It is common to see an interchangeable use of the terms “Talent Acquisition” and “Recruitment." The reality is, that even though they are similar, there is a vast difference between them.
By definition, Recruitment is about the process of finding and hiring the best available candidate to fill an open position. Recruitment is a reactive process; an open position must exist so a new person, a candidate, can fill the vacancy.
Talent Acquisition, on the other hand, is a broader process, cyclical instead of linear. It is a strategic process that includes the creation of relationships among its stakeholders, planning needs for the long-term and the production of a sustainable pool of candidates. This process even implies the creation and management of a “bench.” Looking for the integration of talent that not only complies with a technical profile but also needs to go a step further and consider if the candidate is a good fit for the company. Attitudes and soft skills that are hard to gauge from a resume.
In other words, Recruitment is a tactical, short-term, and reactive process. Talent Acquisition is a strategic, long-term and proactive process.
Recruitment is part of Talent Acquisition and includes the process of sourcing, screening, interviews, and, ultimately, hiring. You can’t have a Talent Acquisition strategy without Recruitment, but you can Recruit without a proactive, future-oriented approach.
Then, what is the approach that your company should follow? Each company will have varying opinions on what is the best method. Regardless of their size, they should focus on Talent Acquisition strategies. The reality is that an effective strategy depends a lot on the context and the climate of each company. For enterprises within a highly competitive industry for talent (IT, Tech, Healthcare, Finance, and Legal), growth without a well-defined strategy on talent would be near impossible. Companies in other industries, where success or goals are not tied with the size of the team, or where open positions are exclusively to cover turnover, Recruitment could generate results in the short-term, within a pre-defined time frame.
For a company to build a genuinely effective Talent Acquisition strategy, they should promote an attractive culture, unique benefits, and an appealing employment brand. Another critical aspect to consider is generating prospective relationships with individuals that may fit a future need. Despite the probability that there is not an existing interest between the candidate and the company (or vice versa), there is a chance that this could change shortly.
While recruitment will continue being important to fulfill immediate needs, a Talent Acquisition approach, even though more time and effort consuming at the beginning, will produce a more efficient and effective Hiring Process.