June 14, 2022

Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment

What’s the difference between talent acquisition and recruitment?

Nabih Haidar

Often used interchangeably, talent acquisition and recruitment are commonly mistaken as the same. However, it is important to distinguish between each process individually to determine which is relevant, and in what context.

Recruitment terminology is not stranger to subtle nuances. A quick dive into industry buzzwords shows that certain terms are frequently considered synonymous, despite minor differences. For instance, what’s the difference between a candidate, and a talent?

At first glance, these two terms both indicate to someone who is applying for a job, meaning they’re the same; right? Well, this where the technicalities come in. An applicant is a talent pre-application, and a candidate post-application; since you technically can’t be a job candidate before applying.

Key Definitions:

The same applies to talent acquisition and recruitment. On a surface level, both deal with closing empty vacancies, therefore can be used all the same. Let’s start off by defining each term individually:

Talent Acquisition is a cyclical approach to recruiting, that is geared towards building relationships, anticipating future hiring needs, and creating a sustainable pool of candidates. It is a strategic approach that develops and nurtures talent pipelines with a long-term objective.

Recruitment on the other hand is reactive; a position is vacated or opened, and a person must be found to fill it. The core function of recruitment is to find candidates for existing positions that are currently open. Recruitment does not inherently deal with anticipating future hiring needs, building talent communities, or nurturing passive candidates.

Talent Acquisition is an umbrella term. It entails many processes, which include recruitment. In other words, recruitment is a part of talent acquisition strategies. Recruitment is the act of hiring in itself, whereas talent acquisition encapsulates a combination of processes.

Some Talent Acquisition Strategies:

  • Advisory
  • Recruitment
  • Planning & Strategy
  • Process Excellence
  • Compliance
  • Talent Segmentation
  • Metrics & Analysis
  • Tools & Tech
  • Outsourcing
  • Employment Branding

Talent acquisition entails strategic planning and requires a deeper look at the company culture, the hiring needs, and a consideration for the state of local and global labor markets.

Acquisition specialists also understand the importance of employer branding in recruitment, in order to facilitate talent attraction and retention. An integral part of any acquisition strategy is to ensure that the company’s brand remains attractive to prospective candidates to facilitate future hiring needs.

As mentioned earlier, recruitment is for immediate hiring needs; whereas talent acquisition looks to build and maintain relationships with the candidates that were not retained, but may be called upon for future staffing needs. This process is also known as candidate nurturing, which aims to provide a positive candidate experience to applicants in the organization’s pipeline.

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels

Feel free to read my piece on how to turn rejected candidates into brand ambassadors that goes into detail regarding the relationship between the candidate experience and employer branding.

Kick-off Your Acquisition with Vela

Attracting the best candidates is hardly an isolated event; it often requires continuous work on different fronts to ensure your funnel’s effectiveness. Be it through networking or marketing, acquisition campaigns entail leveraging tactics and activating departments for effective sourcing.

When recruitment campaigns end, acquisition campaigns continue in the form of candidate nurturing, or the engagement of the applicants that were not retained. This process is typically skipped by companies, given that the immediate need has been filled. Yet, what if employers could get recruitment ROI for helping the candidates they did not hire?

With Vela, when you refer your interview finalists, you get rewarded. By referring candidates to compatible opportunities, employers can play an active role in helping their candidates thrive, and they’d get rewarded in more ways than one.

More than candidate nurturing, Vela allows hiring companies to source candidates from vetted talent communities, referred to Vela by experts in acquisition. This helps employers find qualified and compatible candidates, so all parties involved can cut through the noise and get to the right meeting quicker.

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