Recruitment vs Talent Acquisition: Which One Is Right For You?

Recruiting employees for your organization is vital for business growth. As your company expands, new roles crop up. When it comes to filling job vacancies, recruitment or talent acquisition comes into mind. These two terms are often confused as the same thing but it is not the case. It is important for organizations to understand the difference between them when looking to hire the most qualified candidate for certain positions in your company. 

When hiring new employees, you ought to know the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition, which one should you use, and when. 

Recruitment vs Talent Acquisition

What is Recruitment?

What is Talent Acquisition?

Difference Between Recruitment & Talent Acquisition

  1. Long Term Vs Short Term 
  2. Ongoing Process vs Linear Process
  3. Dynamic vs Static

When To Use Talent Acquisition

  1. For finding niche talent 
  2. When you are looking to expand 
  3. If you are a newcomer 
  4. If you are not sure what you need

When To Use Recruitment  

  1. You are looking for highly specialized positions  
  2. Your candidate requirement is specific and difficult to find 
  3. Your demand is greater than your supply of recruiters 
  4. You are building a team in another country 

Which Is More Important Between The Two

Let’s get on with it.

Recruitment vs Talent Acquisition

Recruitment and talent acquisition can often be confusing. While both are part of the human resource function, they are two distinct processes. To effectively hire the best candidate for certain positions in your organization, it is worth understanding the difference between the two terms.  

What Is Recruitment? 

Recruitment is a process of searching for, evaluating, and hiring experienced and qualified people to fill an existing vacancy. It follows a specific, pre-defined recruitment process that is highly standardized and typically implemented during periods of expansion or staff turnover. It is a tactical process to solve an immediate problem. Recruitment is reactive as it is meant to fill a position that recently opened. 

Recruitment starts with searching for available workers, interviewing them, and offering a job offer. Many people think that recruitment ends as soon as the candidate is able to land an interview but it actually lasts until the new hire has been integrated into the workplace. Recruitment includes the following steps:

1. Identifying Needs

Whether you are filling a role vacated by an employee, creating a new position, or changing the responsibilities of a role, you need to create a list before posting the vacancy. 

2. Prepare Job Description

When creating a job description, it is important to be as specific as possible. The job description lays down the duties and responsibilities of the role.

3. Start Searching

In searching for candidates to fill up vacant positions, start with your current employees, if there is someone who is qualified or you can ask for referrals. You can also check previous applicants who might be suitable for the role. 

4. Conduct Interviews

Once you have an eye for certain applicants, start the interview process. You can do it over the phone or have them drop by your office personally.

5. Job Offer

Just because you have made an offer does not mean they will accept. During this process, be ready to negotiate salaries and benefits.

6. Onboarding

If the candidate has accepted your offer, the onboarding process helps the new hire integrate into the workplace.     

What is Talent Acquisition?  

Like recruitment, talent acquisition also aims to find the best people to work for your company. However, it is more concerned about the long-term of your company. It requires a more flexible and dynamic approach and a broad understanding of the long-term strategic aims of your business. Talent acquisition does not only seek to fill current positions but also develop a strong talent pipeline for positioning in future roles.

Talent acquisition is important because hiring the right people can directly affect the company’s future success. It is a contributing factor for a business to remain stable in a competitive market.  It incorporates the following processes:

1. Lead generation and sourcing

Unlike recruiting, talent acquisition is proactive. The goal is to collect relevant data about qualified candidates, such as names, titles, and job responsibilities. Talent acquisition helps identify both passive and active job seekers.

2. Recruiting

Talent acquisition involves ensuring an engaging candidate experience and keeping in touch with those who might not be suitable at the moment but might be the perfect fit in the future.

3. Interview and Assessment  

With talent acquisition, you not only determine prerequisite skills and qualities but also the principal indicators of a successful performance. In the assessment stage, you remove the application of unsuitable candidates from the very beginning. This is where you conduct an interview or use candidate assessment tools, such as a skills test or a demonstrated pitch.

4. Reference Check

A reference check involves verifying the history of a candidate by contacting previous employers and colleagues. Before everything else, you must prepare the questions and possible answers you seek.

5. Final Selection

This is the stage where you evaluate the candidates and choose the best one. You can use tracking or talent acquisition software to alleviate the process of time-consuming activities.   

