Politicians run campaigns to get elected. Blockbuster films use multichannel ads to drive ticket sales and downloads. Community fundraisers aim to collect enough money to upgrade aging playgrounds. Every successful campaign has an objective it aims to achieve. Why should your hiring be any different?

Successful recruiting campaigns are built around measurable goals that go beyond simply filling an open role. As a recruiter, you’re aiming to achieve meaningful hiring outcomes that add value to the business.

With this in mind, let’s look at how you can build objective-based recruiting campaigns. Developing a clear, impactful and measurable strategy starts with asking the right questions; answering these three can help you create more focused, deliverable goals.

#1 Do you know your company’s goals, and are they clearly explained?

Companies of all sizes usually define their operational and strategic goals and share them with stakeholders, including employees. These objectives guide an organization’s intentions, visions and values, forming the “who we are” component of brand identity. Although there are similarities, operational objectives may focus more on how things get done in the shorter term, while strategic objectives might refer to long-term goals that drive organizational changes. 

For example, a mission statement expresses strategic goals, such as Indeed’s one-sentence summary, “We Help People Get Jobs.” This provides a framework for everything Indeed does. Meanwhile, an operational objective might refer to revenue, productivity and growth goals to support that mission. At Indeed, “We Help People Get Jobs” provides the purpose behind operations such as research, product development, organizational structuring and messaging in internal and external communications, advertising and social media.

Companies lacking this kind of intentional statement can benefit from creating their unique business objectives. Using the acronym SMART — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based — provides a good guiding framework for crafting objectives, whether operational or strategic. Making goals specific, attainable, relevant, and time-based keeps them meaningful and grounded in reality, while measurement is important for defining success as well as opportunities for improvement.

#2 How can business objectives translate into purpose-driven actions?

When each division, team, manager and individual contributor understands and can define your company’s goals, it creates a sense of shared purpose — which, in turn, impacts growth.  

In 2019, Harvard Business Review released information from an eight-year study conducted on high-growth companies. Researchers found something unexpected — high-growth companies that “let purpose be their guide” were able to redefine their playing fields and reshape their value propositions. 

This study was released prepandemic, and the effects of COVID-19 highlighted the crucial importance of being able to pivot in these ways. Indeed’s case study of Human Technologies Inc. (HTI) backs this up, illustrating how a clear purpose enables successful navigation of a challenging time. HTI is a US-based company that partners with employers to develop staffing processes and practices for building engaged, committed workforces with long-term performance and profitability. Its statement of purpose — responding to client needs with “creativity and urgency” and working for “continuous improvement” — set the foundation for addressing large, pandemic-driven drops in applicant volume combined with a turnover rate that was twice as high as normal. 

With a culture primed for agility, HTI was willing to try new hiring solutions and technologies to expand candidate outreach. So hiring teams hit the road with the Job Mobile “job truck” to extend recruiting beyond their physical locations; they also went virtual, adopting the Indeed Hiring Events so candidates could interview easily and safely. 

#3 Can I turn my company’s strategic and operational objectives into hiring guidelines?

Well-crafted business objectives are able to shift in scope from high-level organizational concepts to team projects and campaigns along each segment of the recruiting funnel — and even individual actions and tasks. If, for example, your company has business objectives based on “continuous improvement,” you should always be striving to evolve your hiring practices and processes, too. That purpose will also drive your hiring campaign’s strategic focus. Here’s an example:

Our talent acquisition team will continuously improve our recruiting funnel effectiveness by routinely capturing and analyzing data to optimize job posting reach, job seeker engagement, application rates, number of interviews and cost per hire.

Now, using the SMART framework, translate that objective into more specific, attainable steps, with appropriate time frames and methods of measurement to define success. The team responsible for job postings might add their own objectives for developing new reports that share hiring insights on labor market trends, talent pools, job seeker interests and competitive intelligence. Or they might focus on adopting the latest hiring automation to efficiently and effectively target job postings across multiple channels. Once the measurable components are identified and grouped within a specific time frame and around a related deliverable, you will have an objective-based hiring campaign.

Developing objective-based hiring campaigns starts with shared purpose

Aligning an organization’s “why” with its more specific “what we do,” “who we are” and “how we do it” creates a unified vision, reducing friction and breaking down barriers to success across projects and campaigns. This can have positive ripple effects across the company, from increasing revenue and productivity to improving recruiting and retention and strengthening the company brand.

Understanding your company’s business objectives unites your talent acquisition team around a sense of shared purpose, helping you cultivate specific, defined and measurable hiring objectives. From there, objective-based hiring campaigns that strategically set your team up for success will naturally grow.