Though the two terms are commonly interchanged, talent acquisition and recruitment are two different aspects of hiring. It’s often necessary for employers to use both methods from time to time to meet their current needs. Understanding the differences between the two can help you adapt your hiring process to bring in the right type of talent at the right time.

What Is Recruitment?

In recruitment, the goal is to search for a specific candidate to fill a position. As such, recruitment typically tends to be a reactive process that occurs only when there’s a new or vacant position in the organization chart. In short, recruiting aims to hire a person to fill a current, existing job opening.

What Is Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition is different in that it’s not about filling a specific position but rather building relationships and working to anticipate future needs. This is a strategic approach to keeping a company well-staffed in order to ensure optimal organizational performance in the short and long term.

It is also a bit different because it focuses on fostering and building relationships and nurturing talent along a carefully screened pipeline rather than posting a job ad and hiring from the pool of individuals that apply.

Key Differences Between Recruitment and Talent Acquisition

The best way to see how these two methods differ is to compare their biggest differences. Take a look at these particular areas. Consider how talent acquisition differs from the recruitment process:

1. Strategic Planning

Talent acquisition requires planning and building a strategy based on the company’s long-term hiring needs. It requires a deeper look at the business while factoring in workplace needs in a few months or years. It involves considering factors such as the local job market and global workforce.

There’s much more of a need to build a strategy to know who to hire, what skills will be important down the road, and how many people are necessary. Recruitment, as mentioned earlier, requires filling an existing position with an available candidate, and is therefore a more real-time hiring method.

2. Segmentation of the Workforce

To use talent acquisition well, hiring teams must understand the individual job positions within each work segment in the company. This includes understanding the individual skills and competencies necessary within that position. The same is true for recruitment, too, but not to the depth of talent acquisition.

3. Importance of the Employer Brand

With recruitment, there is some importance placed on employer branding – the process of developing a brand specifically related to your company’s employment reputation and company culture.

In talent acquisition, it’s very important to have a clear brand positioning that will help draw in the right people who wish to work in the type of environment promised by the brand. It’s essential for organizations to build a brand that’s attractive to top candidates in the field.

4. Talent Scoping and Management

With recruitment efforts, the typical process involves creating job ads and responding to applications. Talent acquisition is far more complex in that it’s necessary to first identify where top talent exists and then work to nurture those relationships with potential candidates over time. A key component of this strategy is to foster ongoing connections with candidates to draw them in down the road.

5. Metrics and Analytics

Talent acquisition strategies are not just informal communications with potential hires. Rather, the process should involve the use of metrics. This helps to determine what’s working and what’s not so that continuous improvement can be the focus of these efforts. A more complex plan with the use of metrics and analytics may help improve the quality of hiring over time. This aspect is not a typical component of traditional recruitment activities.

5 key elements of talent acquisition

When to Recruit VS. When You Need Talent Acquisition

It’s typical for organizations to need both recruitment and talent acquisition methods over time. Talent acquisition typically focuses on providing organizations with a look at what’s to come. For example, what new skills will your new employees need to have in the coming years? What changes are likely to occur within your industry in the near future that you need to be ready to meet with more qualified talent?

Many industries are moving heavily towards tech and smart solutions. New employees in the coming years may need to have skills in areas such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. They may need more training in analytics than ever before.

With talent acquisition, the goal is to look forward to seeing what these new skills may be so that it’s possible to develop a strategy to hire talent equipped with those skills. Looking further into the industry’s future allows you to better understand these goals.

It’s not just advanced or new skills that the company may require. For example, your workforce may have a skill shortage as your older employees begin to retire in the coming years. This could create a leadership gap in some organizations. This would warrant the need to implement a talent acquisition process that aims to fill gaps the organization may have within the next few years.

At the same time, you may have employees who decide that now is their time to leave. You may have positions open up in fields as your organization grows. These are not necessarily new positions but current or soon-to-be vacancies you need to fill. As a result, it becomes necessary to implement a recruitment plan to draw in new applicants right now. You may be actively seeking out talent that can jump in immediately to fill your needs.

What About Recruitment and Talent Acquisition Specialists?

Working with recruitment and talent acquisition specialists can help you make better decisions about the type of hiring process you need today and in the long term. More so, this is not something you will likely need to do one time. Rather, it’s a process that fluctuates over time as your hiring needs grow and change. Most organizations need a team that works on a consistent basis to manage both aspects of the hiring process.

Exceleris can help you with your recruitment and talent acquisition needs in accounting, finance, and taxation. Not only do we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the top talent your company needs now, we can also help you identify and recruit the talent you will need in the future. Contact our team of accounting and finance recruiters in Montreal and get ready to improve your hiring process.