different goals, but ultimately that goal should be tangible and measurable, not as abstract as a better return on your investment. For instance, if you’re a staffing company, your goal might be to create a talent pipeline and increase gross margin by decreasing your cost-per-placement. However, for an employer, that goal might be about making immediate hires in your highest priority jobs all within a particular budget. Whatever your desired result is, you’ll want to have a detailed understanding of it before moving forward.
- How do my goals impact my business?
Once you’ve determined what result you’d like to produce, you’ll want to consider business impact before putting a strategy into play. If your goal is to increase applicant volume, then ask yourself why? How will this directly impact your business? If you can find your answer easily–such as, more qualified applicants will lead to better hires who can help drive business–then you should be able to proceed confidently. However, if you’re unable to answer the business impact question, then you’ll want to seriously consider your goal before you put valuable budget dollars behind your new recruitment marketing strategy.
- What’s my benchmark?
Before you can begin to improve your strategy, you’ll need to know where you stand. If your goal is to make more hires, quicker and more cost-effectively, you’ll need to first dig into your data and investigate your current process by determining exactly how many, on average, hires you make over the course of a specific time period; how long each hire takes to lock in over that time period; and how much each hire costs. Without benchmarking your current efforts, you’ll never be able to effectively improve upon them.
- Are my goals measurable?
Understanding that you’d like to make more hires quicker and more cost-effectively is a good starting point, but in order to obtain this goal you’ll need to set measurable parameters. For example, ask yourself: What exactly does “more” mean? What do I consider to be “quicker” and at what point do I consider the results to be “more cost-effective?” The answer to these questions, of course, will be determined by the benchmark you’ve set for yourself. Once that’s understood you can set goals of making, for instance, 20 percent more hires over a given month. Or perhaps your goal will be to increase applicant volume by 10 percent in that time frame. Whatever your goals are, you’ll want to make sure they come with measurable metrics and that their measured over consistent timeframes.
- Are my goals realistic?
Determining a specific, business-driven goal that’s measurable against your benchmarks is great. But, you’ll want to make sure all of these variables are actually obtainable. If your goal is to make 20 hires over the course of a week, by cutting your CPA in half over that time frame, then chances are you’re in for an uphill climb that will likely end in failure. Understand your current recruitment marketing metrics and how long it’s taken you to get those KPIs to where they are now in order to determine realistically what impact you can make and in what timeframe. Setting unattainable goals could put a strain on your budget and have negative long-term effects.
Recruitment marketing is difficult, no doubt, but by setting actionable and attainable goals, success can be yours to grasp.
With that said, regardless of how well thought out and detailed your strategy might be, if you can’t measure campaign- and job-level data for your performance-based job ads, then meeting your goals will be increasingly difficult, if not downright impossible.
To learn more about campaign- and job-level recruitment marketing analytics, sign up for a demo.