What is a Talent Acquisition Specialist ?

That is a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

A talent acquisition specialist has been compared to a recruiter, as they do similar jobs in recruiting and onboarding new talent at a company. Depending on the size and structure of the business, the talent acquisition specialist may either function as its own department or as part of the HR department.

The talent acquisition specialist jobs takes it a step further than a recruiter, though, and strategizes and does the work necessary to attract top tier talent for the company, such as new executives and leaders. This includes focusing on long term HR planning, rather than simply filling positions without much thought for the future. 

A talent acquisition specialist manages the entire recruitment and onboarding process. If the company is larger, there may be several people with this job title who handle different parts of the process, while at a smaller company, there may be fewer talent acquisition specialists who wear more hats, so to speak. A good talent acquisition specialist may also take an advisory role in the company as well as a recruiting heavy role. 

Tasks of a Talent Acquisition Specialist

A talent acquisition specialist works on many smaller duties that make up a great recruitment strategy and onboarding process. These tasks vary and encompass everything from preparing a job description to onboarding new hires and handling the candidate experience. 

Preparing the Job Description

One of the first things that needs to be done, of course, is preparing a job description for the role that you are looking to fill. It is important that these are written by not only an expert in the field that the job is in, but by an expert in HR and recruiting. This is because job descriptions need to convey what is required of the candidate, but also need to comply with all local, relevant laws.

Writing a job description often requires collaboration with the hiring manager– the hiring manager may write the job description and then have the talent acquisition manager review and polish it, or the talent acquisition manager might write the job description with input from the hiring manager instead.

Sourcing Potential Candidates

Candidate sourcing can sometimes be simple– a talent acquisition manager may only need to post a job description and then sift through the influx of applications received. However, in other cases, it may be necessary to take a more direct approach and go out and find the candidates directly.

This can take many forms, including visiting job fairs or universities. Most of the time, talent acquisition specialists rely on industry contacts and work with headhunters, current employees, and more in order to gain referrals.

Screening Potential Candidates

Once there is a good sized pool of job candidates, a talent acquisition specialist must begin to screen applicants and determine whether or not they would be a good fit for the role– and if they should move forward with an interview. This is a time consuming art of the process, and many talent acquisition specialists enlist the help of technology with applicant tracking programs.

These programs allow you to manage your search by focusing on keywords. If it is decided that a candidate is a good fit, the talent acquisition specialist will have to reach out to do some additional screening. This is usually through an initial phone call or an email conversation. 

Scheduling Interviews

A talent acquisition specialist will then help the candidates that have been screened throughout the interview and hiring process. This includes recommending candidates to the hiring managers and then scheduling interviews from the list that the hiring managers decides they would like to meet with.

During the interview process, a talent acquisition specialist will also advise the hiring managers and ensure that they are following local laws, such as anti discrimination hiring laws. They may also assist the hiring manager in reviewing candidates throughout this process. 

Make the Job Offer

While, typically, a hiring manager or whoever interviewed the candidates will send the job offer, a talent acquisition specialist will help to ensure that the offer is written correctly. They will write it so that it is compliant with any employment or hiring laws, as well as so that it reflects the job description properly.

A talent acquisition specialist may also work with the compensation department to determine a fair salary for the candidate, and will make sure that the proper salary and benefits are included in the job offer. 

New Hire Onboarding

If a hire is made, it is then the responsibility of the talent acquisition specialist to coordinate the onboarding process. This is a task that is typically handled by HR, though if a talent acquisition specialist has already been with a candidate during the interview process, it makes sense for them to continue to help them through the remainder of the process after the job offer. The talent acquisition specialist has already been acting as the face of HR for this employee.

Onboarding may include anything from paperwork to informing them of their benefits details, to ensuring that the new hire is comfortable in the company and in their role.


Reporting is also key in recruiting and hiring. There are different laws or requirements in relation to this, depending on the country in which a company is located or hiring in.

It is the talent acquisition specialist who handles doing this reporting and ensuring that it is done according to the requirements. The talent acquisition specialist is also the one who keeps these numbers in the first place.

Succession Planning

Succession planning is a strategy and a process for passing on leadership roles and for replacement planning. It can be used in order to identify and develop potential new leaders within the company so that these candidates can be moved into leadership roles when they become vacant. A talent acquisition specialist will participate in this type of planning and provide strategic advice and input.

They might also hire other candidates with the expectation that this candidate could qualify for or work themself into a higher level leadership role down the road. This is another example of how a good talent acquisition manager is strategic and forward thinking. 

Becoming a Talent Acquisition Specialist

If you are looking into becoming a talent acquisition specialist, there are a few things you will need to consider. Firstly, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related human resources field, and you should also have at least five years of experience in a related field.

Take a look below to see more of the qualifications and requirements of someone in this job position. 

Qualifications of a Talent Acquisition Specialist 

As mentioned previously, a talent acquisition specialist needs to have some sort of HR related experience to assist them in this new career, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business, or something similar. It is also important that a candidate have a solid understanding of business and employment law, as this is something that will come up in their daily work– they should also be flexible and able to learn and follow new developments in employment law.

Experience with software such as applicant tracking systems is not expressly required, but can be greatly helpful and could also differentiate a candidate from others in the candidate pool. These types of software can be very useful when a talent acquisition specialist is screening applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a recruiter and a talent acquisition specialist?

A recruiter focuses on filling vacant positions, while a talent acquisition specialist is constantly working on long term planning in order to find the best potential candidates for your company. Talent acquisition is specifically looking for appropriate candidates with a very specific skillset and top talent.  

How do you become a talent acquisition specialist?

In order to become a talent acquisition specialist, you must have a bachelor’s degree as well as a minimum of five years of relevant work experience. Your bachelor’s degree should be in a field such as human resources or human resources management. 

Is talent acquisition the same as HR?

A talent acquisition employee can be part of the human resources department, acting as a function of HR, as they do handle similar strategies. Other times, talent acquisition is a different team that works in conjunction with the HR team. 

Is a talent acquisition specialist a recruiter?

These are similar positions, but they are not the same– a talent acquisition specialist handles ongoing strategy and works closely to find great talent for the company, while a recruiter specifically handles filling vacancies within the company when staffing needs arise.