Talent Acquisition

Hiring Success Glossary

Table of Contents

What Is Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition refers to the process of identifying and acquiring skilled workers to meet your organizational needs. The talent acquisition team is responsible for identifying, acquiring, assessing, and hiring candidates to fill open positions within a company. Employer branding, future resource planning, diversifying a company’s labor force, and developing a robust candidate pipeline are the cornerstones of talent acquisition.

In some cases, the talent acquisition team is part of an organization’s Human Resources department. In others, Talent Acquisition is its own department that works in coordination with HR. The skill sets of effective talent acquisition professionals include sourcing strategies, candidate assessment, compliance and hiring standards, and fluency in employment branding practices and corporate hiring initiatives.

Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment

Understandably, many conflate these two roles. After all, both share the same objective of hiring people to fill open positions. While talent acquisition and recruitment overlap in many ways, there are also important differences. Consider the following sports analogy. Recruitment is akin to free agent signings. Sports front offices typically identify and sign free agents to fill immediate team needs. Talent acquisition, in this analogy, relates to the long term roster health, which includes drafting young talent, remaining financially flexible, hiring a coaching staff that creates a winning team culture, maintaining that culture and ensuring long term team success. 

In short, recruiters fill vacancies. Talent acquisition consultants, on the other hand, utilize an ongoing strategy of identifying specialists, leaders, and future executives for your organization. Talent acquisition departments focus more on long term human resources planning rather than short term labor demands. As one CEO put it, talent acquisition “is more focused on the strategic side of tougher positions to fill.”

Effective Talent Acquisition

In order to recruit and hire the best talent, companies must align their planning and talent acquisition strategy across departments in order to identify, target, and attract the most qualified candidates for a given role.

Talent acquisition teams are also responsible for developing employer branding and communicating that brand to potential candidates. Branding should clearly give candidates an understanding of your company culture, its reputation, key differentiators between competitors, and its products and services. 

The talent acquisition team must also manage candidate life cycle, from the initial application through the final job offer. Effective collaboration, clear communication, and goal alignment with the hiring manager is key, in this regard.  

In addition, talent acquisition teams are responsible for retaining essential employees and developing and maintaining morale among their labor force.

The Talent Acquisition Process

The talent acquisition process involves several complex steps. The most essential of those include:

  1. Lead generation
  2. Recruiting and attracting top candidates
  3. Interview and Assessment
  4. Evaluating references
  5. Selecting the best candidate(s)
  6. Hiring and Onboarding

For a more in-depth look at the talent acquisition process, check out our Talent Acquisition Software. We use direct sourcing to discover more candidates, make it easy to nurture candidates through all social media channels, utilize a one-click application function to make applying as easy as possible for job seekers, and offer unique tools to build exceptional career sites optimized for mobile use.

Tips for Effective Talent Acquisition

Effective talent acquisition is often a long and finely detailed process. Here is a list of essential steps that guide that process.

  1. Forecast effectively: don’t simply project the roles you will need to fill, where your organization intends to expand, etc. You should also take stock of your organization’s past experience filling those roles. For roles that have proven difficult to fill (e.g. because there are fewer qualified candidates, the interview process requires a longer timeline, etc.) make sure your forecast accounts for such difficulties to ensure that all of your projected available roles are filled in an appropriate amount of time.
  2. Build a high-quality pipeline: it is essential to have processes in place to generate and identify high-quality candidates. Every organization sources talent differently, so make sure your recruiting process consistently produces desirable candidates. In addition, the mechanism through which you track candidates will vary depending on the size of your organization and search. For smaller companies, a simple excel spreadsheet may suffice. For others, software like ours can help organizations streamline and sort through larger data sets.
  3. Work Collaboratively: Aligning your talent acquisition goals with those of the larger company will maximize your chances of acquiring talent that will fit in with your corporate culture for the long term. Be sure to collaborate, therefore, with your HR department and other relevant teams throughout the talent acquisition process.
  4. Do not rush the process: effective talent acquisition requires ample time. Do not rush the interview process, cut corners in identifying candidates, or anything else to save time at the expense of the acquisition process. By investing heavily in ensuring you source and hire the best talent, you will save your organization far more resources in the long run.


While each organization handles and houses talent acquisition differently, the talent acquisition team is arguably the most important driver of corporate culture and positive long term growth.

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