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Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions

What is Talent Acquisition?

The term talent acquisition describes the process from the identification to the successful recruitment and retention of high-calibre talent. This is achieved with the help of a long-term and, above all, sustainable strategy for personnel recruitment, personnel development, and personnel retention.

Talent acquisition is an essential part of ensuring your company’s workforce is always at an optimal level. By using the right HR-marketing measures, an effective talent acquisition process should proactively ensure that the ideal talent is available for the right position at the right time.

In doing so, HR professionals should be able to successfully attract, recruit, and retain talent to continuously drive and reach business objectives.

What is the difference between talent acquisition and recruitment?

Recruitment and talent acquisition are often understood as being synonyms. And it is true that there is overlap between the disciplines, as both are an integral part of talent management. However, there is also a big difference between the two that many companies are not aware of.

Let’s have a look at the difference between talent acquisition and recruitment.


What is widely understood as recruiting is only one sub-discipline of talent acquisition. Recruiting is primarily concerned with:

  • Filling vacancies
  • The processes from the moment an application is received, through to conducting interviews and assessments, to the hiring of the best candidate

The above does not include personnel planning, onboarding, or personnel development.

Talent acquisition

Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is the strategic work that prepares for and follows after recruitment, which is there to help make the work of the HR team easier.

Parts of the talent acquisition process include:

  • The creation of a long-term recruitment strategy
  • Forward-looking personnel planning
  • The recruitment of potential new talent

By integrating HR strategy directly into business development considerations, company objectives can be better focused and planning can be more forward-looking.

What is included in a talent acquisition strategy?

With the help of a holistic talent acquisition strategy, suitable talent is not just identified and attracted. They are also familiarised with (and convinced of) the employer and its brand, long before a vacancy might arise. This can help to convince them to apply for a job opening. As such, talent acquisition in HR is about attracting talent rather than a company reaching out to individuals.

The following key points should be considered when developing a long-term and targeted talent acquisition strategy.

Create a positive employer brand

A fundamental part of HR marketing and talent acquisition is employer branding. It is essential for the positive perception (employer image) of your company. The talent acquisition strategy should therefore ensure that an authentic and favourable representation of the employer is guaranteed, or measures should be implemented to improve the current state.

Optimise the candidate experience

Similarly, for successful talent acquisition, a simple and smooth application process should be ensured. A great candidate selection workflow and responsiveness throughout the hiring process all help facilitate a positive candidate experience.

Identify appropriate sources

Once employer branding and candidate experience have been optimised, suitable contact points for employee acquisition need to be identified. Professional and social networks, as well as regular networking events, are particularly popular for effective external recruitment.

However, internal recruitment through restructuring, promotions, or employee referrals is also steadily gaining popularity and should not be ignored.

Develop a recruitment funnel

It’s a long way from the first point of contact to the talent being ready to apply. Especially if there is no suitable recruitment funnel that defines actions, measures, and milestones for the development of applicants. Therefore, to attract talent in a more targeted way, the talent acquisition strategy should also include the development or optimisation of such a funnel.

Talent sourcing

Talent sourcing is incredibly time-consuming, but an excellent way to steadily build up a talent pool (see next point). Once all the basic considerations and workflows are optimised and implemented, the identification and recruitment of suitable talent should begin.

Building a talent pool

A talent pool is the company’s own point of contact for potential employees. It is an invaluable tool, especially for filling vacancies and should therefore not be missing from a talent acquisition strategy.

Nurture talent

In order to secure the interest of recruited and acquired talent, the relationship between them and the company must be constantly cultivated. The talent acquisition process should therefore also include the implementation of so-called “nurturing” campaigns.

Employee retention strategies

Finding and recruiting talent isn’t enough. Since satisfied employees are the key to referrals and recommendations, and low employee turnover has a positive impact on the company’s image, the development of an effective employee retention strategy must also be part of the process.

Who is responsible for talent acquisition?

First and foremost, talent acquisition management is the responsibility of the entire HR department. In start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), however, there is usually no dedicated specialist staff for this. In those cases, the task ultimately falls with the HR manager or company management itself.

In larger companies, there are often specialised talent acquisition professionals who focus on these processes. Common job titles include:

  • Talent Acquisition Manager (specialising in process development)
  • Talent Acquisition Specialist (specialising in acquisition activities)

Both job profiles are usually based on a degree (specialising in HR management, human resources management, or talent acquisition) and professional experience in the field of HR.

Further requirements of the role may include additional qualifications and training, legal knowledge around contract matters, project management skills, research skills, and media competency.

If you need a recruiter job description or a human resources manager job description, don’t forget to check out our job description templates


What are the benefits of good talent acquisition management?

It sounds like a lot of extra work at first, but in the long run, talent acquisition management efforts pay off significantly. Companies that successfully work with talent acquisition benefit from these advantages, among others:

  • Competitive advantages
  • Quick relief of staff shortages
  • Fewer fluctuations in employee levels
  • Better employee retention
  • Strong, future-oriented personnel policy
  • Increase in employee motivation


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