Recruitment vs. Talent Acquisition: What’s the Difference?

Recruitment vs. Talent Acquisition: What’s the Difference?

Posted on October 24, 2017

One of the burning questions I had for Jennifer, our Founder & CEO, when I moved over to recruiting was:

What’s the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition?

Has talent acquisition replaced recruitment? Why was this phrase such a buzzword in the hiring industry?  Inquiring minds wanna know!  Turns out, I’m not the only one who’s wondering.  There are tons of articles and blog posts describing the difference.  The general consensus is recruitment and talent acquisition are not synonymous; they are associated with filling immediate and long-term hiring needs.  My favourite explanation is from Eric Friedman’s post where he explains recruitment as a linear process to fill a specific position that is currently available.  On the other hand, talent acquisition is a “more strategic approach that develops and nurtures a talent pipeline with a long-term view.” As a manager, both are important.  There are roles that need to be filled ASAP to ensure projects are completed, and there are roles that may not be a priority in the short-term but will be strategically beneficial for the team and business in the long run.

Some candidates are frustrated with the talent acquisition process because often it seems like padding a database for a rainy day. But what candidates and employers both need to realize is that it is an important exercise to stay in touch for the ‘right fit’ that will one day come up. Talent databases don’t need to feel so daunting for either party if everyone remains honest. Clients should say they don’t have a role open right now but anticipate this role or a similar one to open in the future; candidates should highlight what would really get them to move from their current position.

In either case, all roles being recruited for (current or future) are to achieve the team’s goals.

Patricia Whitney, VP, Recruitment Services

Photo by Freddy Castro on Unsplash

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