Knowing the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition

Knowing the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition

“Recruitment” and “talent acquisition” are terms often mistaken as having the same definition. This state of confusion isn’t surprising as the two terms are frequently used interchangeably in the HR world. Nevertheless, there are distinct differences between the two terms and understanding them can help HR professionals hire top talent better.


The difference between recruitment and talent acquisition

Essentially, recruitment is a straight-forward process of recruiting specific candidates to fill out specific vacant positions. Talent acquisition is more towards the strategic process of acquiring talent, usually a long-term plan that involves building relationships, anticipating future hiring requirements and creating a sustainable pool of talent.

One might ask, “Which is better?”

It is not so much of which is better but rather, what your requirements are – whether you are hunting for an immediate candidate to replace a position that is currently vacant or identifying future positions as part of your long-term strategic approach in recruiting for talent. It is also necessary to note that recruitment is a subset of talent acquisition; and that there is no talent acquisition without the process of recruitment whereas recruitment can exist without a talent acquisition strategy.

That being said, a talent acquisition strategy is important as it will be advantageous to companies competing in a highly competitive job market. Here’s why:


  1. Getting the right people

The quality of hire is crucial and unlike recruitment, talent acquisition focuses on finding the right “fit” (from qualifications to practical skills to cultural fit), instead of recruiting new employees as soon as possible. The hiring process includes months of gathering, reviewing and analysing existing data. It also involves building relationships with active job seekers and passive candidates.


  1. Investing in the future

Compared to recruitment, a talent acquisition strategy is a forward-looking approach. Often, talent acquisition involves recruiting talent to not only fill in the gap but to be groomed into future-leaders and managers. As such, a typical talent acquisition strategy will involve rigorous screening from the beginning, allowing you to have immediate access to a pool of talent (with good qualities) when the need arises.


  1. Save time and money

In general, recruitment allows employers to quickly hire a new staff without too much fuss whereas adopting a talent acquisition approach involves a larger commitment. However, acquiring talent could potentially save you more time and money in the long run as it minimises the chances of a wrong hire. Selecting the right talent the first time around is important to reduce the cost of on-boarding and to ensure that your initial hiring process won’t go to waste.


How to get your talent acquisition strategy started?

Setting up a talent acquisition strategy requires time and commitment. You’ll have to start scheduling daily or weekly acquisition activities such as researching, sourcing, networking, improving your employer brand and building relationships with job seekers, recruitment firms and even passive candidates.

  1. Start understanding your goals

Take time to review and understand your business strategy. You need to be able to identify the goals of the company for both short-term and long-term. Identify the areas that require more development or improvement and decide on the skills, knowledge and abilities that would be required to future-proof the business operation.


  1. Start improving your employer brand

Building a top-notch employer brand is crucial in attracting the top talent. Start by understanding where your employer brand stands today; conduct surveys to gather feedback and analyse online reviews to get a real sense of your company reputation and determine what needs to be done to improve your employer brand.


  1. Start sourcing for talent

Identify social media platforms, chatrooms and online forums where your potential candidates might be gathering on a frequent basis. Consider reaching out to reputable online employment firms such as that have access to a larger pool of talent and can easily help you source for higher quality talent.


Conclusion, to recruit or acquire?

If your company is short on resources and manpower, recruitment may be the better option as it is quick, less complicated and requires less commitment. However, there is a higher risk of spending more time and money replacing a wrong hire therefore, it is advisable to start adopting a talent acquisition strategy as soon as you have the means to do so. While you might have to spend more time and effort in acquiring talent, in the long run, you’ll increase the chances of hiring the best talent who will help to propel your company forward.


This article is either written or edited by JobsDB HK. If you would like to publish it on other website or publication, please contact us by email: [email protected]. JobsDB reserves the right to take legal action against any person that infringes the copyright.

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