SMART Goals for HR: what are they, and how and why to set them up

SMART goals compose a methodology based on formulating specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based initial objectives. With them, you can...
19 January 2023

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SMART Goals for HR: what are they, and how and why to set them up

SMART goals compose a methodology based on formulating specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based initial objectives.

With them, you can reduce uncertainty, increase the performance of your teams, and reinforce their commitment to your company. 

Explicitly applied to recruitment, they help you save costs and increase the success rate in attracting talent

Because of their great relevance, we will tell you precisely the SMART goals definition, how to set them up in your company, and what they can be helpful for.

What are SMART goals?

SMART objectives or goals are efficient project coordination tools integrated into a methodology that defines the goals, the roles of those involved, and the timeframe for their achievement in a precise and unambiguous manner.

This means they allow the monitoring and implementation of actions adapted to achieve them. This approach improves the management of your projects by increasing their success rate. 

These objectives can be applied to any area of your company. Integrating them into your recruitment strategy offers benefits such as cost savings, improved planning, verification of the achievements of the recruitment process, etc.

Summarizing, it helps you to increase the performance of your Human Resources (HR) department.

What does the SMART acronym stand for?

SMART is an acronym for the 5 requirements we will discuss below.

S: Specific

A SMART objective must be precise and understandable so that anyone reading a statement understands what it is about, what means will be used, what the procedure will be, in what timeframe it will be achieved, and how success will be measured.

To achieve this, consider what you want to accomplish with this objective, where you will apply it, or who will be responsible for achieving it.

SMART goals

M: Measurable

Your goal should be quantifiable through -for example- t quantity, quality, frequency, and cost… This feature lets you measure progress and know when you have achieved it.

A: Achievable

One of the most common mistakes that lead to a strategy’s failure is setting goals that are too ambitious and unattainable. So before setting yours, consider the capacity of your employees and the means available to them.  

Answer questions such as: how can this goal be achieved? Or calculate the possibilities that exist for you to achieve it. 

Your objectives must be adapted to the actual situation of your company.

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R: Realistic

For an objective to be relevant, you must ask yourself if it is a strategic benefit, who benefits from it, if it is the right time to raise it or if the person in charge is the right person to carry it out.  

T: Time-bound

Setting a date for the achievement of your objective is an unavoidable condition. Scheduling the roadmap phases allows you to minimize possible urgencies and take better advantage of the actions. 

So set a deadline for your objective, mark the steps to achieve it, and remove the uncertainty. This generates more significant commitment from the teams involved.

What does the SMART acronym stand for?

SMART goals: examples to review

Imagine you want to apply SMART targets to the recruitment process. 

You might want to aim to reduce the time taken to recruit talent.

If you translate this into the characteristics of a SMART objective, it would look like this:

  • Specific. Reduce the time spent on recruitment by automating part of the process through specialized HR software. 
  • Measurable. To reduce time by 50%. 
  • Achievable. The company must invest in HR software and train the team to achieve this goal.
  • Relevant. Thanks to this time reduction, the HR department can focus on improving the employee experience and the employer brand.  
  • Time-based. The timeframe to achieve this is 6 months. 

Knowing your company’s needs perfectly is significant for the project’s success. For this, it is essential to have previous management parameters, such as recruitment indicators, in this particular example.

How to set up the SMART method?

In spite of everything we have just seen, for your objectives to be successful, they must follow a methodology and planning.


The first step is to conduct a general evaluation of the company to identify the objectives you want to achieve and the people responsible for their fulfillment.


The next phase is the programming of the objectives and the development of spaces that allow dialogue and reflection of those responsible for them. 

During this phase, errors in the approach may be detected, so we will work to solve them proactively.

How to set up the SMART method?

Indicator definition

It is essential to define appropriate indicators for monitoring each goal and to make them accessible to all project members.


Setting a time limit on the implementation process of the SMART method is a strategic element that affects operations. Its duration depends on the complexity of the project.

SMART goals for a business: why set it up? 

The purpose of creating SMART objectives in a company focuses on 3 main goals: 

  1. To connect the what with the how: to propose strategies in a practical way focused on achieving the objective. 
  2. Enhance the effectiveness of your teams. 
  3. Cultivate the responsibility of the people in charge of developing the project and encourage them to cultivate initiatives focused on achieving the goals set.

Thanks to SMART goals, you will develop result-oriented strategies managed through intelligent indicators that allow you to monitor the evolution of each project at all times. 

It is a way to bet on transparency and reduce procrastination due to a lack of organization. 

The result is an increase in the quality of the results thanks to rigorous coordination when it comes to assuming responsibilities, perfectly aligning the approach and its development with the objectives. 

The differentiating feature of SMART objectives is clarity: clarity in communication, the development of the project, the roles assumed, and the conclusions.

And clarity and security are what we offer you at Smowltech with our proctoring products. Request your free demo to explain everything we can provide to your project. 

Download now!

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