When someone in a critical role leaves your business suddenly, it could mean big problems if the position isn’t filled promptly. A quick fix — an immediate hire — may be your only option. But attracting and retaining top talent in today’s competitive marketplace requires a more strategic approach.

That’s where talent acquisition comes in. A comprehensive talent acquisition strategy goes beyond standard HR hiring functions. Instead, it encompasses a broader, more forward-thinking plan of action designed to identify and address the long-term talent needs of your company.

talent acquisition
talent acquisition

a proactive approach to talent acquisition

While traditional recruiting efforts aim primarily to address short-term hiring needs, acquiring talent is concerned with the bigger picture. For a start, acquisition professionals analyze business operations and forecast staffing needs months in advance to account for new projects or periods of increased growth. Why is this important? Preparing ahead of time means a more seamless hiring process and ensures no time is wasted getting the right candidates for open roles.

While some HR departments focus on reactively filling immediate vacancies, talent acquisition teams lead continuous, ongoing efforts to grow existing talent pools and find new channels for sourcing potential candidates. Especially for niche positions, where talent pools are small and competition is high, developing and employing a smart, proactive networking strategy is critical to enticing candidates in high demand.

Take the search for accounting talent, for example. With the current shortage of good candidates, acquisition teams know that business-as-usual recruitment isn’t enough. Instead, they need to employ a range of strategies, from targeted outreach through careers fairs to changing outdated perceptions of the accounting profession and using tech to attract forward-thinking candidates.

Talent acquisition professionals also take on additional assignments separate from standard HR tasks. They may be involved in retention, performance assessments or continued staff development. To meet this growing demand, many organizations separate talent acquisition from HR entirely to ensure the necessary resources are being devoted to candidate sourcing and engagement.

marketing to job seekers

The function of talent acquisition stretches beyond HR and into the realms of marketing and PR, too. Talent acquisition teams are just as much specialists in employer-brand building as they are in candidate assessments.

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And gain insights on what job seekers are really looking for in their next employer. 

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Successful recruitment strategies treat talent as an audience and craft targeted messaging accordingly. Companies need to be aware of the latest trends in worker expectations. For example, workers now expect greater flexibility with hours and working remotely. They also seek employers whose sustainability and diversity values correspond to their own.

Good talent acquisition teams don’t only take these expectations into account during the hiring process. They see to it that the messaging is consistent across social media and other channels. They also ensure their own companies’ benefits programs are up to date and that they’re providing the right perks to draw top talent to their organizations.

Keen to find out more about talent acquisition? Visit our business insights blog to learn more about the importance of a talent acquisition strategy.

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