Many people think that the terms recruitment and talent acquisition are synonymous, but companies that keep an eye on the big picture know there’s a crucial difference between the two. Recruitment and talent acquisition are comparable to short-term and long-term — quick fixes versus long-term planning. Both approaches may be used depending on the circumstances, but one tends to be tactical in nature and the other, strategic.
Internal hiring managers can improve overall recruitment planning with a basic understanding of the strategic nature of talent acquisition. Independent recruiters can likewise improve relationships with employers by better understanding the unique role that acquisition plays in helping a company achieve its strategic vision.
Recruitment Versus Talent Acquisition
Recruitment is about filling vacancies. Talent acquisition is an ongoing strategy to find specialists, leaders, or future executives for your company. Talent acquisition tends to focus on long-term human resources planning and finding appropriate candidates for positions that require a very specific skillset.
Ryan Naylor, founder and President of LocalWork.com, a company connecting local jobs with local job seekers, said that talent acquisition, “is more focused on the strategic side of tougher positions to fill.”
“It’s important to project three to six months ahead of when you need to fill leadership and specialty positions. Many tech positions take six months or longer to fill. If your company is awarded a new client and you need to deliver the work ASAP, it can be tough to recruit for those positions in short turn around.”
Companies must ask themselves which positions will be difficult to fill when a vacancy or need arises. Niche markets, technology skills, highly specific experience, and leadership roles call for a thoughtful, long-term approach to talent acquisition.
Should Your Company Be Recruiting or Acquiring Talent?
Many markets are changing, and new skills are needed. In manufacturing, a push towards green technology leads to a greater need for reskilling and hiring non-traditional backgrounds, such as environmental science or cybersecurity. The competition for this talent will be fierce. Your company should have a talent acquisition strategy in place to anticipate these needs. Having a passive talent pool ready will save you time and give you a leg up on your competition.
Kathleen Quinn Votaw, Founder and CEO of TalenTrust, a human resource consulting firm, and author of Solve the People Puzzle: How High-Growth Companies Attract and Retain Top Talent has seen the competition for the best talent escalate.
“The areas with the greatest skills shortages are those that most need a talent strategy. Overall, we’re seeing the competition for top talent continue to heat up, and skills shortages are part of the fuel. A technology firm seeking developers, for example, may need an overall talent strategy around strong culture, unique benefits, and enhancing and leveraging its employment brand.”
Sharon Koifman, Founder and CEO of DistantJob, a recruiting firm specializing in placing virtual employees, and an expert in global recruitment, agrees.
“With the rapid advancement of technology and the rise of highly specialized technology-related jobs, it’s safe to say that the IT and tech fields are in much greater need of a strong talent acquisition strategy than other fields.”
Others may believe that all industries should focus on talent acquisition rather than recruitment because acquisition builds a stronger company, fosters teamwork, and boosts productivity. A robust talent acquisition strategy will benefit any organization to the degree that you hire. If your industry is characterized by high rates of turnover, your co-workers may visibly see your stress level decrease with a move to talent acquisition strategies. If you only hire once every other year, that process can be easier and more effective with a talent acquisition plan in place.
How to Move Beyond Recruitment to Acquire Top Talent
Attracting the best and brightest employees to your company isn’t a one-time-only event. It is a continuous process of networking and building relationships with top talent. While recruitment remains an important activity to fill immediate vacancies, talent acquisition is a long-term strategy to make hiring more efficient and more productive. Newcomers will be attracted to your company as a great place to work, and the company will thrive. Human resources can be one of the drivers of corporate success, an integral part of the team propelling your company to grow.
Jumpstart Your Talent Acquisition Efforts
We’re here to help. Jobvite’s EVOLVE TA Framework assesses your organization’s maturity in 17 discreet process areas across the three pillars of TA: recruitment marketing, applicant management, and TA operations. We’ll help you optimize not just the process areas, but also the connection points between process areas to see real business results. Based on your current maturity level in the identified process areas, we’ll provide tailored action plans to evolve your processes, people, and technologies and track your progress.