6. Hiring and onboarding

After careful assessment and evaluation, the new candidate is integrated into their new workplace. It is important that they have a seamless experience because it can affect retention rates. Research shows that organizations with a strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. 

Difference Between Recruitment and Talent Acquisition 

While recruitment and talent acquisition aim to fill vacant positions, the two have key differences.

1. Long Term vs Short Term 

Putting it simply, recruitment helps fill an immediate need. All vacant positions need to be filled within the shortest period of time. Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is more strategic. It is a less hurried process that involves future talents that your organization might need.

2. Ongoing Process vs Linear Process

Talent acquisition is a continuous cycle that can take time upfront. It focuses on activities such as outreach, employment branding, networking, candidate management, and relationship building. On the other hand, recruitment is a linear process that involves sourcing and screening candidates for current vacancies.

3. Dynamic vs Static

Talent acquisition is a dynamic process that focuses on business growth. It is about getting the cream of the crop for your business. It becomes fluid when new positions are created based on future needs or major changes are made to the current ones. Meanwhile, recruitment is static. It ends when a candidate has been successfully hired. There will be no major effect to the organization because recruitment involves filling up a vacant position. 

When To Use Talent Acquisition  

Talent acquisition is geared towards finding and nurturing a talent pipeline with a long-term view. You should consider using talent acquisition for the following situations:

1. For finding niche talents

Talent acquisition can be most effective for candidates in niche markets. It mostly requires individuals with skill sets that are difficult to come across. The approach you use for hiring candidates in the traditional market may not work for niche hires. By doing this, you are assured that the candidate you are hiring is an expert in their field.

2. When you are looking to expand

Talent acquisition will be beneficial for businesses looking for expansion. It can help you find candidates with fresh skill sets and a higher level of expertise. Talent acquisition does not merely fill current vacancies but also sources candidates needed by your company for future growth.

3. If you are a newcomer

The niche market is competitive and it may be difficult for you to find the best talent if candidates are not aware of your company. If you are just getting started in your niche, talent acquisition will help you create positive employer branding. 

4. If you are not sure about what you need

Talent acquisition is the best option if you are not sure about the daily tasks that the job title will require. You can leverage your talent pool so that when the need for such expertise arises, you can easily fill up the vacant position. 

When To Use Recruitment 

The aim of recruitment is to fill currently vacant positions. Recruitment will work best in the following situations:

1. You are looking for highly specialized positions

Recruitment agencies can help you find those difficult-to-find skill sets. They can use technical recruiters who are knowledgeable about new trends and can utilize technologies that can help them find the best and most qualified candidate for the position you are filling up. For example, if you are looking for technical engineers or developers for your company, most of the time, there is already a talent or talents that are ready to fill the position.

2. Your candidate requirement is specific and difficult to find 

More often than not, the role you want to fill may be specific and difficult to find. Recruiters are well aware of the qualities of the candidate that will fit your business. They know how to reach out to the best available talents, salary rates, career expectations, current hiring complexities, available skills and shortages, and others.

3. Your demand is greater than your supply of internal recruiters

This is very common during growth spurts or when someone invests in your company and you need to hire. HR teams usually have a certain bandwidth of positions that they can handle on a recurring basis so during the situations, the demand becomes greater than the number of positions they can process. With recruitment, your in-house hiring team will be able to meet the demands without having to hire additional recruiters and compromise the hiring process.

4. You are building a team in another country 

The popularity of remote work has allowed small and medium businesses to build nearshore and offshore teams to support their head office. Recruiters have the experience and expertise in building teams for other companies in a short period of time. They can help with candidate sourcing, provide HR-managed solutions, scout for office space, and comply with tax and country laws. 

Which is More Important Between the Two? 

Essentially, you would want to utilize both talent acquisition and recruitment when hiring additional team members. Both play a crucial role in hiring and retention so you need to be efficient in both. The truth is one cannot function well without the other. Your relationship with candidates and potential employees does not end when they sign their contract (recruitment). It is ongoing as long as the new hire is part of your company (talent acquisition). 

Outsource Your Staffing and 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. Book a call with us at and we will get back to you with a customized solution. 



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