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Chances are, you’ve seen the terms Talent Acquisition Manager and Recruiter used on a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) monthly newsletter or job board and wondered, “why are two titles used for the same role”. Like goals, a company’s hiring practices can be either short term or long term. The human resource need that best fits your organization will determine which tactics and terms your HR department uses. To help improve overall recruitment and planning for internal hiring managers at your organization, we’ll break down the important differences between talent acquisition and recruiting.

Recruitment vs. Talent Acquisition

Recruiting is defined as actively seeking out, finding and hiring qualified candidates for specific positions or jobs. Talent acquisition is recruiting with a strategic focus on finding specialists, leaders, or future executives of an organization. Simply put, recruiting is reactively filling vacancies whereas talent acquisition is proactively planning for organizational assets. It’s a mere difference of quick fixes versus long-term planning.

As a human resource professional,  you must ask yourself which positions will be difficult to fill once they are vacant – as they inevitably will be. Qualities of hard to fill roles include, but are not limited to:

  • Roles in niche markets
  • Roles that require unique technological skills
  • Roles where highly specific experience are a necessity
  • Managerial and executive roles 

Which tactic should your team use?

Attracting the right talent can be a feat in itself.  You must decide the type of candidate you want to attract, what recruitment messages to convey and how to reach targeted potential employees. Yet, now that the differences between talent acquisition and recruiting are aligned, how do you determine which approach is most applicable to your business? Kathleen Quinn Votaw, CEO of a human resource consulting firm, recommends aligning your hiring needs with your strategic plan. 

[Take the Talent Acquisition Assessment here]  

As an example, the rising demand in IT and highly specialized technology-related jobs indicates a greater need of a stronger talent pool, and acquisition strategy, than in other fields. Along the same vein, if your industry is characterized by high rates of turnover, a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy could help boost morale and decrease internal turbulence across the organization. Hiring a skilled and perfect fit once a year is more effective than the revolving door of rapid hiring weekly or monthly. 

How to Acquire Top Talent  Racially ambiguous woman searching for job

Extending an offer for a candidate to join your company can happen quite frequently. However, companies that are serious about their long-term futures understand that networking and relationship building help to align their organizations with individuals who are at the top of their fields, making filling vacancies all the more simple. Some day, they may wish to court them as potential employees.

After all, recruitment is a transactional process, and should be approached by the acronym ABC: Always Be Cultivating. The approach, championed by Kathleen Vatow, suggests your organization spend as much time attracting and retaining employees as you do engaging and retaining clients. But who champions this responsibility? The consensus is: everyone is responsible for helping organizations attract the right people for their teams.

Still, setting up a talent acquisition program is a big project, but it’s worth the effort. We suggest taking it one step at a time: 

Step 1: Get organized.—How are you going to keep track of the talent you find and the resources you’re using? A small company with only a few positions may be able to keep track of everything in well organized spreadsheets. If your company is larger, or growing steadily, you’ll want to start shopping for specialized software.

Step 2: Improve your employer brand.—As you connect with top talent in your industry, you can be sure they’re going to look up your company. Make sure your website and social profiles speak to your target audience and prospective future employees.

Step 3: Start sourcing talent.—Identify social networks and communities forums where specialists in your industry gather. LinkedIn Groups are popular with professionals, marketers like Twitter, and everyone is on Facebook. Start building relationships with a follow, retweet, conversation, etc.

Carving time to commit to the steps above are sure-fire ways to enhance your acquisition activities, networking, and outreach to potential candidates.

Jumpstart Your Hiring Efforts  Woman in office planning schedule on whiteboard

We know that recruitment will remain an important business necessity when there are immediate vacancies for your organization. When time permits, we encourage you to flex your talent acquisition muscles and enlist a long-term strategy to make hiring more efficient and more productive. While talent acquisition takes more time up-front, in the end it will help you build the best possible team for your company.

But your organization does not have to do this alone. Our team of staffing professionals have more than three decades of experience in connecting the right people to the right resources. Let us help you find your next best candidate today.