Difference Between Recruitment and Talent Acquisition

While they are designed to achieve a similar purpose – hiring people – recruitment and talent acquisition are different from each other. Thus, hiring managers should understand whether they need to recruit or acquire new talents. It is important for companies to know the difference between the two to help your company hire the best people for your business needs. Recruitment has been a time tested method of filling up people while talent acquisition is an entirely new concept. 

Before we differentiate between the two, it is worth defining them first. Recruiting is finding and screening qualified candidates for a specific position and offering the position to the best candidate. It is the process of searching for, evaluating, and hiring experienced and qualified people to fill up an existing vacancy at a company or organization. Recruitment usually follows a specific, pre-defined and highly standardized process. 

On the other hand, talent acquisition is about creating a pool of candidates in anticipation of future hiring needs. While recruitment follows a standardized process, talent acquisition involves a more flexible and dynamic approach. It entails a broad understanding of the long-term strategic aims of your business. 

With that in mind, let us now differentiate recruitment from talent acquisition. 

Areas of Differentiation

  • Short Term Fix vs Long Term Planning  
  • Linear Process vs Ongoing Cycle 
  • Profile vs Skills   
  • Reactive vs Strategic 

When Should You Do  Recruitment? 

  • You Require Certain Skill sets
  • Filling Immediate Vacancies 
  • Focus on Current Company Needs  

When Should You Do Talent Acquisition?

  • Your Business Requires Niche Talent 
  • You Are Looking To Expand 
  • Building Employer Brand 
  • You Aren’t Sure What You Need 

Areas of Differentiation 

Although both are hiring processes, business owners find themselves getting mixed up with recruitment and talent acquisition. The truth is they are two distinct terms that cannot be used interchangeably. Let us take a look at these differences: 

1. Short Term Fix vs. Long Term Planning 

Recruitment is more of a tactical short term strategy as it is usually about filling immediate vacancies in your company. It is the best option for a short-term goal like filling a spot that has recently been vacated by another qualified employee, 

However, if your goal is to invest in a candidate and groom them for a long-term career with your company, talent acquisition is the right choice. Recruitment is more of a tactical strategy used by hiring managers while talent acquisition is strategic in nature. 

2. Linear Process vs Ongoing Cycle  

Recruitment is a rigorous linear process where employers source candidates for available vacancies. Recruitment is reactive in nature and often results in increased time-to-hire and cost-to-hire. Companies with immediate talent needs often compromise the quality of hires in order to reduce the cost   

Meanwhile, talent acquisition is a contiguous cycle that takes more time upfront and focuses on employment branding, outreach, networking, and building relationships with potential candidate communities. The goal of talent acquisition is to enhance a sustainable talent supply chain for an organization. 

3. Profile vs Skills 

Another major difference between a recruiter and a talent acquisition specialist is in the way they view the applicants. Recruitment specialists look at the industry experience and educational background of the candidate and make it a crucial factor whether the candidate will be hired or not. 

On the other hand, a talent acquisition specialist goes beyond the CV and instead focuses on the talent that the candidate possesses. For instance, they will consider skills even if the candidate does not have certifications in their field. A recruitment specialist might have no interest in a candidate’s profile but a talent acquisition specialist might try to nurture their skills. 

4. Reactive vs Strategic 

Recruitment is a reactive process. When a position is vacated or created, the job of recruitment is to fill a candidate to fill the position. Its main focus is on filling up as many positions as possible. The recruitment process ends when the candidate is successfully hired and joins your organization. 

Talent acquisition is more of a strategy. The focus is on long-term human resources planning and finding suitable candidates requiring a very specific skillset. Long after the recruitment process has been completed, talent acquisition still monitors the candidates’ progress with an eye on guiding them for promotion to upper level positions. 

Should You Focus On Recruitment or Talent Acquisition? 

Both recruitment and talent acquisition have their own benefits. But which one should you focus on more? It depends on the goal you want to achieve. Are you filling up immediate vacancies or want to cultivate more people? You also have the option to focus on both or prioritize one over the other. 

Recruitment is important for filling up immediate vacancies in your organization. However, you need to develop a long-term strategy for talent acquisition to make hiring more efficient and productive. You don’t have to scrap recruitment and focus on talent acquisition and vice versa. They should be independent processes with different goals.  

When Should You Do Recruitment? 

Now that you know the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition and its importance to your business, the next question is when should you do recruitment and talent acquisition. Let’s start with recruitment. 

1. You Require Certain Skill Sets

Recruitment is vital if you need to fill up specialized positions. For example, you can easily find the right candidate for an administrative position through networking or job boards but you may not find such luck for technical positions like a web designer. Also, positions like sales and marketing are critical to your company’s success and are best handled by your recruitment team. 

