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The Difference Between Recruitment & Talent Acquisition

The terms recruitment and talent acquisition are often used interchangeably. Not many people are aware of the fact that these are not synonyms. The aim of these two actions is similar as they are means to get new members into the workforce. The variations may seem very subtle, but they have their significance. To take an overview. Recruitment is a short-term fix while talent acquisition is long-term planning. The former focuses on filling vacant positions as soon as possible, and the latter is about the talent that the future of the company will need. It is important to understand the recruitment and talent acquisition differences to know which one should be used.

Many people argue about what is the better approach for hiring. We need to note that recruitment and talent acquisition depends on the present scenario as well as future needs. In simple words, it’s about what you are looking for. An example of recruitment and talent acquisition can be the need for on-field salespeople during a period of high sales. In such a situation we need recruitment to get people on board as soon as possible. Talent acquisition is the best approach when the firm needs a much-specialized skill set and it is scarce in the present job market. Both these approaches are used according to the circumstances. What type of talent the company will need depends on many factors. The right analysis of both history and prospects can help with that. Some of the key differences between recruitment and talent acquisition are listed below to give you a better idea.

Time Considered

Recruitment is the hiring process used with short-term solutions in mind. It is a tactical approach that is aimed at filling up vacant positions as soon as possible. It is concerned with restoring productivity to the level it was when there was no vacancy. It ensures that there is a quick fix. And that processes are restored and maintained at their optimum capacity. It takes an aggressive approach.

Talent acquisition is a strategic approach. It ensures that the future human resource needs of the company are taken care of. This is very thoughtful and may take longer than the recruitment process. It focuses on getting people on board for the long term with specific skills. It also considers the potential that can be useful in the future.

Recruitment is a Part of Talent Acquisition

Recruitment is a part of talent acquisition and contains many activities. It starts with sourcing and screening according to the requirements of the organisation. Applications are invited for a particular vacancy. The screening process eliminates those who do not fit into the set criteria. There is a predetermined period. The company wants to close the hiring process before the deadline. This requires a lot of effort within a short frame of time. Missing the deadline can bring losses for the firm. Sometimes this means compromising on the requirements for the constraint of time. The process for recruitment also includes interviews along with other screening rounds. Then there is a process of selecting the right people and finally hiring them for the position.

The other five aspects of talent acquisition are listed below.

  • Planning Strategy

The talent acquisition process requires a lot of planning. It considers the wider vision of a business. Also, understanding the future need of the workplace. It is a forward-thinking approach that looks at the bigger picture. It considers the various markets that the company is dealing with or plans to take part in.

  • Workforce Segmentation

It tries to understand different segments in the company. And various positions that are to be filled within these segments. It looks at the operations of the company. Figure out various skills, competence, experience, and potential to fulfil these responsibilities successfully.

  • Employer Branding

The branding of the company has now gone beyond attracting customers. Talent acquisition does branding to attract the right talent to the firm. It is done by presenting a positive and attractive image of an organisation. This includes the work culture, the reputation of the company, products, and services that the organisation offers. It gives a sneak peek into what it looks like to be working at the company. To make top talent look forward to getting on board.

  • Candidate Relationship Management

The top talent can be found through various methods. Searching and recognising all these different candidates can go through many places and mediums. Once identification happens, contact is established. This is about maintaining a relationship with these candidates. Keeping a mindset that these are the people who are going to fill the positions later in the future.


  • Metrics and Analysis

This is a very important part of the talent acquisition process. There has to be a proper analysis to determine the top talent that a company is looking for. The metrics and analysis help to make better hiring decisions. That ultimately improves the quality of output of an organisation.

Strategies for Talent Acquisition and Recruitment

The recruitment and talent acquisition strategy of the firm is important. Recruitment is a reactive approach. It is a rigorous activity and very linear. It brings in the candidates for currently available vacancies in the firm. This sometimes results in more cost and extra time. When there is urgency for hiring, they end up compromising the quality of talent to save time and lower costs.

Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is a strategic process. It is an ongoing cycle that takes considerable time in advance. As discussed before, it focuses on the branding of companies. Also involves reaching the top candidates to keep in communication with them. This results in a sustainable supply of the right candidates within the organisation when it is required.

  • The Aspects Considered

The process of recruitment primarily focuses on the educational background and experience. Whether the candidate will be hired or won’t depend upon their degrees, certifications and experience. The screening happens on the elements of their CV. Personality or other skills may not be the priority. Talent acquisition is an approach that considers candidates beyond the CV. The focus is on the talent that a person possesses. If there is a particular skill that is required but the candidate does not have the necessary certification, they still have a chance to get hired. Talent acquisition also gives importance to the potential that can be nurtured for a particular role.

  • The Future Vision

As stated before, talent acquisition is more about a future vision for the company. While recruitment focuses on the present vacant positions. The talent equation it’s about generating a pool of talent for future requirements. A strategic plan, history of some job responsibilities, predictions by analysis and experience in the industry help to determine what kind of talent is required in the future. Based on that, the best candidates are identified. These can be leadership roles and other positions that require specialised skills. Talent acquisition also works for positions that may not be currently present in the organisation but, are likely to be needed while going forward.

  • The Focus Requirements

The recruitment focuses on just hiring employees to fill previously defined criteria for the vacancy. This process takes a short period but can prove to be costly. An aggressive approach is required to fill up the vacancy within the deadline. Talent acquisition is a search for specialists and leaders for the organisation. It focuses on a specific skill set, particular knowledge, and experience. This is a simple process but takes longer. It has to stay continuous so that it can ensure the supply of top talent when there is a requirement. This is an ongoing process and plans for human resources continuously.


Recruitment is a subset of the talent acquisition process. There is not a single best approach for hiring. What is right for the company depends upon the requirement and the situation. When the goal is to fulfil the position immediately, recruitment works the best. To fulfil the vision of growth and development of the company, talent acquisition is a much better approach. It pays attention to various things like the history of organizational performance, planning, and skillset required for a future job role. And stay prepared for that. It is very important for the positions or businesses where a highly specialised skillset is required. And there is limited right talent in the market. Here talent acquisition maintains a steady flow of talented candidates as and when the necessity arises through continuous efforts. The best approach for the hiring process in any organisation is to use the combination of both according to specific needs and conditions.

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