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Post by Rich Moy on Mar 1, 2018, 2:00:00 PM

What are your biggest tech recruitment goals this year? Many of you would probably say, “To hire developers.” Of course that’s one of your team’s primary objectives. At the same time, your developer hiring process should be built on a foundation of smaller milestones. As a talent acquisition leader, goal setting is one of the most critical parts of your job. It also happens to be one of the most challenging parts of your role.

When it comes to developer hiring, your team’s work can have a huge impact on the entire organization—if you follow the principles behind S.M.A.R.T. goals. To help you create more meaningful tech recruitment goals, let’s take a closer look at a few mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.

Setting Goals That Aren’t Measurable

Your tech recruitment goals can (and should) impact everything from your sourcing tactics to your employer brand for developers. But regardless of what the goal is, you should be able to measure your success along the way.

For example, you could say that you want to increase the number of applications for a Mobile Developer role by the end of the month. If you get an average of 5 applications per month, you’d technically achieve your goal by generating just one more. Instead, you could commit to an increase of 10% over the next quarter. Not only is this a much more powerful statement, but it also gives you a benchmark to track your progress.

Setting Goals That Don’t Align With Your Company’s Priorities

Even though the competition for tech talent is at a fever pitch, you should never hire developers just for the sake of "doing your job." Closing the deal with two talented Front-End Developers might be cause for celebration, but not if your engineering managers recently shifted gears and want their teams to optimize the back end of your website.

Because developers are writing the script for the future, your tech recruiting goals should be aligned with your company’s most significant priorities. Don’t wait for hiring managers to provide updates. Meet with them on a monthly basis to discuss what your team has been working on and ask for their input. You might confirm that the roles you’re recruiting for are still urgent, but in some cases, you might realize it makes more sense to pause one developer search so that you can launch a different one.

Setting Goals That Aren’t Specific

In no particular order, you’re always thinking of ways to improve your company’s reputation in the developer community, reduce your tech recruitment spend, and generate more applications. At first glance, they might look like S.M.A.R.T. goals. But in many ways, they still leave too much room for interpretation.

Put yourself in the shoes of your tech recruiters, and imagine that you’ve been told to cut back on expenses. Which line items in your tech recruitment budget are you looking to reduce, and what impact will that have? Do you want to attend fewer meetups, or do you want to take a closer look at your online recruiting? Now, put your managerial hat back on. Without specific answers to these questions about each goal that you set, it could be an uphill battle to achieve your overall developer hiring goals.

Setting Goals Without Deadlines

It’s worth acknowledging that it’s often impossible to predict when a particular developer search will close. Some technical roles are much harder to recruit for than others. Still, there should be a timeline for which you’ll commit to either achieve or re-evaluate all of your S.M.A.R.T. goals.

This might sound too rigid, but these deadlines eliminate uncertainty around your developer hiring process in multiple ways. For starters, it forces you to think through the resources required to complete a task. If you believe that a particular goal will take you a full year to achieve, document the reasons why and refer back to it whenever you hit a snag in your developer hiring.

Additionally, deadlines for each goal allow you to plan more strategically over an extended period. If you’re confident that you increase qualified applications by the end of the first quarter, you’ll have a better idea of when you can move on to other tech recruitment initiatives.



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