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The Battle of Talent Acquisition vs. HR: Understanding the Key Differences

July 8, 2022

Reem Al-Tamimi

Reem Al-Tamimi

Content Writer

As businesses expand and evolve, they often face a perplexing question: what's the deal with HR and talent acquisition, and which one should they prioritize? Both departments are vital when it comes to recruitment and employee management, but they serve distinct functions.

But fear not. We're here to help you navigate this puzzling landscape! In this blog, we'll take a deep dive into the battle of talent acquisition vs. HR. Buckle up, folks. It's time to settle this once and for all!

What is Talent Acquisition?

Talent acquisition plays a crucial role in ensuring that a company has the best people to achieve its goals. It involves a multifaceted approach that goes beyond merely filling job openings. Talent acquisition teams have to identify the skills, experience, and qualities required for a specific role and then identify and attract potential candidates who possess those attributes.

One common question that arises when discussing talent acquisition is whether it's a part of HR. The answer is that while talent acquisition is a subset of HR, it's a distinct process with its own set of objectives and methodologies.

The talent acquisition process involves several fundamental steps, including lead generation and sourcing, recruiting candidates, taking interviews and assessments, reference checking, taking final hiring decisions, and onboarding employees. Each step plays an essential role in ensuring that the organization is hiring the right candidates who can help drive business success.

Fundamental Steps for Successful Talent Acquisition

Are you tired of sifting through countless resumes and interviewing unqualified candidates? But where do you even begin? Understanding the fundamental steps of successful talent acquisition is the first step in the right direction. From identifying job requirements and sourcing top talent to conducting effective interviews and onboarding new hires. These steps will help you attract and retain the best candidates. 

So, whether you're a seasoned HR professional or just starting out, we’ve got you covered.  Let’s explore how you can ace the recruitment game and stand out in the talent acquisition vs. HR battle!

A recruiter planning talent acquisition

Lead Generation and Sourcing

Acquiring new talent requires a series of steps, starting with lead generation and sourcing. This involves finding potential candidates and obtaining their information to assess their fit for your company. You can do this through various means, such as job boards, social media platforms like LinkedIn, or recruiting agencies. 

After compiling a list of prospects, you can then screen them through resume reviews, interviews, and assessments. The key is to ensure that the candidates meet your company's requirements and fit your culture. In this article, we'll dive deeper into the fundamental steps for successful talent acquisition, so you can recruit top talent that propels your business forward.

Recruiting Candidates

Recruiting candidates is a crucial part of talent acquisition. But how do you ensure that you're finding the best candidates for your organization? It all starts with having a well-defined recruitment process. 

The first step is to identify the job requirements and determine the necessary skills and experience needed for the position. After that, it's time to craft a compelling job description and post it online or share it with recruiters. With a solid recruitment process in place, you can attract top talent and make sure you're hiring the best fit for your organization.

Taking Interviews and Assessments

To find the best talent for a company, building relationships through interviews and assessments is the third step of talent acquisition. This process allows companies to not only evaluate potential employees but also to start building a relationship with them and see if they would be a good fit for the company culture. Interviews allow companies to ask questions and learn more about potential employees, while assessments help determine if the candidate has the skills required for the job. By using these tools and building relationships, companies can find the best possible candidates for their open positions.

Reference Checking

Checking references is a crucial step as it helps employers verify the information provided by job candidates. It also aids employers in determining candidates' qualifications, work history, and character. 

Moreover, reference checking helps identify potential red flags, like unexplained gaps in employment or disciplinary issues. Employers can check references in several ways, including contacting former employers and professional references and using online resources. It's essential to ask about the candidate's job duties, performance, attitude, skills, and abilities when checking references. Employers should also consider the time and resources required to check references when deciding to hire a candidate.

A candidate being offered to work

Making Final Hiring Decisions

For an organization to succeed, it is vital to have the right employees in the right positions. Talent acquisition is all about finding and hiring the best talent for a company. The fifth step of talent acquisition is making final hiring decisions. It involves reviewing all the information collected during the previous steps and deciding who to hire. Here are several factors that should be considered when making a final hiring decision:

  • The company should review the candidate's qualifications and ensure they meet the position's requirements.
  • The company should evaluate the candidate's personality to see if they would fit the company culture well.
  • The candidates' references should be checked to ensure they are qualified and trustworthy.

Once all this information has been reviewed, the decision-maker must decide which candidate is the best fit for the organization.

Onboarding Employees

Let's talk about the final step in the talent acquisition process: employee onboarding. This step is crucial for setting up new hires for success in their roles. It's not just about completing paperwork and introducing new employees to their team members. Effective onboarding involves providing a comprehensive orientation to the company's culture and history, as well as helping new hires feel comfortable and confident in their new roles.

Remember, onboarding is not just about the new employee - it's also about the company. A smooth onboarding experience can help new hires become productive team members more quickly and contribute to the overall success of the organization. Now that we've covered the ins and outs of talent acquisition, let's shift our focus to the HR department and its important roles and responsibilities. And one common question that comes up is whether talent acquisition is a part of HR.

Roles and Responsibilities of the HR Department

HR is a critical part of any company's success, with responsibilities that are ever-evolving and complex. Some of the essential tasks that HR performs include onboarding new employees, conducting performance reviews, tracking employee leave, and managing payroll. It is vital for companies to have a clear understanding of these tasks to ensure their smooth operation. Here are some of the tasks your HR department is busy completing every day:

  • Recruiting candidates for the hiring
  • Processing of payrolls of employees
  • Conducting disciplinary actions
  • Updating policies
  • Maintaining employee records
  • Conducting benefit analysis.

