Talent Acquisition Eskill 2

The terms “recruitment” and “talent acquisition” are often used interchangeably and thought to mean the same thing — a lexicon used to describe the multitude of processes involved in the finding and hiring of candidates. Yet, recruitment and talent acquisition are not the same thing. Understanding the differences between them and adapting your hiring process accordingly can help you hire top talent better.

Let’s begin by defining the two terms.


A linear process that involves searching for a specific candidate to fill a specific position. Recruitment is reactive: a position is vacated or created and a new person must be found to fill it. The core function of recruiting is to find candidates for existing jobs that are currently available.

Talent Acquisition

Instead of a linear process, talent acquisition is a cyclical approach that’s geared towards building relationships, anticipating future hiring needs, and creating a sustainable pool of candidates. It’s a more strategic approach that develops and nurtures a talent pipeline with a long-term view.

Now that we have defined the terms, here are the elements that differentiate talent acquisition from recruitment.

  1. Planning and Strategy
    Establishing a solid talent acquisition strategy needs a lot of planning. Unlike recruitment, talent acquisition requires a deeper look at the nature of your business and an understanding of future workplace needs. It’s a forward-thinking approach, looking through a wider lens, that takes into consideration the local and global labor markets. Since talent acquisition doesn’t happen in a vacuum, the process involves more planning and strategizing.
  2. Workforce Segmentation
    Talent acquisition depends on understanding the different work segments within a company, as well as the different positions within those segments. Not only do you need a thorough understanding of your company’s inner workings, but you must also know the skills, experiences, and competencies that each position requires for success.
  3. Employer Branding
    More than ever before, brands are going beyond attracting consumers to attracting talent. Ensuring that your company’s brand is clear and attractive is the main element in talent acquisition. This involves fostering a positive image and company culture and establishing a good reputation based on quality products and services. A solid brand attracts top candidates while giving them a look inside at what it’s like to work for your company.
  4. Talent Scoping and Management
    Top talent comes from many different places. Through talent acquisition, you’re researching and recognizing the different places where you can source candidates. Once you’ve established contact with potential candidates, you have to maintain and build those relationships. All of this is done with the understanding that most of these candidates will not fill positions right away but rather down the line.
  5. Metrics and Analytics
    Finally, no talent acquisition strategy is complete without using key metrics to conduct proper tracking and analysis.By collecting and analyzing pertinent information, you can continuously improve your recruiting process and make better hiring decisions, ultimately improving your quality of hire.

One thing to note is that recruitment is a part of talent acquisition. However, to only engage in recruitment is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. All of the elements listed above are necessary in order to implement a strategy that will allow companies to attract, recruit, and maintain top talent.

Have you launched a strategic talent acquisition approach in your company? How has it helped you hire smarter?


  • Elizabeth M. says:

    Both mean the same. But conventionally, recruitment is used or has been used for mass recruitment, like for armed forces or government jobs. But when you associate it with big organizations or companies, the term recruitment has been transformed into talent acquisition, by which they mean that they don’t just hire a person, but they acquire a talent as we acquire assets.

  • Charlotte P. says:

    Clearly the business case for acquiring talent strategically is far more compelling than simply recruiting to fill positions today. What we are doing is adding a small incremental effort in exchange for a huge potential reward. 

  • Amelia D. says:

    Simply put, talent acquisition is about attracting, recruiting, inducting, and making use of the right talent for your job. Recruitment is an approach wherein CVs are invited to interview for a vacancy.

  • Buildyourorg says:

    This is very informative blog. i got very informative knowledge from this blog

  • buildyour says:

    It’s a good marketing scope, good resources. Thanks for this wonderful post

  • Hassan says:

    Thanks for the great post, Eric. It’s great that you put up a great list in differentiating recruitment from talent acquisition. I’m part of TalentOHire.com which is also focusing on recruiting top talent and connecting them with great, global remote positions and working on being a high level talent network differentiating itself from a recruitment agency. Check us out and let me know what you think!

  • Eric says:

    Thank you. I am glad you liked it. You are welcome to write an article about freelance recruiting on our blog if you’d like. Or we can write for yours.

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