Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Setting Goals as Recruiters, Candidates/Employees, and Hiring Managers

This is the season when traditionally we reflect on the past year and set our goals for the next year. Some people call those goals “New Years Resolutions”. I tend to avoid using that name since those “resolutions” are often closely associated with another word, “broken”.

You may want to review all of the conditions that need to occur for a promise to become a goal:
1) A goal must be specific. As a recruiter, your goal for paid fees or income for the year must be a number not a range. As a candidate/employee you may set a position as your goal. As a hiring manager, you can target performance areas or hiring goals.
2) A goal must be measurable. Remember metrics? In order to know if you are on the path to completion of your goal, you must have a way to measure the work being done to reach the goal. For instance, as a recruiter if you know it takes 200 calls to make a successful introduction of a candidate to a client, you can break that down to the daily work that needs to be done to meet your goal. As a candidate, if you know that Lee, Hecht, Harrison has measured that it takes 20 networking calls per week in order to find a new job in 3 months, you know that you must make 4 connections per day. Track your activity so you know when the Law of Averages is about to work in your favor (That’s why it is called a “Law”). Tracking your metrics also helps you improve the accuracy of your averages.
3) A goal must be challenging. This is the time to reach for new successes. If your goals do not catch your imagination, you will lose interest in them. Remember when President Kennedy challenged the US to put a man on the moon in the 1960’s (oops! Maybe some of you are too young to remember those heady years)? That goal caught our imagination, and as a country we worked towards its successful completion. No other country has done it since.
4) A goal must be realistic. Beware of conflicting goals. If you want to send a man to the moon but are not willing to spend money doing so, you have a conflicting goal. It costs money to put someone on the moon. Heck, it costs money (typically) to get to the next town. So while your goal must be challenging, it must also be attainable.
5) A goal must have a completion date. If you do not put a completion date in your goal, it is far too easy to put off doing the work to attain your goal. Then you lose interest (how many of you join a health club in January and don’t go back inside until next January? Oh, that’s one of those “resolutions” we referred to earlier).
6) Finally, a goal must be made public. By telling other people about your goal, you are committing yourself to its completion. If you are a candidate, it may not be wise to tell your manager about your intent to find a new job. Otherwise, your search may take on a new sense of urgency.

By reviewing your past year and setting new goals for this year and beyond, you become a better manager, employee, recruiter, parent, coach, etc.

Good Luck and have a Wonderfully Successful and Healthy 2007!