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The New Talent Challenges Series: Why You Need Both Talent Acquisition and Recruitment Strategies

When they see the phrases “talent acquisition” and “talent recruitment,” most people believe they are in front of synonyms. They are not.
May 7, 2021
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This is part 1 of our New Talent Challenges Series. In it, we examine the new issues companies have to face when hiring talent, especially in the context of pandemic-related consequences that are still disrupting every industry.

Acquiring or recruiting talent for a company is all about bringing new team members into the fold. However, there’s a subtle difference between both practices that has notorious importance for any business interested in hiring the best professionals. 

That’s because hiring new people as general practice needs to follow a solid strategy to bear the best results. And no hiring strategy can be considered solid if it ignores capital aspects, even when they are as seemingly subtle as this one. That’s why we thought it would be great to take a look at what both talent acquisition and talent recruitment are and why they are important for your overall hiring strategy. 

What is talent acquisition?

Talent acquisition is about hiring new people without losing sight of long-term objectives. That means that talent acquisition is more than just finding candidates to fill open positions in your company – it’s also about creating a better hiring experience for everyone involved. In other words, talent acquisition is about recruiting people but also about making improvements to the process to not just fill a position, but to increase the employee’s satisfaction and your overall retention.

As such, talent acquisition encompasses many basic tasks, including sourcing candidates, interviewing them, and onboarding new hires but also others that go beyond them, including all the ongoing efforts to nurture in-house talent in such a way that they increase your team’s loyalty to your company.

Given that comprehensive nature, talent acquisition is the foundation of a well-developed employer brand. Just as you have a user brand you use to advertise yourself to your audience, you should have an employer brand that “sells” your company to employees and candidates alike. In that context, talent acquisition comprises all of the practices you carry out to hire the right people, secure them in place, and help them grow in their career paths. 

What is talent recruitment?

Talent recruitment is about hiring new people to fill open positions in your company as quickly as possible. This makes it different from talent acquisition in that recruitment only starts when you have a need for a specific role (something that usually happens when an employee quits or when you expand your business). That “as-fast-as-possible” approach to hiring new people often doesn’t worry about long-term goals, because the company can’t afford to go on much time without filling the open positions. 

Since it’s mostly driven by immediate needs, talent recruitment can often lead to a more difficult hiring process, as there might be fewer candidates that are fit for a position on such short notice. Thus, the focus on the speed of talent recruitment can create specific issues, such as hiring the wrong candidates because of a contextual scarcity. 

However, there will be moments when you’ll have no choice but to resort to talent recruitment, as people will leave you no matter how great an employer you are. That’s why you need to have a good strategy in place to guarantee a good hiring experience for all candidates even if the job opening responds to an emergency.

Why you need both talent acquisition and talent recruitment

In a certain sense, talent recruitment is more reactive, while talent acquisition is more proactive. The former is all about quickly responding to an unexpected opening in your team, while the latter is all about designing a strategy about hiring that supports your growth and better aligns with your long-term objectives. 

At first glance, this may have you believe that talent acquisition is better than talent recruitment, basically because acquisition has a level of foresight that’s lacking in recruitment. Yet, given that you can’t anticipate all the talent movements in your company, complementing both processes is the key to a better hiring strategy.

Ideally, you’ll develop a great talent acquisition strategy that’s so comprehensive that it will end up guiding your talent recruitment efforts even in the most time-constrained role searches you face. That’s because a well-though talent acquisition takes into account potential “job search emergencies” and lays out a way to deal with them aligned with your overall hiring strategy.

However, even with the most sophisticated talent acquisition strategy, you’ll still have moments when talent recruitment will unexpectedly present itself as the only way to go. Think of a key manager abandoning your company at a moment’s notice and amid an important project or whenever a project starts to fail due to lack of resources, forcing you to hire in a matter of days rather than in weeks. 

Those kinds of moments are becoming more and more common after the pandemic hit. That’s because people are changing their approach to work itself, considering new kinds of perks, balancing crucial life decisions with career development, and even taking on new professions. 

Technology to the rescue

I can give you an example of what happens here, at BairesDev. We’ve developed Staffing Hero™, a proprietary AI-powered team-building solution that allows us to reach two primary objectives. On one hand, it allows us to quickly form custom-made teams for any given project, be it one coming from a client or one from our company. 

On the other hand, it can help us better understand the talent we have available and when they perform at their best. Thus, we can match all of our talents with the most suitable projects for them, increasing their satisfaction as well as the satisfaction of those responsible for the project (again, be them a client or one of our internal teams).

In a sense, you could say that Staffing Hero™ is a talent acquisition software because it doesn’t just allow us to build teams or find specific roles very quickly but it also provides us with data-driven insights that improve our future hiring practices and the overall satisfaction of everyone involved.

That example also comes to show the importance of combining strategy with technology for better results. Today, any talent acquisition and talent recruitment strategies worth their salt have sophisticated technologies at their core. Using AI and big data applications can empower you to make better and more informed decisions about your hiring practices, whether you need them to focus on long-term objectives or on emergency hiring. 

All of that can lead to more robust strategies that can strengthen your employer brand while helping you with the operational side of hiring new professionals. Thus, the best thing about specialized software like Staffing Hero™ is that it can help with both quick talent recruitment and robust talent acquisition initiatives that, in turn, will make your company far more appealing to people looking for job opportunities – and for people already working for you.

As you can see, the difference between talent acquisition and talent recruitment is subtle but it’s important enough for you to start paying attention to it. Hopefully, you can start using that difference in your favor to develop a better hiring strategy by creating separate strategies for both acquisition and recruitment. Doing so will surely change your hiring for the better and prepare you for the complicated talent waters that lay ahead, in the post-pandemic world.


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