What is a talent acquisition specialist?

A talent acquisition specialist is an HR professional who specializes in finding the right people to fill open roles, especially those that require specialized skill sets. Talent acquisition specialists often work in fast-moving industries that compete for highly-skilled talent.

What does a talent acquisition specialist do? 

They’re involved at every step of the hiring process, including:

  • Posting on job boards
  • Sourcing potential employees on LinkedIn and other sites
  • Developing applicant screening processes
  • Reviewing resumes and applications
  • Selecting interviewees
  • Conducting interviews
  • Making recommendations for whom to hire
  • Handling onboarding

What is the difference between a talent acquisition specialist and a recruiter?

The above job description may sound pretty similar to that of a recruiter, which may lead you to wonder what the difference between these two roles is. 

Recruiters are focused on the short-term process of identifying and screening suitable candidates for a specific position.

Talent acquisition is more focused on ongoing strategy and planning ahead to ensure that open positions are filled and that new hires are set up for long-term success and growth in the organization. Additionally, talent acquisition specialists often focus on hiring highly-skilled people such as specialists, leaders, and future executives.

Why should HR leaders care about talent acquisition specialists?

A good talent acquisition specialist can be an invaluable addition to the modern HR team. In a highly competitive market where employers struggle to fill vacancies with high-quality talent, qualified and experienced talent acquisition specialists are often necessary to take the stress of hiring off the rest of the HR team. 

Although companies in competitive industries like tech and health care typically require talent acquisition specialists, TA specialists can help organizations of all sizes in any field. They can help you hire people with the right skills and experience who are a fit for your company culture and help you meet hiring goals like having a diverse workforce.

What can HR leaders do to hire qualified talent acquisition specialists?

A talent acquisition specialist can significantly influence your organization’s future. To find the right talent acquisition specialists and set them up for success, it is recommended to look for candidates with the following qualifications:

  • At least five years of industry experience in HR and/or recruiting
  • A degree in HR and/or a professional HR certification
  • Up-to-date knowledge of current employment law 
  • Experience with applicant tracking systems and HRIS
  • Strategic thinking and the ability to look ahead and plan a person’s career trajectory; this also helps fill future vacancies
  • Understanding of company brand identity

Why should talent acquisition specialists be a part of the modern HR strategy?

If you’ve ever struggled to find the right people to fill critical open positions with a significant influence on your organization’s success, you already know why a talent acquisition specialist role is essential. Bringing on capable talent acquisition specialists can help you meet hiring goals, introduce highly-skilled candidates for open positions, and set up your organization for long-term success