By focusing on skill sets instead of work history, recruitment can help level the playing field. Also, it will help you realize the talent you already have. In addition, it can help make your talent pool more diverse and can lead to a more effective recruitment process. Aside from diversity in your talent pool, a skills based recruitment can also lead to stronger employee retention. Studies reveal that employees without a four-year degree stay in their companies 34% longer than those with a four-year degree.  

2. Filling Immediate Vacancies

When you recruit for potential employees, you are already aware of what and who you are looking for. A position is either vacated or created. You already have an idea on what the new employee will be performing as well as the required skills for the new employee. 

With recruitment, you have a short-term goal of filling up roles as quickly as possible. Your goal is to find candidates capable of fulfilling the tasks required for a position with the greatest efficiency. When recruiting, you have already created a profile for the ideal candidate.

3. Focus on Current Company Needs  

Recruitment focuses on filling up the current needs of your company.  Recruitment needs are of three types: 

  • Planned. These are needs arising from organizational changes and retirement policy. 
  • Unexpected. Resignations, deaths, accidents, illnesses, etc. 
  • Anticipated. Movements in personnel which can be predicted by studying trends in internal and external environments.

Recruitment helps you develop a pool of qualified applicants for their future manpower needs even without the existence of specific vacancies. By recruiting, you can create the competitive strength and the strategic advantage for your business. 

When Should You Do Talent Acquisition 

Talent acquisition should be a long-term human resources strategy tied with your company’s overall growth strategy. But when should you acquire talents for your team? Here are some instances you should do talent acquisition: 

1. You Require Niche Talent  

Talent acquisition is often utilized by companies that operate in a niche market requiring specialized skill sets that may be difficult to come across. For example, companies in the IT sector require specialized jobs like cybersecurity, cloud infrastructure, software development, AI and virtual reality. 

If you work in a niche market requiring highly specific experience, you should employ talent acquisition. For example, you may need someone with specific skills and experience when launching a new product or opening a new location overseas, 

2. When You Are Looking For Growth 

When growth is on the horizon, you would benefit from having a talent acquisition strategy. By acquiring talents, you would have a pool of talents ready to scale with your business. Talent acquisition helps prepare your business for the future. You can ensure that the people you are hiring have the skills and qualifications to help with your business growth. 

Talent acquisition helps you communicate a clear value proposition to prospective talent allowing an understanding of why your company is different from the competition and their possible expectations. Candidates will undergo rigorous screening and assessment so you are sure that they are not only fit for their current position but also possess the potential to take on new roles in the future. 

3. Building Employer Brand  

Talent acquisition is a powerful tool in helping you define your brand image, organizational culture, key differentiators, reputation, products and services. You can acquire fresh talents that will help build up your employer brand especially to potential candidates who do not know who you are. 

Employment branding can also help advance your market position. It is important for your talent acquisition team to understand and be on the same page with you in terms of employer branding. The goal of talent acquisition in employer branding is to introduce your brand to the potential employee and view it in a positive light. 

4. You Aren’t Sure What You Need 

While recruitment is about filling an existing or created vacancy, talent acquisition allows you to source talents even if you are not sure about the specific tasks of what the job would be.The important thing is to let the candidate do their best job rather than to tie them to a specific task. 

With recruitment, you have an established framework unlike new positions that can be a mystery even for business owners. The best thing to do is to hire the best talent and let them tailor their position according to their skill set. Talent acquisition is the ideal approach if you are building a position from scratch.  

Fill Your Recruitment Needs with airisX  

Recruiting new employees for your team is a notoriously time-consuming process. Hiring an external outsourcing provider like airisX allows you to remove yourself from the tediousness of having to go through hundreds of resumes and bad interviews to find the right candidate that meets the criteria of the employee you are looking for, allowing you to focus on what matters in the recruiting process – doing the final interview for the right candidate, and making the final hiring decision.

Our recruiting team sources, filters, and reaches out to candidates as per your hiring requirements, leveraging channels such as LinkedIn, job boards, Indeed, referrals, etc., going through as many potential candidates as possible to help you find the exact talent(s) you need.

We conduct all pre-screening and perform initial interviews for you, shortlisting qualified candidates and making recommendations for potential good fits. Afterwards, we set final interviews up between you and your desired candidates – allowing you to simply make final hiring decisions without the hassle of all the other recruiting work leading up to it.

At airisX, our recruiting team has years of experience helping companies recruit and hire new talent. For any questions, email us at contact@airisx.com.


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