The job title of Talent Acquisition Manager and even the use of the term Talent Acquisition, is quite new. The definition of talent acquisition and the accompanying profession simply refers to the job and process of sourcing, attracting, recruiting, interviewing, and on-boarding employees to an organization. It is a function of corporate recruiting and is usually housed within the Human Resources department.
Human Resources, as many other corporate departments, is awash in a ever-changing vernacular of corporate colloquialisms. Human Resources itself is a new development from the old naming convention of the Personnel department. But does calling a corporate recruiter a different name really signify change, or is it simply another example of job-title scope creep?
Corporate recruiting may be one of the few examples where a name change means something. Recruiting has gone through a process of upheaval and transformation over the past ten years which might explain the need for a changing nomenclature. Talent acquisition now comprises a very broad field, since recruitment channels have multiplied and the scope of the recruiters’ job has broadened. Talent Acquisition Managers now head up employment marketing initiatives, branding campaigns, internal referral programs, and develop employee engagement metrics and retention programs. It’s a broad set of responsibilities that cover more internal policy and external communications than individual corporate recruiter jobs did in the past.
The talent acquisition specialist or manager devises strategy and recruitment process, as well as actual execution of the sourcing or recruiting campaign. They may be involved not only in finding and screening candidates, but developing the corporate policy for talent bench-marking, talent assessment, and interviewing policies. Often the talent acquisition department will also either liaise with the legal department or retain their own legal specialists to ensure compatibility with employment law.
Typical Duties of a Talent Acquisition Manager
- Work with internal teams and hiring managers to assist with recruitment efforts.
- Assist with both external and internal hiring efforts (internal recruitment meaning assessment of employees for different or more senior roles.)
- Develop recruitment strategy. This may include job posting optimization, recruiting marketing channel development, job board procurement, digital and non-digital employment marketing, comprehensive recruitment campaign planning, talent planning, etc…
- Identify and source appropriate talent for current open roles within the organization
- Identify future talent needs and proactively recruiting and sourcing; develop talent pool or social engagements.
- Manage the recruitment process and life-cycle, including initial assessments, interviews, and offers.
- Counsel the candidate on corporate benefits, salary, and corporate environment.
- Provide recruitment counsel and guidance to hiring managers and HR professionals with hiring and employment data. May develop specialized or competitive intelligence and research in regards to talent development or retention.
- Use social media, job boards, Internet sourcing, and other technical means to source candidates for open jobs.
- Develop college recruiting programs
- Manage and guide development of corporate employment resource
- Participate in employment events, such as career fairs
- Use sophisticated applicant tracking systems and other recruiting software and CRM system to track applicants through the selection phase through to on-boarding.
- Develop relationships with third party recruitment agencies and staffing firms and manage the procurement and measurement process.
How to Reach Corporate Recruiters as a Candidate
If you’re actively trying to “get into” a particular company, dealing with corporate employment sites can be very difficult. The recruiting process, especially in large enterprise environments, can be very long. If you can make a personal connection to corporate recruiting or talent acquisition, you might be able to get a leg up on your competition. However, you don’t want to annoy them – corporate recruiters are very busy, and contacting them outside of the proscribed avenues can be seen as wrong.
Here are some tips for reaching out to talent acquisition in a good way:
- Follow the exact guidelines for submitting your resume and fill out all fields, even if optional.
- This goes without saying, but make sure to use proper grammar and perfect spelling.
- Include a cover letter that is highly personal to the company to which you are applying. Corporate recruiters read a lot of resumes and cover letters, and they tire very quickly of generic candidate applications.
- Give the corporate recruiter time at each stage of action. For instance, it’s ok to follow up with a personal email or Linkedin InMail to a corporate recruiter a week after you’ve already applied. If you don’t wait or contact them before you apply, they will simply ask you to apply to the job online. After you talk to the corporate recruiter, don’t call them back the next day for feedback – it can be annoying for busy professionals. Instead be persistent and courteous - after each contact, wait a couple of days and then follow up.
- Be interested in the individual recruiter. If you actually do reach a corporate recruiter, make sure to ask them about their roles and their personal opinion of the team and how you might fit in the organization. Don’t create the assumption that you want to work there – create the perception that you want to work there – if and only if there is a perfect match available. Recruiters understand the reality of each department and hiring manager better than anyone – be sure to use them as a resource. You want an advocate.
- Be sure to keep them informed about your job search, especially if you are actively interviewing. Be open and honest about your other opportunities. This will ensure a proper sense of urgency and develop an honest relationship with the corporate recruiter.
Talent Acquisition Managers represent the lead conduit of talent into an organization. The scope of their job has changed over the past few years from recruiting to encompass functions which resemble departments from sales and marketing to technology and executive management. Their role does not end with on-boarding of employees; rather, they ensure the ongoing and future organizational talent demands are met, exceeded, and measured.