The terms talent acquisition and recruiting are used interchangeably, but is there a difference? The answer is yes, and knowing when to use one or the other is important, regardless of the hiring environment.

Think about this in terms of strategy and tactics. Strategy is a long-term plan you set in place to move towards specific goals. Tactics are the steps you take to implement the strategy. Both are important and sometimes overlap. Strategy without tactics won’t get you anywhere, and tactics without a strategy don’t know where to go.


Talent acquisition is a strategic and proactive approach to developing a talent pipeline. Your business needs a talent acquisition strategy to ensure that you have a pool of talent available to fill vacancies for key positions. Leadership roles and professional or specialized technical roles are important to the success of your business. People leave positions for a variety of reasons and you need a plan that looks ahead to keep those key roles filled.

Talent acquisition is vital if your employees have a very specific skill set or work in a specialized technology that is unique to your organization. If you are part of an industry that is experiencing labor shortages, your talent acquisition strategy is key to maintaining your workforce in sufficient numbers to continue operating.

A talent acquisition strategy includes recruiting, employment branding and candidate relationship management among other things. It is a more in-depth process that takes into account the big picture of where your company is now and where it is headed. Candidates are evaluated not just on how qualified they are to fill a current role, but on their potential for helping the company grow over time.


Recruitment is a vital part of a talent acquisition strategy, used when you have an open position and you need the best candidate that is currently available. It is a linear approach with the specific endpoint of filling a vacancy. Crafting an accurate, compelling job description, reviewing applications and resumes, conducting interviews, and ultimately hiring a candidate are recruiting activities.

Just like talent acquisition, strong recruitment efforts are key to maintaining a sufficient workforce to allow your organization to operate effectively.


The goal of both is the same: having the right people with the right skills working for you to further your business objectives. Both Talent Acquisition and Recruiting move towards that goal, and they feed each other. Talent Acquisition strategy maintains a pool of qualified candidates that are nurtured over time. That pool will provide the specific candidates when a role opens up. Recruitment will add to the pool of qualified potential candidates as new applicants are vetted for a particular open position.

The success of your business depends on having a solid talent acquisition strategy and strong recruitment efforts. You can work with a talent acquisition and recruitment specialist to help you plan out your strategy and assist with recruitment efforts to fill your open slots.