Is talent acquisition just another way of saying recruitment or is this just another jargon fad or is it something we should pay attention to?
I did a little research. According to some important human resource thought leaders, the difference between the two terms is strategic.
Bringing new talent into your organization is risky. So much can go wrong if you hire the wrong person.
Recruiting is the term we have used for years meaning to send out signals into the marketing place and bring a new person into your company to fulfill some important role. Recruitment is an action, a tactic. It is a process. It usually involves the activities of sourcing, screening, interviewing, selecting and hiring.
But the concept of bringing new talent into your organization should be more than a tactic. People are one of the costliest expenses. Adding new people changes your culture and allows you to reach a wider market. When the new person adds value, your organization is stronger. But when it doesn’t, wow you can have a problem. We should consider the concept of bringing new talent into your organization as a strategic initiative.
Talent acquisition includes the tactic of recruiting but also some strategic elements that help your business grow, such as:
- Talent planning and strategy to ensure your talent is aligned with your strategic business plan
- Employment branding: These are activities that help define your company image, culture and reputation in the marketplace. Think of it as marketing for the people side of the business. With social media, employment branding often becomes a candidate’s first impression.
- Candidate audiences: Part of your talent strategy is to define and understand your target audience, the talent pool from which you source candidates. You might adjust your branding and sourcing outreach to a particular audience. But you have to know who you are talking to first.
- Candidate relationship management includes the steps you take to offer a positive candidate experience and build relationships with people and audiences who might be candidates someday in the future.
- Metrics and Analysis. You get what you measure, right, so talent acquisition concepts include some way of knowing if you are making progress to drive better recruitment decisions and improve the quality of hire.
These core elements have tactics and activities just like recruitment. Recruitment might be the element of talent acquisition you are most familiar with but talent acquisition is the strategic initiative that makes your business grow.
CEOs worry about talent. Talent acquisition and development routinely rates as the top 1 or 2 things CEOs worry about. They build business plans around having the right talent in the right place at the right time to accomplish business goals!
This is particularly critical in small to medium sized businesses leveraging fewer employees to accomplish your goals. Every team member has a critical role. A bad hire is an even bigger problem than in a larger business where one or two bad apples might be able to hide in the bureaucracy.
Make the most of your people assets by going beyond recruitment to think strategically about talent in support of your strategic business plans.