Recruit SMARTER: Setting Adaptive Recruitment Goals

Written by 
Dr. Ryan Nobles

Recruit SMARTER: Setting Adaptive Recruitment Goals

Recruitment is a vital component of a district's success, as it directly impacts the quality of education provided to students. To optimize the recruitment process, educational institutions need to set clear and effective goals. In this blog post, we introduce a new acronym, SMARTER, to guide districts in setting recruitment goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluated, and Revised. 

We’ve all heard of SMART goals, but with the world needing almost 69 million new teachers within the next 7 years, it’s time we think SMARTER about recruitment goal setting. 


To establish effective recruitment goals, districts must be specific in identifying their staffing needs. Rather than aiming for a general increase in hires, it’s crucial to determine the exact positions and skill sets required. For example, a specific goal could be to hire two additional science teachers for the upcoming academic year to address a shortage in the science department. 

Nimble’s vacancy dashboard equips users with live data on vacancies across departments and school sites. Using this feature provides districts with insight into their projected hiring needs based on historical data. 


To track the success of recruitment efforts, it’s essential to establish measurable goals. By quantifying the targets, districts can gauge their progress and determine whether they are on track. For instance, a measurable goal could be a 5% increase in applications per vacancy, year-over-year.

Nimble’s got what you need! Our data dashboards and custom data exports allow users to view and generate data reports that are essential for measuring the effectiveness of your specific goals. 


Recruitment goals must be achievable to maintain motivation and ensure successful outcomes. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and wasted resources. Districts should consider factors such as available budget, time constraints, and the availability of qualified candidates. Leveraging historical data, and setting goals for incremental improvement is a great way to get started.


Recruitment goals should align with the overall mission and objectives of the district. Each goal should contribute to the institution's vision for providing quality education. For example, if a district aims to enhance its STEM program, they could set a relevant recruitment goal around hiring experienced STEM educators who can strengthen the curriculum and foster innovation.


Time-bound goals establish a sense of urgency and help districts prioritize their recruitment efforts. By setting deadlines or target dates, districts create clarity around their goals. For instance, a time-bound goal could be to have 95% of classroom vacancies filled before the start of the new academic year, ensuring a smooth transition for students and staff.

Do you want to track your vacancy rates by month, but don’t want to export to another platform? Nimble is your one-stop-shop! We have dashboards that track vacancies in a sleek, filterable chart that provides month-to-month data on vacancies across various variables. 

Evaluate and Revise

Evaluation is a crucial step in the recruitment process. Districts should continuously assess their strategies and goals to identify areas of improvement. Teams should regularly review the effectiveness of recruitment efforts and refine strategies for future hiring needs. By evaluating and revising recruitment goals, districts can ensure a progressive and adaptable approach. You can start by setting an annual goal setting session at the start of the hiring season, with quarterly check-ins for the HR and hiring managers to evaluate how you're doing. Considering planning a fall step back? Check out this resource!

Well-defined goals allow leaders to successfully navigate the dynamic growing complexities of education recruitment. By adopting a SMARTER approach, districts can optimize their recruitment processes, attract talented educators, and create a bright future for their students. 

Dr. Ryan Nobles
Customer Success Manager