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Talent Acquisition Specialist

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What Is a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

Talent acquisition specialists are responsible for the long-term talent acquisition strategy for the teams and departments with which they partner. In addition to finding talent for current open roles, they also lead programs that aim to build a healthy pipeline of talent to support the company’s ongoing needs and future goals. These programs include talent assessments, employee referral programs, succession planning and apprenticeships.


Talent Acquisition Specialists vs. Recruiters: What’s the Difference?

Although talent acquisition (TA) specialists have recruiting responsibilities, they differ from recruiters because they also act as business partners who develop talent strategies that anticipate future talent needs, conduct talent assessments to identify gaps and opportunities for growth, and partner with company leaders to build succession plans. 

Unlike recruiters who react to short-term needs by recruiting for current job vacancies that need to be filled, TA specialists collaborate with departments to identify the appropriate long-term talent strategy that meets the company’s growth goals. 

How to Be a Strategic Talent Acquisition Pro. | Video: John Vlastelica


What’s the Salary of a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

The salary and benefits for a talent acquisition specialist depends on a variety of factors including the size of a company, industry, experience level needed, location and responsibilities. The overall market salary rate may also change based on economic factors such as inflation. To get a sense of current salary rate for recruiters, use Built In’s salary tool.  


Talent Acquisition Specialist Responsibilities

Talent Assessment

In order to create long-term talent strategies, TA specialists conduct talent assessments for the departments with which they partner. In these assessments, TA specialists will identify gaps and opportunities for a team. For example, they might find a gap in an engineering team’s ability to effectively work on front-end code, especially if the team is more heavily skilled in back-end programming. However, they might find an opportunity to engage front-end engineering apprentices in the company who are about to finish their program. 


Succession Planning

Succession planning is a talent acquisition program that identifies current employees as potential candidates who can step into key roles within the company if those positions become vacant. Focusing on future needs, talent acquisition specialists work with company leaders to identify potential successors based on their job performance, experience and educational background. 

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How to Become a Talent Acquisition Specialist

Different companies may have different skill requirements listed in TA specialist job descriptions depending on needs and top priorities. Here is a list of relevant skills and education to consider if you’re looking to become a talent acquisition specialist.

Talent Acquisition Specialist Top Skills

  • Sourcing 
  • Interviewing
  • Employer branding
  • Familiarity with applicant tracking systems (ATS)
  • Talent assessment
  • Succession planning
  • Depending on the company, a degree in HR or a relevant field may be required


Should I Invest in a Talent Acquisition Specialist or a Recruiter?

Deciding on whether to hire a talent acquisition specialist or a recruiter depends upon the needs of your company. There will be instances when prioritizing immediate recruiting for a number of open roles is the right move. However, for a company to scale more effectively, a talent acquisition specialist’s expertise in building a long-term talent strategy that supports the company’s future growth needs is an important skill set to have on your team.


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