Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment: Differences You Need To Know

Very often, the terms talent acquisition and recruitment are used interchangeably. While this mistake is excusable for people who are far from human resources, specialists who are engaged in attracting and hiring employees should understand the clear difference between the two terms. Here’s how these concepts relate to each other.

Strategy and one-time action. Talent acquisition is a strategy in which an appropriate specialist determines which talents are needed for the further development of the company, plus takes into account which personal characteristics are important for the person who will move the company forward. This is a strategy that looks to the future and takes into account vacancies that will be open in the future to achieve the strategic goals of the company.

In turn, recruitment is a one-time action that involves direct search, hiring, training, and onboarding of an employee. Thus, talent acquisition and recruitment are related as a whole and a part. Talent acquisition is an ongoing process, while recruitment is one of its stages.

Skills vs. talents. As the term makes clear, talent acquisition focuses on talent. Even if a certain specialist lacks skills or experience, but his talents, life goals, and personal characteristics coincide with the company’s values, then a talent acquisition specialist will most likely consider this person as a short-list candidate.

As for recruitment, here the focus shifts toward skills and experience, and the main goal is to find a person who will meet them as much as possible.

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Different ways to attract. Talent Acquisition approaches getting talents in much the same way as marketers approach customers – by convincing potential candidates that a particular company is a worthy place to grow. This is achieved through the formation of a positive brand reputation in the labor market. Recruitment, in turn, uses the traditional methods of closing vacancies – through job portals, social networks, and resume databases.

Talent acquisition specialist vs HR manager. Since these two concepts are different, this means that a difference also exists between specialists who perform each of these tasks. Talent acquisition specialist is a kind of strategist who looks far into the future. His or her initial goal is not to close the vacancy, but to find the right people, recognize their talents (even with a lack of skills in the first stages), understand how these talents fit into the overall development strategy and even envisage ways to develop the talent of a certain specialist.

In turn, the tasks of HR manager are not so far-sighted. His or her task is to close a vacancy as quickly as possible, focusing specifically on the skills of a particular specialist. In other words, an HR manager hires people who will do a certain job, and the talent acquisition specialist looks for those who will move the company forward according to its growth strategy.


Practice shows that companies are increasingly becoming aware of the value of talent and its superiority over experience and skills. While recruitment is still part of talent acquisition, modern companies are starting to focus more on long-term development strategies with talent.


Frank Hamilton

Frank Hamilton
Frank Hamilton is a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education.

Frank Hamilton

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