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Talent Acquisition or Recruiting – What’s the Difference?

October 20, 2022

By Tom Jackson, courtesy SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Many companies think talent acquisition is something new – a term that corporate America devised in order to replace recruiting with something more sophisticated sounding. But, in fact, it is not new at all. When properly put into practice, talent acquisition and recruiting are completely different.

What is the difference between talent acquisition and recruitment? The term recruiting is used when you need to fill vacant roles quickly. There’s a clear short-term goal: fill the job and move onto the next. Recruiting is reactionary, and the success of short-term recruiting relies on what talent is available in the present. In other words, who will see my job postings or respond to my call for referrals?

In tight labor markets, reactionary recruiting does not dive deep enough to be able to uncover the complete talent pool. It only shows you who is readily available, which might not be the best possible candidate.

On the other hand, talent acquisition is a term used for a strategic process to find and pipeline the talent you require. The genesis of talent acquisition was created around55 B.C., by the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar, who was one of the first to revolutionize talent acquisition by doing away with the system of class qualifications and instead created a referral-based system. This would serve as the basis for a strategy used in recruitment that focuses on finding, attracting, pipelining, hiring, growing, and retaining the best talents inside an organization.

In other words, Caesar moved away from reactionary recruiting, recruiting for the battle, to a planned and structured complex set of actions that helped him build a readily available pipeline of the best human capital available for the long-term. This allowed him to win the war and dominate the world for centuries.

An effective talent acquisition strategy will include the following key elements.

Workforce Planning – Know what your workforce looks like compared to current and future requirements including potential turnover (planned and unplanned), new initiatives, succession planning, etc.

Brand Building – Develop your online image and branding so candidates will understand what type of company they would be joining. Play up your strengths and opportunities for new employees.

Sourcing and Recruiting – Always identify new recruiting channels and spread them out over job boards, social media, associations, community association, etc., by using the psychometric profile of where the candidates go that have the skills you are seeking.

New Technologies – Automate, automate, automate!

Comprehensive Onboarding – Make sure your new employees are not left at the door. It’s not Hell Week. Orchestrate a formal onboarding schedule for the employee. When onboarded properly, your employee will be your best ambassador and can generate solid referrals by talking positively about their experience to friends and family.

Use of Data Analytics – It is always helpful to identify where you are having success and where you are not. Numbers don’t lie, and they will serve as a basis to tweak and redirect to get the best return on money and resources. The key to successful analytics is an integrated database and technology stack.

Strategic Alliance with 3rd Party Recruiting Firms – Develop a consultative relationship with a group of firms by informing them of where you may need assistance 60, 90, 120 days down the road and what types of talent you are seeking to engage. This will allow the recruiting firm to develop talent pools for you, so they do not have to respond in a reactionary mode. After all, recruiting firms recruit 24/7/365.

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