What Is Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition focuses on long-term strategies to build a talent pipeline that supports a company’s future growth goals and day-to-day talent needs.

Written by Andy Santos
Published on Dec. 21, 2022
What Is Talent Acquisition?
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As a process, talent acquisition is highly focused on building relationships within the talent market and among employees internal to the company. Talent acquisition is a function in human resources that focuses on building talent pipelines to support a company’s growth and ongoing talent needs. Unlike recruiting, in which the focus is on filling an open role, talent acquisition covers ongoing and future hiring needs.  

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How Does Talent Acquisition Work?

Talent acquisition requires a strong understanding of a company’s growth needs as well as the talent market. It’s important for talent acquisition specialists to know the various skills and backgrounds that are essential to departments within their organization while also identifying relevant sources of talent; these elements drive the talent acquisition strategy. 

Talent branding is key for talent acquisition because it helps an organization build brand awareness on a large scale by supporting recruitment efforts and other ways in which talent acquisition specialists build their pipeline. 

When it comes to a company’s existing employees, talent acquisition uncovers opportunities to acquire talent through employee referral programs, apprenticeships and internal succession planning.

In order to measure the effectiveness of a company’s talent acquisition strategy, we typically track progress using metrics such as: 

How to Measure Talent Acquisition Success

  • Time to Fill: The number of days between when a job opening is posted to when a candidate accepts the role.
  • Time to Hire: The number of days between when a candidate applies for a job opening to when they accept the role.
  • Offer Acceptance Rate: The percentage of accepted offers from total candidate offers made. 


Why Is Talent Acquisition Important?

Talent acquisition is important because it’s a way for a company to fulfill its ongoing and future talent needs. In essence, talent acquisition allows a company to succeed and grow by enabling it to hire the right people at the right time through various programs such as succession planning, apprenticeships and employee referrals. With a strong talent pipeline, a company is able to continue operations despite challenges that may occur, such as retention issues or an increasingly competitive talent market.

Without an effective talent acquisition strategy, a company may have to delay projects due to lack of sufficient resources. An ineffective talent acquisition strategy can also lead to burnout and employee retention issues if a candidate pipeline is not meeting capacity needs for work that needs to be done. 

Building a Talent Acquisition Strategy. | Video: Armin Trost


Examples of Talent Acquisition Programs

Employee Referral Program

An employee referral program is a talent acquisition program that supports recruitment efforts by asking current employees to recommend qualified people in their network to open roles within the company. Employees who participate in this program are usually provided with a reward such as a referral bonus

Talent Acquisition vs. Recruiting

Unlike recruiting, in which the focus is on filling an open role, talent acquisition covers ongoing and future hiring needs. 


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. These potential successors are typically identified based on their job performance and background. 


Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship programs are a talent acquisition program that enable employees to gain new skills from mentors within the organization based on their interests and career goals. The goal of this program is to move the apprentice to their desired role once there is an opening, assuming they have the qualifications and complete the program successfully.

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