Talent Acquisition vs Recruiting: What’s the Difference?

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According to a SHRMsurvey , 75% of HR professionals have noticed a skills gap in their pool of applicants.

If you notice the same thing, you can fix this by implementing a talent acquisition team to find the best candidates with the most talent. When you have a strong talent pool, you’ll also be able to fill positions more quickly.

But what is the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition? Keep reading, and we’ll break it all down for you, including which strategy is best for your business.

What Is Recruitment?

If your company is focusing on recruiting, the recruiters and hiring managers are actively looking for talent and hiring and evaluating candidates based on their experience. They are trying to fill a job opening at a company or organization.

You’ll likely have a recruiting process that is already defined and standardized. Recruitment strategies are usually implemented when you have high staff turnover or are rapidly growing your company. 

Recruitment is necessary to run your business, and it’s great for short-term hiring to fill immediate needs. 

What Is Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition works similarly to recruitment because it still focuses on finding top talent for your business. 

However, talent acquisition teams are focused more on long-term goals and hiring at the company. The talent acquisition strategy will need to be dynamic and flexible because you’ll have to try something new each time. 

To have a good talent acquisition strategy, everyone on your human resources team needs to know the long-term goals for the business to align their ongoing strategy with that.

What Are the Differences Between the Two?

The main difference between recruiting and talent acquisition is that recruiting is reactive, trying to fill a position that has opened up and needs to be filled. Talent acquisition focuses on finding qualified candidates for tougher positions that might open up in the future.

Recruiting can be used in almost any industry or business, but talent acquisition focuses mainly on niche industries, like: 

  • Medical
  • Technology
  • Legal
  • Engineering

Talent acquisition leaders focus on ensuring that they have the right person with the right skills for a long-term position, especially if they’re looking for future executives. Doing this can help to reduce a high turnover rate rather than recruiting a candidate who might be less qualified.


One area that these two strategies are different is employer branding. The employment brand is essential in attracting top talent, and50% of candidates  said that they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad brand reputation even for a pay increase.  

So if a company wants to attract top talent, they should be creating a good company culture and a positive image. You can also achieve this by providing a positive candidate experience. When candidates have a good experience, they’re more likely to spread the positive review about your business to other applicants.

They should also establish a good reputation based on the services and qualities that they offer. Both recruiting and talent acquisition will create a positive brand, but talent acquisition will focus on more long-term branding.


Since talent acquisition is long-term, you’ll need more planning. You’ll have to take a deep look at how your business runs and what the workplace needs to grow in the future. 

You’ll look at the future with a broader lens while also considering trends in the job market. You’ll constantly have to be strategizing and re-evaluating. 

On the other hand, recruiting doesn’t take as much planning as long as you have a solid recruitment process in place. With a good formula, you can hire quickly to fill open positions.


While recruiters will need some understanding of the jobs they’re trying to fill; talent acquisition relies on in-depth knowledge and assessing skills. They’ll also need to focus on how this position fits the company and how it works.

With a better understanding of these skills and how they fit into the department and company, talent acquisition managers have more knowledge of how to better fill a position and ensure that the candidate is a good match. 

Candidate Sourcing

Both recruiting and talent acquisition focuses on sourcing talent. You’ll need to research where the best job seekers are and concentrate on sourcing potential candidates from multiple sources, like career pages or job fairs. 

But once you’ve started contacting candidates, you’ll need to be building relationships. Recruiting does this as well, but talent acquisition goes more in-depth. You’ll need to do it with the understanding that these candidates aren’t meant to fill open positions right now but that there might be a future opportunity. 

When that opportunity does open up, you can contact all these candidates that you have a relationship with them and see if they’d be interested in filling that position.

Which Strategy Is Best For Your Business?

If you want your business to be competitive and successful, you should have talent acquisition and recruitment strategies in place. You’ll need to use both in the hiring process. 

However, talent acquisition might be more beneficial for some companies because it approaches hiring candidates as an investment. This talent strategy isn’t meant to take away from recruitment because sometimes it’s impossible to plan.

Effective talent acquisition considers hiring, engaging, attracting, and advancing candidates into positions. These positions can be at almost any level as long as your business thrives because of it. 

Because talent acquisition is more flexible, it’s sometimes the only option you can use as you scale and grow your business. You can ramp up your talent acquisition strategies if you have something unexpected that recruiting teams can’t handle. 

But if you’re more focused on short-term hiring and filling vacant seats as quickly as possible, you should focus on recruitment. If you’re more focused on long-term goals, you can ramp up your talent acquisition.

Start Implementing These Hiring Strategies Today

You’ll need to do both to make sure your company is successful. It would help if you did talent acquisition and recruiting simultaneously. 

If you don’t know how to implement any of these strategies or don’t have the resources to execute them, Recruiter.com is here to help. 

Contact us today to learn more about our on-demand recruiters and our powerful candidate sourcing software to augment your talent acquisition process.


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By Alyssa Harmon