How To Set Smart HR Career Goals

HR is a constantly changing career field. Setting actionable and measurable HR career goals will help you define your career phases and keep up with the professionals around you. If you don’t create clear goals, it can be easy to let the hustle and bustle of life as an HR professional overtake the actions that will pull you out of those endless negative cycles.

For example, picking a new employee onboarding software isn’t easy. If you don’t create a quarterly or yearly goal to select an onboarding software, it might never get done. Instead, you might be continuously bogged down with your current paper-heavy process.

HR smart goals help you see the bigger picture. When you share those goals with others in your organization, they can hold you accountable and make sure you are progressing on all the goals you’ve set for yourself.

hr smart goals

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Now that you understand why HR professionals create goals, let’s dive into some tips for setting career goals that you can use to set your monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals as an HR pro!

Use The SMART Goals Method

One of the most common goal-setting methods, and one that we use at WorkBright, is the SMART goal method. People often create general goals that don’t give them much context or motivation. By taking a few extra minutes to create SMART goals, you will be able to understand your goal, and when you’ve reached it.


If you want to achieve any goal, it needs to be as descriptive and specific as possible. As you add in detail from the other parts of the SMART goal system, your goals should become clearer and easier to manage.


How will you know if you’ve reached your goal if you can’t measure it? The best plans have a measurable number attached, like a percentage increase/decrease or a specific number. For example, improving employee retention by X% or getting X% of people to buy into a new HR initiative.


When creating SMART goals, they ultimately need to be achievable by you and your team. Achievable is highly subjective to where your team is and how much bandwidth you have. Be clear about how much time you and your team have on your hands to accomplish these goals. For example, you might not want to achieve an applicant tracking system change while hiring a ton of employees. If your team is stretched thin with another massive project, it doesn’t make sense to tackle something large.


Next, you want goals to be relevant to who you are and where you see yourself in the next few years. We often set goals that don’t make sense for our overall life goals and plans. Sometimes it’s hard to understand the relevancy of goals. You might get a few weeks into a goal before realizing it wasn’t a relevant goal to go after. Do your best when picking the plans you decide to chase.


All goals need an end date. If you don’t create time-bound goals, it can be easy for them to get stuck and stop progressing. Setting a deadline and sharing that deadline with your coworkers will help you stay accountable to your goals.