What Is Talent Acquisition?
Talent acquisition (TA) is a strategy for discovering and securing new employees for open roles. It involves a combination of identifying key positions, creating an effective strategy for hiring qualified candidates, engaging those candidates in a competitive interview process, and ultimately bringing them into your company.
Usually, companies have a designated team in the HR department responsible for talent acquisition. Day to day, this team assists department heads with resource planning and develops strategies for filling candidate pipelines.
What Does Talent Acquisition Involve?
Talent acquisition is the first step in the hiring process. It’s about identifying and attracting the right people to your organization, which means it’s not just about recruiting; it also involves finding candidates who fit your company culture.
Talent acquisition involves three main steps: candidate sourcing (finding potential candidates), candidate assessment (evaluating whether they are qualified) and onboarding (bringing them on board).
TA is Both Active and Passive
Talent acquisition encompasses both active and passive job-seeking. Active job-seeking is the process of actively seeking out candidates, such as advertising a position on LinkedIn or posting to a job board. Passive job-seeking is waiting for candidates to come to you, often through referrals and networking.
While many recruiters prefer active methods because they’re more effective in some situations than others (for example, if there are few qualified applicants), it’s important not to overlook passive recruiting strategies when hiring new talent.
Talent Acquisition Professionals Work Cross-Functionally
Talent acquisition professionals work closely with hiring managers to understand what they need from candidates and then use their knowledge of available resources (including job boards) to find those candidates. They may also work with HR departments or other departments that have hiring needs as well, such as Marketing or Finance/Accounting.
And they often pass candidates to recruiters are the first point of contact for candidates, and they play an important role in talent acquisition. Recruiters have a deep understanding of your company’s culture and can help candidates understand what it’s like to work at your organization, and guide candidates through the interview process. They also serve as bridges between hiring managers and candidates by communicating feedback from both sides.
Talent Acquisition is Not the Same as Recruiting
Great talent acquisition professionals are well-versed in candidate sourcing tactics and are excellent at boosting an employer’s brand. As such, talent acquisition, sourcing, and recruiting often get conflated.
The difference is that while sourcing and recruiting fill immediate vacancies, talent acquisition specialists think strategically about how org charts will evolve over time. They are focused on setting the stage for anticipated hiring needs in the future. Talent acquisition teams also think about how to recruit for roles that are notoriously hard to fill and brainstorm ways to build a more diverse workforce.
TA is Critical to Hiring Success
Talent acquisition strategies take time and effort to research, plan, execute, and measure. Companies with bigger budgets may decide to outsource talent acquisition to experienced firms so that their employees can concentrate on other HR tasks. As with all outsourcing, pay close attention to the anticipated ROI of using an agency as you navigate the contracting process.
Talent acquisition is a critical component of your company’s success. It can help you find great talent for your company, and it also helps you build a pipeline of quality candidates who are ready to be hired when the time comes. Talent Acquisition involves both active and passive job-seeking tactics, and it’s important that everyone involved in this process understands how each one works so they can utilize them accordingly.