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Is it just semantics, or is Talent Acquisition actually different than Recruiting? Just by looking at the title, you should be able to decipher that they are very different beasts. By definition, recruiting is enrolling or enlisting someone into an organization. Acquisition, on the other hand, is the act of acquiring, such as learning or developing a skill, habit or quality.

Talent Acquisition is not only rebranding branches of recruitment, but re-writing the process completely. The acquiring of talent is more than matching education or experience to an open role. It encompasses employment branding, networking, and building relationships with individuals who possess skill sets that will productively impact a business and its growth as well as cultivate an individual’s specific talents.

Talent Acquisition begins with branding. No matter what type of company is in need of talent; if advertising is not presented in an appealing manner, you will not gain the interest of those you are searching for. After branding, the recruitment begins. This is where TA expands above traditional recruitment. A recruiter will source multiple resumes with key search terms and specific background or educational requirements. However, a talent acquisition professional will use broader terms and consider more talent.

TA connects to candidates with a next-level approach, considering the candidate’s work experience, strengths and goals for their career. Although immediate placement may not always be available, a relationship is built with hopes of a prospering future. This approach leads to the development of talent pools and pipelines. Building relationships with great talent on multiple avenues leads to more referrals, more business and an ever-growing amount of expertise and information.

Where Recruitment is often a knee-jerk reaction to an open requisition to continue production for a company, Talent Acquisition is an equation of planning, strategy, process and analysis. The logistics of Talent Acquisition run deeper then connecting with talented individuals and maintaining those relationships. Workforce plans, labor markets and position anticipation need to be studied to ensure networking is utilized to its greatest degree. As mentioned, Recruitment is usually reactive; this approach can lead to increased time-to-hire and cost-to-hire, as well as candidate quality compromises to manage cost and/or time. Talent Acquisition is a continuous tracking of current business activity while segmenting pipelined candidates for maximum growth.

This article is not meant to knock recruiting, as it takes a lot of effort to match the best candidate with a position. Recruitment is the grandfather of Talent Acquisition if you will, and TA is constantly growing and evolving to improve. No longer is it only about sourcing and screening candidates and then aligning them with a role that fits their abilities or moving on to someone whose skills are a better match. It is a cognitive wheel of business and talent strategy that includes cultivating relationships with those who possess special creative or technical skills that lead to growth and competitive advantages in your industry.

By Jaclyn Gallo | People Science Talent Advisor – Sourcing Specialist