An untimely vacancy in a critical position could mean big problems for your business if left unfilled for long. The quick fix — an immediate hire — may be your only option. But attracting and retaining top talent in today’s competitive marketplace requires taking a more strategic approach to talent acquisition.

A comprehensive talent acquisition strategy meets this need, going beyond standard HR hiring functions to encompass a broader, more forward-thinking plan of action designed to identify and address the long-term talent needs of a company.

a proactive approach to talent

While traditional recruiting efforts are aimed primarily at addressing short-term hiring needs, talent acquisition is concerned with the bigger picture. Acquisition professionals analyze business operations and forecast staffing needs months in advance to account for new projects or periods of increased growth. Preparing ahead of time allows for a more seamless hiring process and ensures no time is wasted in getting the right candidates.

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

Talent acquisition professionals also take on additional assignments that are separate from standard HR tasks, including retention, performance assessments and continued staff development. To meet this growing demand, many organizations separate talent acquisition from HR entirely in order 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. Companies with successful talent acquisition strategies treat talent as an audience to be reached, and craft targeted messaging accordingly. By taking into account the latest trends in worker expectations, talent acquisition teams 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.

Visit our business insights blog to learn more about the importance of a talent acquisition strategy, and why your business needs one.