The Key to Successful Talent Acquisition


Author:  Dr. Nancy Zentis, Ph.D.


Talent Acquisition is More than Recruitment!

 When hiring for any role, it’s essential to have the right processes in place to attract, recruit, hire, and onboard skilled new hires. Talent Acquisition is not limited solely to the recruitment process. It includes branding, sourcing, interviewing, and selecting employees with specific talents for specialized positions. Talent Acquisition is an integral part of attracting and hiring high-quality talent for any organization. There are many tools and strategies to aid recruiters in the process of talent acquisition. Pre-employment DISC assessments, which profile candidates to ensure the right fit for the business, are an invaluable asset for any organization. Creating a Talent Acquisition Strategy can save time and money, and help organizations assess their needs, and create a workforce strategy plan to ensure hiring and selection decisions are based on tangible data that can predict current and future talent needs.

What is Talent Acquisition?

Talent Acquisition is the process of identifying, attracting, selecting, and retaining highly qualified candidates for critical roles within an organization. The Talent Acquisition Team’s responsibility is to effectively determine what skills, talent, and roles are need and how to develop individuals within an organization for optimal performance and competitiveness.

Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment

Some organizations believe talent acquisition and recruitment are the same, however, there are critical differences. Recruitment is a process to fill vacancies, while talent acquisition is an ongoing strategy to identify needs, find candidates, create a positive onboarding experience, and develop talent to grow within their role and the organization.

Talent acquisition strategies are common among leading organizations. The areas with the best talent acquisition strategies are those who have learned from experience when faced with critical gaps and skills shortages. Leaders who are committed to and take ownership of key Talent Acquisition processes and maintain a focus on identifying, attracting, hiring, and onboarding top talent, will be successful in attracting and retaining top talent.

Why Talent Acquisition is so Important

Highly skilled talent is becoming more difficult to find due to the current environment and advanced changes in technology, strategy, and market demands.  Top talent is in high demand and the competition is fierce.  An ongoing competitive talent acquisition strategy is necessary to remain competitive within your industry. Developing a talent pool of desirable candidates can help you stay one step ahead of your counterparts.  Some organizations have created strategies to keep a steady pool of candidates in their network.  They communicate with past employees, college graduates, potential candidates, vendors, part-timers, and contract employees to share potential job opportunities.

It’s important to have a Talent Acquisition Strategy as finding and hiring the right people is becoming more and more difficult.  Without the right talent in place, the overall performance of the organization will directly impact your business success. By taking the time to create a workforce strategy to identify your talent needs, you’ll achieve success in creating a positive return on your investment through employee engagement, employer brand, higher retention and less turnover, improved performance, and satisfied customers.

What is the Talent Acquisition Process?


Before you begin the recruitment process, assess the need!  Collect feedback from senior leaders and HR experts to determine what skills sets, qualities, and experience are needed to achieve business goals and achieve competitive advantage. If the position is new, you may have to create a new role to fill this need.  Begin by conducting a job analysis and drafting or updating the job description, required skills, and competencies before you look for potential candidates. Next, identify what positions need to be filled and what is the best way to fill them – internal, external, consultant, temporary assignments, vendors, contractors.  Consider your high potentials and determine if internal employees can move up or be developed to fill the position.  Identify where you can attract qualified candidates – Schools, Linkedin, Competitors, Professional Associations, etc.  Also, consider how you can reach out to those who have worked with you in the past as potential candidates or as those who are in the position to refer others.


To attract competitive talent, the role must be appealing to candidates. Identify your employer brand by communicating your organization’s values and culture.  Create internal processes that demonstrate your values.  A strong value proposition will attract the right candidates for the role.  Your organizational culture and right fit are also key factors candidates consider when choosing to accept a position.


Create a positive candidate experience when recruiting candidates from beginning to end.  Ensure their experience is positive and satisfying.  When using online tools and resources to post the job opening, ensure that candidates receive immediate feedback on their status.  Let candidates know if they are being considered, and if not, encourage them to apply for other positions.  Try to keep their information stored, so you can send future postings to their personal email.  Create an interviewing and selection process that facilitates the selection of the right candidate based on ability, skills, experience, and fit, and provides the candidate with feedback on why they were not selected.


The talent acquisition process does not end at hiring. It is important to implement strategies for the retention of high-quality employees. Open communication, a structured onboarding process, effective employee relations, room for growth, and training and development are all nurturing strategies to help you retain a high-quality workforce.

The Institute of Organization Development offers an online Talent Management Certification Program to help you implement a Talent Management Strategy including Talent Acquisition.  For more information, contact us at, or visit our website at

Dr. Nancy Zentis is the CEO of Institute of OD, with over 30 years of experience as a consultant in the field of Talent Management.  She can be reached at


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