Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment: Which Does Your Company Need?

Written by David Salters on January 5, 2022

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Currently, there are about 1 million more job vacancies than there are active job hunters to fill these openings. The result: an expensive and competitive job market for companies.

As hiring costs and competition rise for attracting top talent, how can organizations hire smarter while saving money in the long run? Focus on recruitment? Focus on talent acquisition? Both?

What’s the difference?

Determining the right talent acquisition vs. recruitment approaches for your company can become confusing because the two have a similar goal: to get the best person to join your company. So, how do you know which one your company needs (or if you need both)?

Here, I’ve outlined the differences between talent acquisition vs. recruitment and how you can create the best hiring strategy for your organization.

Recruitment Definition

Recruitment describes the work of searching, evaluating and hiring reliable and qualified individuals to fill a position in your organization or company. Recruitment typically follows a defined process that’s implemented whenever there is an open role at a company, whether it’s due to staff turnover or expansion. Recruitment is typically reactive, seeking to fill roles once they are vacant.

Talent Acquisition Definition

Talent acquisition is characterized by a proactive approach and a full understanding of the aims of your business in the long run.

Talent acquisition meaning is all about ongoing strategy to find future leaders and employees with special skills to help your company grow in the coming years. With such an approach, every hire for every position is a strategic business move, which also can make roles harder to fill.

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Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment: Using One or Both to Meet Your Goals

Knowing the differences in talent acquisition vs. recruitment can better position companies to create strategies that will meet their talent needs.

Because the competition for elite talent is incredibly fierce, and because each company and scenario is different, your company may benefit from using recruitment strategies, talent acquisition strategies or both simultaneously.

Understanding talent acquisition vs. recruitment—and leveraging their differences to your advantage—can allow you to plan for future expansion and growth, while also meeting pertinent needs as they arise.  Ideally, a hiring strategy using both approaches will allow your company to hire at your own pace since there is a consistent stream of readily available talent at your disposal.

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Building a Hiring Strategy with Recruitment and Talent Acquisition Approaches

By knowing the similarities and differences between talent acquisition vs. recruitment, and by potentially using both for your company, you can create a strategy that will help to anticipate your needs and respond to challenges.

Here are three questions to ask when creating your own hiring strategy that considers both the immediate needs for your currently open roles (recruitment) and the long-term vision for your company’s talent (talent acquisition).

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1.What Are Your Organizational Goals?

With so many jobs open, many companies are struggling simply to fill the roles that are open and to keep business running at its usual pace. If this sounds familiar, chances are that your goals are to meet your immediate needs through recruiting tactics.

On the other hand, some companies are looking to fill strategic leadership positions with the organization’s future in mind. Even if your company is chiefly concerned with immediate needs, it’s still important to consider your long-term goals in talent acquisition.

Because talent acquisition focuses on long-term successes, it’s crucial to align your talent acquisition strategy with your company’s goals. This step needs to include all departments to effectively attract employees to your organization for many different types of positions.

2. Who Will Best Meet My Company’s Goals?

Be very clear internally and externally about what hard and soft skills you will need from your candidates. This may require more investigation than what fits in a simple job description to ensure your company is making the right move. Don’t hire based only on what’s been done before, but instead on what will move your company forward.

For example, many businesses who are in a hurry to hire bring in multiple inadequate workers to fill a position that one effective employee could do. Unfortunately for organizations trying to fill roles quickly, it becomes even more expensive and time-consuming to recruit, replace and repeat.

Whether you are recruiting for an immediate opening or creating a talent acquisition plan for years to come, it’s important to remember that hiring fewer excellent performers is always better than hiring many ineffective ones—and that there is value in investigating your own needs before you try to meet them.

3. Am I Evaluating My Candidates Effectively?

Often the applicant who made the best impression during the interview process will get hired. But an interview may demonstrate only a person’s communication skills—not necessarily their technical skills, capabilities or other assets they can offer to your organization.

Consider using a scorecard to have a better look at the quantitative data and remove sentimentality from the equation when selecting potential employees. This way, you are more likely to choose a better fit for your company instead of relying on arbitrary factors in employee selection.

This approach will allow you to best match an employee with your needs, whether those needs are immediate or for the long term.

Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment: Achieving Success

All companies want to get the best possible candidates for all job openings, yet long-term job openings can be extremely costly and can negatively impact your current staff. These factors may tempt HR professionals to cut some corners in filling current vacancies, but doing so poses many risks to overall productivity and a brand’s work culture.

No matter what your company’s scenario, when considering hiring strategies and looking at talent acquisition vs. recruitment, keep in mind that finding the right employees is the first step in driving the results for your business.

If you’re looking to strengthen your hiring strategies, become more competitive in the job market or navigate today’s unique talent challenges, schedule a time to chat with us to discuss how Warren Averett Staffing & Recruiting can help your company.

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