Talent acquisition

What is talent acquisition?

What is talent acquisition?

Talent acquisition is the process of identifying, attracting, selecting and retaining highly qualified professionals. This means that talent acquisition is a key part of the employee experience.

In most organizations, talent acquisition is part of the HR department’s routine work. The head of talent acquisition or recruiting usual reports to the head of the department. Talent acquisition strategy must align with HR strategy which in turn builds on organizational strategy.

What are the key steps of talent acquisition?

There are nine steps in total that help a company attract the right talent:

  • Analyzing the organization's needs

  • Confirming a job application

  • Drafting the vacancy

  • Defining selection criteria

  • Talent search

  • Organizing selection

  • Making a hiring decision

  • Adaptation

  • Evaluation

Analyzing the organization's needs

An organizational needs analysis is the basis for your recruitment and selection strategy. This includes the organization's mission, vision, goals, and communicating them through defined competencies and values. They help to define the profile of the candidate you are looking for and influence the selection criteria in order to establish the fit between the organization and the position. This needs analysis, also called skill-gap analysis, and is part of standard HR policy.

Job application

This is the starting point of the recruiting process. The job application is the formal procedure for a hiring request and often comes in the form of a document explaining:

  • Why the position is needed

  • Whether the position is new or existing

  • Name of the position

  • Name of the department

  • The responsible hiring manager

  • Job duties

  • Level of pay

  • The starting date of employment

  • Permanent or temporary employment

  • Full-time or part-time

  • Possible bonuses and benefits etc

Drafting the vacancy

The next step is probably the most important in the talent acquisition process: the job opening. Job vacancy drafting is accompanied by job analysis to gather all the information needed to ensure a quality hire. This includes a job description, including all required skills, competencies and daily tasks for the position. They help to specify the candidate's personal characteristics and are the basis against which the manager will conduct a performance appraisal.

Defining the selection criteria and methods

The selection method and criteria are determined based on the job opening that has been drafted. There are many possible methods for selecting candidates, including pre-tests, test assignments, structured and unstructured interviews, etc.

Searching for the candidate

Next, the search for a candidate takes place. This is the most visible part of the talent acquisition process. In general, candidates can be divided into active and passive candidates. Active candidates actively search for jobs while passive candidates do not. They need more targeted impulses to become interested in your position, so different methods can be used to attract these different groups of candidates.

Regardless of whether the candidate is active or passive you should closely monitor why candidates pay attention to you, what they are interested in after first contact, and why in some cases they do not want to continue the recruitment process. The candidate searching step will let you know if the job description is correct or if there are any nuances that you may have missed.

Managing selection methods

When a candidate responds to a job posting the selection methods are administered. This includes: initial screening, traditional interviews, but also background checks, credit checks, and more.

Making a hiring decision

After the candidate is selected a job offer is made. This phase may include final negotiations until the offer is accepted. The key metric for this phase is the offer acceptance rate, a well-known recruiting metric that is calculated as the ratio of the number of offers accepted to the number of all offers the company has made.


Adaptation is included in these steps because it is an important part of the candidate's retention program as a new employee. If the adaptation program is poorly written, the employee will feel uncomfortable in their new workplace and will have difficulty showing and developing their competencies. This is why recruiters and the HR department make plans to develop the employee, often using the 30-60-90 day method.


The last step in the talent acquisition process is evaluation or talent assessment. This provides a great opportunity to check in with the candidate once again.

The difference between recruiting and talent acquisition

Recruiting is the process of filling vacancies while talent acquisition is an ongoing strategy to find specialists, leaders or future leaders for your company. This requires thorough pre-hire preparation followed by a good onboarding program, employee evaluation, and post-hire retention programs. Talent acquisition is a more comprehensive strategy that produces better results.

In order to implement the boldest strategies to attract and retain the best candidates, recruiters use automation. HRM systems make it to streamline the process to better focus on the future development of the new employee. That's why if you're interested in full talent acquisition then you should seek advice on automation with PeopleForce.

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