The terms talent acquisition and recruitment are often used interchangeably. But do you know that they serve different job functions?
It is important for human resources practitioners to understand the difference between the two terms in order to help the HR department operate as effectively as possible. Understanding these jargons can also help business prepare future talent challenges and opportunities. So, here is how they differ from one and another.
See also: Skill vs. Talent: Why You Should Change Your Focus of Recruitment
Let’s start from the most commonly-heard HR function; recruiting. In the short term, recruitment refers to the indistinct function of an HR generalist that is only about filling vacancies.
In terms of time and process, recruitment is more immediate, reactive, and essentially focused on finding candidates to fill roles that are currently available. When doing a recruitment process, recruiters will depend on efficiency and decisiveness to ensure that they are making the right hiring decisions for a company’s immediate needs.
In other words, recruitment is as a means to maintain the health and productivity of an organisation, rather than a strategic, long-term approach. It is about making sure the business has the human resources it needs to function on a day-to-day basis.
For example, HR will do a recruitment process when there is a vacant role such as content marketing or web design position in a company. This position is likely quicker to fill because there is a lot of content marketer and web designer in the market. Alternatively, HR can employ freelancers or remote employees because there are a lot of talents out there who possess the skills.
Different from recruitment, talent acquisition is more complicated. It refers to an ongoing strategy to find specialist, leaders, or future executives for a company, thus, the process tends to focus on long-term human resources planning.
In terms of time and process, talent acquisition requires a long time because it should be equipped with the right and updated research. The research is meant to get the latest and credible skill set needed by an organisation to continue performing and delivering results into the future. Research is also needed by an HR leader to understand talent requirements and to inform whether the preparation for finding and acquiring the people you need has been completed or not.
In a fine term, talent acquisition is a more in-depth process that comes into play when HR recruiters are looking at the bigger picture of how your business wants to grow and evolve in the years to come. Talent acquisition is also achieved when a business needs to secure a leadership position.
For example, there is an experienced leader who is about to retire or move on to another company. It could be tough to find a replacement quickly because leaders are the key to achieve goals and success. Thus, a recruiter should prepare a strong talent acquisition strategy to bring the best leader to fill the vacant position.
Talent acquisition can also be categorised as succession planning as it is one of the ways to replace previous leaders and transform current employees into new ones within organisations. Yet, it depends on the company’s choice and needs whether to bring a new leader from an external party or train former employee.
See also: The Need for Succession Planning & How to Obtain It