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Talent Acquisition: What Is It, And How Is It Different From Recruiting?

Kristin Bachman
5 min read

In 2022, there are 2.8 million more job openings than in prior years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Companies everywhere are hiring, and those that want to stay competitive are making talent acquisition a fundamental part of their business plan.

Why? Because new talent is refreshing, bringing companies new perspectives and new creative ideas to help them innovate.

Another reason for the drive to hire is because there's a lot of competition between companies seeking top talent — and a proactive approach helps your company land that talent before your competitor does.

In this article, we'll discuss what talent acquisition is and how you can build your own talent pipeline.


What Is Talent Acquisition?

Contrary to popular belief, talent acquisition isn’t a one-and-done task. Rather, it's an ongoing talent management strategy that brings in a continuous stream of talent with very specific skill sets. It’s a popular technique among companies who need to always bring in fresh perspectives so that they can keep innovating. Think along the lines of creatives for advertising agencies or engineers for product development.


What Is the Difference Between Talent Acquisition and Recruiting?

It might surprise you that the talent acquisition and recruiting processes are two very different things. We’ll define both for you below.

Talent Acquisition

As mentioned above, talent acquisition is all about the long-term view. Companies don’t embark on talent acquisition campaigns when they need to fill a role. Rather, they have ongoing talent acquisition strategies that keep steady streams of candidates with specific qualifications flowing through the talent pipeline. This way, a company in need of new perspectives or new creative ideas always has a pool from which to fill its talent needs.


Recruiting is a different beast entirely. Recruitment is for when you have open positions that you need to fill immediately. It’s not necessarily an ongoing process — it's something that your company does when you need staffing for different roles.


Why Is Talent Acquisition Important?

Talent acquisition is a recruitment strategy for achieving long-term goals. Since it’s a continuous search, it typically focuses on finding top candidates to fill executive-level positions, leadership roles, and people to fill roles that require highly specialized training. Finding the best talent for these positions helps your company to innovate and evolve with the ever-changing trends of the business world.


Breaking Down the Talent Acquisition Process

Now that you have a firm grasp on talent acquisition, it’s time to break the process down into steps. We’ve got the full breakdown plus pro tips below.

1. Source Talent and Generate Leads

You'll need a fantastic job description showcasing your employer brand to get started. From there, begin a lead generation campaign by finding social media networks (such as LinkedIn), job boards, industry events, etc., where you can network and build a list of contacts. This will be the beginning of your talent pipeline.

Pro tip: Use a recruiting tool

One of the best ways to get your talent pipeline started is to rely on the services of a recruiting firm like Hunt Club. At Hunt Club, we have access to a large network of connections and job seekers, plus the technology to help you quickly and easily find the perfect fit. Our service removes a major hiring burden from your HR department while giving you an extensive pool of quality talent. Get in touch with us to learn more, or get started today.

2. Attract Candidates by Promoting Company Culture

According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 77% of adults consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. Companies known for toxic or otherwise unwelcoming cultures tend to build a bad reputation among potential candidates, whereas companies known for a great culture attract new hires in droves.

Pro tip: Build a welcoming work environment

It’s crucial to create a positive culture that attracts talent rather than driving it away. This means bolstering your culture strategy from start to finish, beginning with a solid onboarding plan and initiatives to improve the candidate experience. It also means a more personal approach: listening to employees, making them feel valued, building a sense of psychological safety, being authentic, etc. The more you can improve your company’s work environment, the more success you’ll see with your talent acquisition strategy.

3. Conduct Your Interviewing Process

Now that you’ve attracted some of the top talent in your industry, it’s time to start interviews. One of the best tactics when doing interviews is to boil the job description down to the three or five most essential tasks, then build your interview questions around those. Be sure to ask questions about how they’ve solved problems in the past so that you can get a full picture of candidate experience — not just their skills, but also how resourceful and creative they are.

Pro tip: Spend time and resources making the interview process as smooth as possible

During the interview process, candidates are assessing you just as much as you’re assessing them — and one surefire way to drive off qualified candidates is to make the interview process unnecessarily complicated. Be sure to simplify as much as you can. Offer flexible scheduling for those candidates who need to interview around current jobs and obligations. If you’re doing multiple rounds of interviews, it’s a nice touch if the first round at least can be virtual to help save everyone time.

Be ready with answers to common FAQs, and don’t avoid the big ones like salary and benefit inquiries. Today's job seekers appreciate and expect complete transparency, so it's best to be as upfront as possible to keep anyone from wasting their time.

4. Check References and Do Background Checks

Even though you're done with interviews and may know who you'd like to extend an offer to, you’re not quite ready yet. Be sure to check references and perform background checks on each candidate you’re seriously considering. While it’s rare to disqualify candidates during this phase, it does happen — and it’s better to get any surprises out of the way before hiring.

Pro tip: Automate this process

With automation, you can make this process a lot easier for yourself and your talent acquisition team. These days, there are several talent acquisition software platforms out there that will help you automate background checks as well as a variety of other things, like interview scheduling, employee referrals, relationship management, and more. Even a basic applicant tracking system can help you track each applicant and your notes on them from start to finish.

5. Make Your Final Decision and Send Offer Letter

You’re getting close to making a hire. The next step of the process is to choose the candidates you want to hire and send them an offer letter.

Pro tip: Carefully review resumes and notes before making a decision

Before you send a job offer, it’s smart to double-check all of the information you’ve gathered one last time. Review resumes and re-read the interview notes and other notes you collected throughout the hiring process. Remember, the candidates you hire may be with you for years, so this isn’t a decision to make lightly.

6. Encourage a Seamless Onboarding Process

Onboarding is the final step of the hiring process and is among the most important. If your onboarding process is disorganized or unnecessarily hectic, your new hire may get a negative first impression of your organization. This may lead them to search for another job while they still have applications pending elsewhere.

Pro tip: Set clear goals and expectations

There are various ways to smooth out your onboarding process and transform it into a welcoming experience. Start by setting clear goals and expectations from the start. This helps prevent misconceptions or misinterpretations in the future.

Also, remember that your human resources department can help new employees handle many tasks well before their start date, which will make the first day and first week in the new role much less hectic. Develop an onboarding toolkit with training materials and webinars new hires can access before the first day. Make sure you handle payroll, legal, benefits enrollment, and other key tasks before the first day.

This way, you can spend that crucial first week focused on introductions and pursuing those initial goals you’ve set.


Acquire Exceptional Talent With Hunt Club

It’s challenging to build a talent pipeline and a broad network of contacts that keeps top talent flowing into your company. That’s what Hunt Club is here for. Leverage our network of contacts, our technology, and our expert recruiters to help you hire exceptional talent. 

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