From Recruiting Candidates to Hiring

If you are responsible for the HR department, the initial step is to identify your company's requirements. Once you have determined your needs, you can start recruiting potential candidates. It's crucial to develop a clear and concise job description to attract the best candidates. Once you've found some promising candidates, it's time to start the interview process. You'll want to ask questions that help you evaluate whether the candidate is a good fit for the position and the company culture. If the candidate meets all of your requirements, it's time to make a job offer and hope that they accept.

A talent acquisition specialist is investing in a candidate.

Processing of Payrolls of Employees

To keep a business running smoothly, it's crucial to ensure that each employee is paid accurately and on time. This responsibility falls on the human resources department, which must process payrolls with precision and efficiency. The second step in HR involves processing payrolls, which can be a challenging task. 

There are several factors to consider, including hours worked, overtime pay, benefits, taxes, and deductions. Moreover, each country has its own regulations that govern payroll procedures, which HR must stay updated on. Despite being time-consuming and complex, payroll processing is essential for the seamless functioning of a business. Therefore, the human resources department must be diligent in processing payments accurately and on time.

Conducting Disciplinary Actions

Effective employee discipline is crucial for maintaining a productive and professional work environment. The third step in the HR process involves a range of disciplinary actions that may be necessary to address employee misconduct or poor performance. These actions can range from verbal warnings to written warnings, suspension, and, ultimately, termination.

The HR department must ensure that all disciplinary actions are documented accurately and kept on record. This documentation should include details of the incident, the actions taken by the employee, and the disciplinary actions taken by the employer. By keeping accurate records, HR can track patterns of behavior and monitor the effectiveness of disciplinary actions. Plus, it allows employees to understand the reasons behind their discipline and gives them an opportunity to correct their behavior in the future.

Updating Policies

The fourth step in the HR department is all about keeping policies up to date. This might sound dull, but it's critical for a company's success. Policies should be reviewed regularly, including the employee handbook and any changes to state or federal laws. Job descriptions also need to be accurate and up-to-date to ensure that employees know what's expected of them. 

Finally, don't forget to update training programs to keep everyone on the same page. Keeping policies current and consistent helps everyone in the company to work towards the same goals and promotes a positive work environment.

Maintaining Employee Records and Conducting Benefit Analysis

To keep your business running smoothly, it's important for the HR department to maintain accurate employee records. This is the fifth step in HR and involves tracking employee information, updating files, and ensuring that all documentation is up-to-date. The HR team also conducts regular audits of employee benefits and payroll to identify and correct any discrepancies immediately. In case of an emergency, the HR department maintains up-to-date employee contact information for quick and easy communication.

A recruiter is thinking about the topic of talent acquisition vs. HR

Talent Acquisition vs. HR: Key Differences

When it comes to managing a company's workforce, there's often confusion between HR and talent acquisition. Are they the same thing, or are they distinct functions? Let's dive into the talent acquisition vs. HR debate.

HR, or human resources, manages and supports the company's existing workforce. This includes everything from onboarding new employees to managing employee benefits and payroll. On the other hand, talent acquisition's primary goal is to identify and hire the best talent to fill specific roles in the company. While HR may occasionally need to hire new employees, talent acquisition is entirely focused on this task.

In terms of scope, HR is responsible for a wide range of tasks, including managing employee relations, benefits, and compliance with labor laws. Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is more narrowly focused on recruitment and hiring. Talent acquisition professionals use various strategies to attract and engage candidates, such as employer branding and social media recruitment.

However, differences don't stop there. HR typically takes a long-term, holistic view of workforce management, while talent acquisition focuses on immediate hiring needs. HR professionals work to create a positive work culture and ensure employee satisfaction and retention, while talent acquisition specialists concentrate on filling open positions quickly and efficiently.

Metrics are also a significant difference between HR and talent acquisition. HR measures success through employee engagement, retention rates, and productivity levels. In contrast, talent acquisition's success is measured by time-to-fill, quality of hire, and candidate satisfaction.

So, what's the verdict in the talent acquisition vs. HR debate? Both functions are critical for effective workforce management but have different primary purposes, scopes, strategies, and metrics. Understanding these differences is essential for companies looking to optimize workforce management strategies and achieve recruitment and retention goals.

Final Thoughts

Talent acquisition vs. HR - it's like comparing a casting director to a stage manager! HR manages the current workforce and all employee-related matters, while talent acquisition is like the casting director, responsible for finding and hiring the best talent for the company's needs.

To ensure the long-term success of a company, HR takes a more holistic approach to workforce management. Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is all about filling open positions as quickly and efficiently as possible.

One way to ensure you find the best talent for your company is by leveraging an end-to-end hiring platform that makes the talent acquisition process easier and more efficient. With the right platform, you can streamline your hiring process, save time and resources, and find the right talent that will help your company succeed in the long run.

EVA-REC is an award-winning ATS that helps talent acquisition specialists hire top talent at scale. It makes it far easier for teams to find, attract, and recruit top talent each and every time. With world-class integrations and AI features, EVA-REC helps companies drive merit-based, objective, and fair hiring practices that minimize bias without dehumanizing the hiring process. Request a free demo and see how our ATS can help you save time and make recruiting painless and hassle-free. Want to see EVA-REC in action? Get a free walk-through demo here!

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Reem Al-Tamimi

Reem Al-Tamimi

Recruit better, faster, and fairer

Join hundreds of recruiting teams who increased their hiring success and recruited winning teams with Elevatus.

Request a demo