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Career Advice | 6 minute read

2018 Goals – Recruiters, Look Back to Get Ahead!

December 7, 2017

Where has 2017 gone? If you’re like me you’ve probably caught yourself saying this a few times over the past month. While the amount of daylight is shorter, the length of our work days remain the same; for people who work 45 hours per week, you’ve logged nearly 2,400 hours this year alone (not counting overtime, nights and weekends)! What are you most proud of over the course of these past 52 weeks? Did you accomplish all you wanted in 2017? Do you have personal and professionals goals planned for 2018?

As 2018 arrives, it’s important to take a look back at the past year while putting into action your plan for the year ahead. Whether you work in an office, remotely or in a part of the world far away from your team, having both professional and personal goals, a plan, and a way to appropriately appreciate all of your accomplishments is important for motivation and fulfillment.

Setting Personal and Professionals Goals
I have been in sales and IT recruitment for the past six years, but I’m still in my first year with the WilsonHCG family. One of the first things I noticed was the amount of opportunity for professional and personal growth. When joining in July 2017, this immediately motivated me to put together my personal goals and what I wanted to accomplish over the course of my first 30, 60 and 90+ days. This also “level set” my expectations for the first few months – making sure I wasn't getting ahead of myself but was also on track to achieve what I set out to when moving into a new role.

Just like New Year’s resolutions, we often set goals that seem obtainable at first – but after a road bump or two they end up falling by wayside. That is the beauty of setting your own goals. They can evolve, be altered and adjusted, and made more realistic when needed. There is always a learning curve when setting your own goals, and needing to reassess then update doesn’t mean failure; it’s simply change in light of all the change taking place around us, both within and outside of work.

Remember, goals are aspirational. Just missing out on a goal isn’t failure; it’s a benchmark for the year ahead and an opportunity to evaluate your progress as a recruitment professional, philanthropist and human being.

Goal Setting by Management, Team Leaders
Now, what about goals set for you by your leaders? Meeting or exceeding these goals is obviously the first step in career growth and advancement. Looking back on 2017, were you able to finally close out that aged requisition? Did you advance a yearly “pillar” goal? Were you promoted within your team?  

Hopefully “yes” is these answer to some, if not all, of these! If not, now is the perfect time to look back and try to determine what went wrong or how you could improve. Take stock of what you achieved, what you just missed and where you feel you can improve; this will enable you to go into 2018 more self aware and ready to tackle new goals.

Organizing and Tracking Your Goals
Having a plan for the new year is crucial, but everyone is different. Whether you prefer to write them down, have a chart or board, there are a ton of ways to organize your goals. In fact, there are hundreds or templates you can download online to help with this.

In addition, for example, skill-building platform Mind Tools offers numerous resources for setting and tracking goals, both professional and personal (and many FREE). One of the methods offered by Mind Tools is the SMART goal setting guide, which has been credited to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objects. The key principles are as follows:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable)
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
  • Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time-/cost-limited, timely, time-sensitive)

As recruiters, we have the opportunity to change someone’s life; we make an impact on their future.  Looking for a new career opportunity can be scary at times, but we help make that transition smooth and comforting and encouraging. As you look back on this past year, how many lives did you impact? How many impacted you? While this is not necessarily a goal that adds to your professional development list, it is undoubtedly one of the most amazing perks of the job; not only in personal growth but growth in your day-to-day networks and talent communities!

So, are you ready for 2018? Now is the time to look at the “big picture” from 2017 and the year ahead. Evaluate how much you accomplished, where you were exactly one year ago today, and where you hope to be one year from today. Set your professional 2018 goals in line with your personal ones. Tackle your small, immediate goals to help you achieve your larger ones.

One Final Piece of Advice as You Enter 2018

If you take one thing from this post, it’s this: as a talent acquisition professional, you provide an incredible service to countless people. Take a moment leading up to 2018 to appreciate how much you’ve accomplished, the lives you’ve impacted, and how far you’ve come. Lean on 2017 achievements to springboard into 2018.

Recruiting is no easy feat; be proud of the unique work you do and, while you're at it, take a moment to celebrate your colleagues. Happy New Year!


About Kyle Chesnut

Kyle is a recruitment consultant with more than six years of sales and IT recruiting, consulting and talent acquisition experience. Kyle currently lives in South Florida and loves to go boating whenever possible. He also enjoys traveling, and tries to take at least 1-2 international trips each year.