Recruiting vs. Talent Acquisition: What’s the Difference?

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What’s the difference between recruiting and talent acquisition? Learn to utilize both to set your organization up for long-term success.

Recruiting vs. Talent Acquisition

Your company needs top talent in order to thrive, which makes recruiting and talent acquisition top priorities. But what, exactly, do these terms mean? There is overlap between the two and, although they are often used interchangeably, they represent different aspects of your talent management process. Let’s clarify. 

What is Recruiting? 

Recruiting refers to the short-term work that is often necessary when a staffing need arises. It’s an action that must be done in short order to fill a vacancy. It happens, and then it’s over.

What is Talent Acquisition? 

Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is a process, driven by strategic, big-picture thinking. It involves anticipating future needs and employing a flexible, dynamic approach to meeting them.  

Think about a friend who spends several days gathering ingredients in order to bake your favourite cake on your birthday. That’s talent acquisition. Consider another who’s more likely to squeeze in a stop at Safeway and arrive at your party gripping a Deep’n Delicious. That’s recruiting. Either will do in a pinch, but your business is best served when talent acquisition is top of mind. 

Achieve Long Term Success Through Talent Acquisition

The most important thing to remember is that talent acquisition is not an event, but a way of life. It informs staffing decisions at all times, even when there’s no pressing need. 

Getting talent acquisition right involves asking yourself the big questions: 

  • What are our company’s short, medium, and long term business goals? What direction are we headed? What skill sets will be needed? 
  • What is the state of the job market? What skills and talents are abundant and which are more difficult to procure? 
  • How does our current roster measure up? Where are we strong? What’s lacking? 

This type of analysis will allow you to bolster your ranks for the long-term betterment of the company with every hire. It’s not dissimilar to the way that professional sports GMs approach their job. Sometimes it’s best to draft for a current need, other times it’s better to simply acquire the most talented players and fill in the gaps later. 

Utilize Talent Management to Foster Growth

Your organization will excel if there is talent today and talent tomorrow. Having a strong bench is not simply a matter of getting talent in the door, but of fostering their development

In order to give new talent their best chance to excel, you’ll want to develop a finely-tuned onboarding process. Mentorship programs will transform today’s rookies into tomorrow’s all-stars. Education and development opportunities are also critical elements of talent management. 

The importance of retention should not be overlooked either. Finding and developing top talent requires an expenditure of both time and money. Are too many of your staff members leaving for greener pastures? It’s important to find out why. Exit interviews can be helpful in this regard. 

The Importance of Recruiting

It’s worth clarifying that “recruiting” is not a dirty word. (You may have noticed that it’s part of our name.) In fact, recruiting, done right, is an integral part of a good talent acquisition strategy. The point is that recruiting should be looked at as one element of a long term game plan. Is your strategy designed to ensure that you have an abundance of strength at every position in your organization? Or does it more closely resemble a game of whack-a-mole? If so, it’s time to reassess. 

Having said that, the need for short-term stopgap recruiting is an inevitability. Even companies that do absolutely everything right will find themselves in need of quick solutions from time to time. 

Keys to Successful Recruiting

No matter your recruiting needs, it’s important to have a strong plan in place. Knowing what you’re looking for will significantly increase your chances of finding it. Having a strong network, an attractive compensation package, and a good employer reputation are critical elements as well. 

Goldbeck Recruiting takes a holistic approach to meeting our clients’ needs, maintaining close contact throughout the process. This provides us with a more thorough understanding of their situation, which increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. 

We break our recruiting process down into three phases: 


Here we define the job with a well written job description, identifying key performance indicators and key behavioural indicators. We write an attractive and comprehensive job posting, while also establishing a salary range. 


Utilizing our wide network as well as all available tools, we target both job seekers and those not actively searching. After approaching them with an interesting and persuasive pitch, we attempt to arrange a call or virtual meeting. 


In an expedient yet thorough manner we assess candidate qualifications and skill sets, and check references in preparation for the interview.  

By educating our clients about our approach, we are able to work together toward a successful result. Our case studies highlight the individual approach we take toward each recruitment project. 

We’d like to hear from you and gain an understanding of where you are, where you’re going, and how we can help you get there. 

Contact Goldbeck Recruiting today and tell us about your organizational needs! 

Contact Goldbeck Recruiting