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What is talent acquisition management, anyway?

Talent acquisition management is a term that’s often used interchangeably with other human resources functions. But, as anyone in this role will attest to, talent acquisition managers have a very particular function within an organization and own a unique set of skills that set them apart from the rest of the HR department. 

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that talent acquisition and talent management are complementary but separate functions within an HR department. They work in lockstep to ensure that the best talent is hired and nurtured into top contributors. 

In this article, we’ll focus on how and why talent acquisition management is a critical function within an organization. And, we’ll discuss how it’s unique from other HR functions.

What is talent acquisition management?

Talent acquisition management is a position or team within the HR department that focuses on sourcing and acquiring new talent. 

Professionals in the talent acquisition role are laser focussed on finding, assessing, selecting, and pre-onboarding new candidates to fill organizational needs. This role goes much deeper than recruitment and requires the talent acquisition manager to develop and execute holistic strategies to attract and hire new candidates. 

We’ll dig deeper into the specific tactics and responsibilities associated with talent acquisition management later, but in general, these professionals are in charge of the following steps:

  • Awareness. Developing an attractive employer brand and marketing that brand to potential candidates.
  • Consideration. Driving demand for new positions at the company, and accumulating inbound applications.
  • Interest. Leading the conversation with new and existing candidates to move applicants through the hiring process.
  • Application. Creating and executing end-to-end sourcing, screening, and selection process to find and select the right candidates.
  • Selection. Working cross-functionally to shortlist and choose the best fit for the job.

Talent acquisition managers are responsible for finding and selecting only the right candidates, and those with the potential to grow at the company. 

This focus on finding new employees sets talent acquisition apart from talent management and other HR functions. 

Let’s dig into that difference further. 

How does talent acquisition differ from talent management?

Think of talent acquisition and talent management as two runners on the same relay team. While they have different jobs and run at separate times in the race, both functions are responsible for achieving the winning outcome. 

While talent acquisition focusses on recruiting and hiring, talent management is in charge of onboarding, performance management, and career growth. Once the talent acquisition specialist does their job, talent managers will take over to ensure that new hires transition into high performing members of the team. 

Talent acquisition and talent management are usually included in the overarching “Human Resources Department,” which often has far-reaching mandates that include hiring, onboarding, growth and development, rewards and compensation, and performance. 

While they are part of the same department and share the same overall goals, talent acquisition and talent management require unique sets of skills. Because of that, it’s important that your organization is deploying their HR talent in the right way, and placing people in the positions that best compliment their skills and career goals. 

Before we go further into the specifics of what talent acquisitions managers do on a daily basis, and what techniques they use, let’s take a step back to emphasize why this role is important. 

Why is talent acquisition management important?

The #1 goal of talent acquisition management is to find and hire people who contribute great things to your organization and continue to grow their skills and impact. 

Talent acquisition management is a critical role that not only fills the talent and skills gap that many organizations face but also contributes to an overall better image for your company. 

Recruitment and talent acquisition professionals handle a wide range of tasks that can lead to more diverse and well-rounded workforces, stronger and more desirable employer brands, more efficient hiring processes, and better overall performance from employees. 

It takes a unique type of person, and skill set, to perform these activities at a high level. To give you an idea of what we mean, here’s a list of job requirements that talent acquisition managers will often face. 

The talent acquisition management job description

Depending on your organization’s size and the mandate of your talent acquisition team, typical job requirements often include:

  • Building a strong employer brand. Talent acquisition managers are brand builders and ambassadors. They’re in charge of creating the marketing and web properties needed to build a solid employer brand and are tasked with living that image during each interaction with candidates.

For example, talent acquisition managers will have a strong role in developing the careers website and the employer branding content used to promote the company as a desirable place to work. 

  • Sourcing net new applicants. Talent acquisition managers are active recruiters. They are experts in writing recruitment ads and sourcing candidates through various channels.

This role also includes creating and maintaining an employee referral program at the organization, including tasks ranging from internal communication to rewards management.

  • Maintaining a talent pipeline. Networking and relationship management is critical for success in talent acquisition. Building relationships with professionals in your space, and maintaining an active talent pipeline helps the organization unlock agile recruitment solutions that make top talent available on demand.
  • Shortlisting and selecting qualified candidates. Talent acquisition managers must be able to parse resumes to shortlist the best candidates efficiently. They should also be adept interviewers and have a strong ability to objectively identify and select the most qualified candidates for the job.
  • Pre-onboarding new candidates. Strong communication skills are critical for talent acquisition professionals, especially when a candidate has been selected. TA managers will be in charge of providing any and all relevant information about the company to selected candidates before formal onboarding begins.
  • Building recruitment and networking channels. Talent acquisition professionals are continuously responsible for finding new recruitment channels and networking opportunities to refine and expand the company’s sourcing strategy.

