The terms “recruiting” and “talent acquisition” are often used interchangeably, despite having a subtle difference in meaning. The difference? Talent acquisition professionals are knowledgeable across the talent pipeline, whereas a recruiter’s job tends to be focused on filling a role and moving on to fill the next role.
Talent acquisition professionals play an important role in employer branding, and therefore develop long-term, strategic plans to attract and retain top talent. They must be skilled in identifying talent that will help the company meet and exceed its goals.
Here’s a closer look at the roles of a talent acquisition professional:
To attract top talent, a company must have a magnetic employer brand, and the talent acquisition specialist plays an integral part in making this happen. Working closely with marketing teams, the talent acquisition specialist must work to make sure the company has positive online reviews (and if not, address any issues causing negative ones), monitor company culture, and communicate internally and externally the company’s mission and values. Each of these tasks is an ongoing function of a talent acquisition role.
Talent acquisition specialists are often in charge of developing a company’s sourcing strategy, using company demographics to determine gaps and ensuring diversity objectives are met. They are skilled at sourcing not only via social media and other online sources, but in networking and relationship building.
Networking and building relationships are a big part of sourcing talent, since the larger his or her network is, the more likely the talent acquisition professional will receive referrals. Thus, successful people in this role have excellent relationship management skills. These skills come in handy when strategizing for employee retention.
The talent acquisition specialist’s job doesn’t end with finding a candidate to fill a role. The specialist is also usually responsible for employee retention. Working with other HR team members, the talent acquisition specialist develops and implements talent assessment and employee training and development programs.
Some companies may lump recruiting and talent acquisition into one role in the HR department. However, most large corporations recognize that talent acquisition needs to be a specialized department, requiring team members to have a specific skill set.