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Difference between Talent Acquisition and Recruitment

July 26, 2017

Most people have the misconception that talent acquisition and recruitment are one and the same. Well, it is not. Both approaches are valuable depending on the situations. Talent acquisition tends to be strategic, while the recruitment is more tactical. Understanding the differences between them and adapting the acquisition process accordingly can help in hiring the best talent.

Talent acquisition vs Recruitment

Talking about talent acquisition, the name itself says that it is the acquisition of ‘talent’ and not simply filling-up the positions. It is a constant strategy to find leaders, specialists, or future executives for a company. Talent acquisition is a cyclical approach which is focused on building relationships, envisioning future acquisition requirements, and generating a sustainable pool of job aspirants. As earlier stated, it is a more strategic approach that advances and fosters a talent channel with a long-term vision.

Whereas recruitment is a component of talent acquisition, where there is a pertinent need to fill up a vacancy with the suitable candidates as and when the requirement arises. In the job market, recruitment is portrayed as a linear process that requires a great deal of effort and aggressiveness in meeting the work requirement at a shorter period. The approach is reactive in its nature and thus leads to increased hiring time and cost. At times, companies compromise even on the quality of talent in order to balance cost and time.

For instance, if you are working with an HR consultancy, you may have to strategize a challenge which tests the key skills of top candidates and then recruit an individual who best suits the job role. All these have to be completed within the shortest possible time. This process is called recruitment.

On the other hand, Talent acquisition is a less hurried process. Instead of hiring top performer coming your way, you may begin the process having a broad idea about whom to hire for your company and build a relationship.

In recruitment, sometimes candidate’s experience plays a vital role as recruiters consider work experience as an important part of becoming ‘workplace-ready’. Experience gives competitive advantage in the recruitment pool which is valued by most of the employers. Whereas in talent acquisition, talent takes the prominent place. Candidates with right skills and high-potential are more preferred by the employers to drive a successful business.

Talent acquisition, as a function, today is closely associated with marketing, public relations, and human resource management. An active talent acquisition demands a well-planned corporate brand message that revolves around talent growth and hiring. It, therefore, not only comprises obtaining of talent but also elucidates the employee development approach.

As recruitment process is the part of talent acquisition policy, it also enjoys being the latter part of a wider management strategy, which includes career management, employee engagement, and learning and development among others.

So, which is more valuable?

For any organization, short-term and long-term plans are equally important. However, to only involve in the recruitment process is like putting the cart before the horse. Hence, a robust talent acquisition strategy should be a part and parcel of any organization for a sustainable growth.