This will often involve researching and identifying opportunities for niche recruitment, or new platforms to network with target candidate personas.

  • Diversifying and expanding recruitment activities. Likewise, talent acquisition managers are responsible for ensuring that the organization’s diversification goals are met and that new recruitment strategies and perspectives are adopted.
  • Refining the talent acquisition process. Talent acquisition managers must always have an eye of key performance indicators and hiring analytics to ensure that their processes are performing as required. Agile recruitment solutions are often adopted to enable ongoing refinement of the hiring process and strategies.

Because of these requirements, talent acquisition professionals should be comfortable with using common HR tech platforms like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and the associated analytics tools. 

  • Reacting to organizational needs and strategic direction. Lastly, talent acquisition managers need to have an ear to the ground at their organization to adapt to new strategic directions and talent gaps. They are responsible for ensuring that any skills requirements that arise at the company are met as quickly as possible.

As you can see, talent acquisition management requires a multifaceted skill set that straddles marketing, recruitment, project management, business strategy, and process optimization.

Talent acquisition managers are required to wear many different hats, think creatively and analytically, and have strong networking and presentation skills. 

Not everyone within your HR department will have these skills, so sourcing the right talent acquisition professionals is just as important as the role itself.

Think of talent acquisition and talent management as two runners on the same relay team. While they have different jobs and run at separate times in the race, both functions are responsible for achieving the winning outcome.

Why is talent acquisition management important?

The #1 goal of talent acquisition management is to find and hire people who contribute great things to your organization and continue to grow their skills and impact. 

Talent acquisition management is a critical role that not only fills the talent and skills gap that many organizations face but also contributes to an overall better image for your company. 

Recruitment and talent acquisition professionals handle a wide range of tasks that can lead to more diverse and well-rounded workforces, stronger and more desirable employer brands, more efficient hiring processes, and better overall performance from employees. 

It takes a unique type of person, and skill set, to perform these activities at a high level. To give you an idea of what we mean, here’s a list of job requirements that talent acquisition managers will often face. 

The talent acquisition management job description

Depending on your organization’s size and the mandate of your talent acquisition team, typical job requirements often include:

  • Building a strong employer brand. Talent acquisition managers are brand builders and ambassadors. They’re in charge of creating the marketing and web properties needed to build a solid employer brand and are tasked with living that image during each interaction with candidates.

For example, talent acquisition managers will have a strong role in developing the careers website and the employer branding content used to promote the company as a desirable place to work. 

  • Sourcing net new applicants. Talent acquisition managers are active recruiters. They are experts in writing recruitment ads and sourcing candidates through various channels.

This role also includes creating and maintaining an employee referral program at the organization, including tasks ranging from internal communication to rewards management.

  • Maintaining a talent pipeline. Networking and relationship management is critical for success in talent acquisition. Building relationships with professionals in your space, and maintaining an active talent pipeline helps the organization unlock agile recruitment solutions that make top talent available on demand.
  • Shortlisting and selecting qualified candidates. Talent acquisition managers must be able to parse resumes to shortlist the best candidates efficiently. They should also be adept interviewers and have a strong ability to objectively identify and select the most qualified candidates for the job.
  • Pre-onboarding new candidates. Strong communication skills are critical for talent acquisition professionals, especially when a candidate has been selected. TA managers will be in charge of providing any and all relevant information about the company to selected candidates before formal onboarding begins.
  • Building recruitment and networking channels. Talent acquisition professionals are continuously responsible for finding new recruitment channels and networking opportunities to refine and expand the company’s sourcing strategy.

This will often involve researching and identifying opportunities for niche recruitment, or new platforms to network with target candidate personas.

  • Diversifying and expanding recruitment activities. Likewise, talent acquisition managers are responsible for ensuring that the organization’s diversification goals are met and that new recruitment strategies and perspectives are adopted.
  • Refining the talent acquisition process. Talent acquisition managers must always have an eye of key performance indicators and hiring analytics to ensure that their processes are performing as required. Agile recruitment solutions are often adopted to enable ongoing refinement of the hiring process and strategies.

Because of these requirements, talent acquisition professionals should be comfortable with using common HR tech platforms like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and the associated analytics tools. 

  • Reacting to organizational needs and strategic direction. Lastly, talent acquisition managers need to have an ear to the ground at their organization to adapt to new strategic directions and talent gaps. They are responsible for ensuring that any skills requirements that arise at the company are met as quickly as possible.

As you can see, talent acquisition management requires a multifaceted skill set that straddles marketing, recruitment, project management, business strategy, and process optimization.

Talent acquisition managers are required to wear many different hats, think creatively and analytically, and have strong networking and presentation skills. 

Not everyone within your HR department will have these skills, so sourcing the right talent acquisition professionals is just as important as the role itself.

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