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Talent acquisition vs. recruitment: Understanding the difference

Hiring. Recruiting. Talent acquisition. Doesn’t it all mean the same thing?

There’s actually a crucial difference between recruiting and talent acquisition, and understanding this will help you establish a more effective hiring strategy.

Recruiting happens when employers are addressing a current opening — they need a spot filled right away, so they look for candidates to do that job.

Talent acquisition is long-term planning that involves building relationships with talent — with the intention of hiring them at some point in the future. For example, some roles take much longer to fill than others, so proactive employers begin looking for potential talent before the job is even open.

So really, recruiting is just one small part of your overall talent acquisition strategy.

When recruitment is necessary

Of course, recruiting is a necessary tool to fill open positions. While it’s more of a short-term measure, sudden openings are inevitable and just a part of doing business.

And when a job needs filling quickly, it can be easy to pick a candidate who isn’t the best fit. But a mistake like that can prove to be both costly and time-consuming.

Here’s how some companies ensure they’re recruiting the best candidates.

Caitlyn Metteer, the recruiting manager of Lever, makes sure that applicants are very clear on what the job entails. She began tailoring job descriptions differently. Instead of having the job postings focus on past experience and future job duties, Metteer focused on the outcomes the company expected in the first year on the job.

This new focus allowed candidates to have a better idea of what would be asked of them, an