Talent Acquisition vs Recruiting

Is talent acquisition the same as recruiting? While the terms may seem interchangeable, they are not. In this article, we’ll explain why.

As an intro, there are important differences between the two practices. While both have the goal of acquiring talent, one process is straightforward and short-term, whereas the other is more in-depth and long-term. Let’s take a look at the key differences in these hiring strategies.

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What Is Talent Acquisition?

Let’s start by answering the “what is talent acquisition” question before we dig into “what is recruitment?” Talent acquisition is an in-depth, long-term process of building a talent pipeline for meeting short- and long-term hiring needs. This can be conceptualized as a cyclical process that anticipates the company’s future.

Recruitment, on the other hand, is a process of hiring candidates to fill roles, a relatively near-term endeavor. This can be conceptualized as a linear process, where resumes are submitted, top candidates are selected to interview, and one or more qualified people are hired.

Talent acquisition is different from recruitment because it looks at the skills a company needs and a candidate’s potential to hone those skills. This process has many more facets than recruiting and requires more sustained effort over a longer period of time. Coveted talent is hard to come by, which is where the talent acquisition process comes into play. Let’s take a closer look at what makes talent acquisition unique relative to recruiting.

How Is Talent Acquisition Different From Recruiting?

In comparing talent acquisition vs recruitment, there is one major difference to discuss.

Recruitment is about filling vacancies, whereas talent acquisition is a long-term strategy to find important specialists or future company leaders. For example, in the talent acquisition process, a company can sometimes nurture a relationship with a potential candidate for years before that candidate applies for a position. So, for difficult-to-fill roles, talent acquisition is typically more effective than recruiting.

In recruitment, some of the same principles can be employed, such as developing relationships with candidates and being strategic in finding talent. However, the recruitment process is usually more streamlined. If your company needs recruiting support, see how our team can help you fill open roles and expand your talent pipeline here.

Talent Acquisition Strategies

There are many talent acquisition strategies companies can take advantage of. First, it is essential to consider the company’s immediate and long-term business goals. This will inform the skills to target and what type of talent to look for. Keeping an eye on individuals with the desired skills can be immensely fruitful when the individual is looking for a position at the same time the company is looking for that specific skill set.

Second, using data to inform marketing strategies is critical to an effective talent acquisition program. It is important to know the types of candidates you’re seeking and consider the desires of candidates when creating marketing materials for job postings. Analytics can ensure that certain questions on an application, for instance, are not a deterrent.

Third, it is important to cast a wide net to find top talent. The best consulting talent may not be found in the same places as the best human resources talent. Thus, a data-backed marketing strategy is critical for an efficient and effective talent acquisition process.

Finally, employer branding is crucial. This encompasses every potential touchpoint with candidates – website, social media, sponsored content, etc. Top talent wants to know what they are getting into with a company. To compete with other companies for these candidates, having a clear, compelling brand gives employers a huge advantage. Work with Management Consulted to elevate your branding via custom, curated content to showcase what makes your brand unique in the marketplace.


Finding new team members is a daunting task, especially in this labor market. A successful talent acquisition strategy requires a curated, multi-pronged approach. Engage with our team via a 1-month recruiting campaign to bring on the right top talent for your organization. If you’re ready to up-level your recruiting efforts and promote your open role(s) to our 1.7M+ community of engaged, qualified candidates, start here.


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Filed Under: Leadership & Management