I just need to vent for a moment and tell you why I so dislike the title Talent Acquisition that many companies are slapping on their recruiting departments.

Maybe it’s just me, but ‘acquisition’ sounds a lot like a purchasing function. And perhaps this is symptomatic of the underlying challenge that these businesses have with recruitment. If you are looking to purchase some talent, you might put up some postings, clearly stating the skills and experience that you’re looking to buy. Then when the sellers of talent come to show you their wares, you’ll scrutinize them carefully and try to negotiate the lowest, fair price for the product. Sound familiar? Wonder why the talent for sale seems mediocre, or doesn’t show up at all?

What exactly is wrong with calling recruitment ‘Recruitment’? Does it sounds a little salesy, maybe too aggressive? Competition for talent is intense. A sales strategy and some creative aggression is exactly what you need. You are not purchasing the skills and effort of the individual, you are crafting and pitching an opportunity to a person who has options and wants to be inspired. If anyone is purchasing in this equation, it is the ‘Talent’.

Start thinking about your recruitment function as marketing and sales. Job descriptions should tell the prospect why the job is great, and what it’ll take to succeed. Interviews should balance qualification with a sincere effort to assess fit for both you and the candidate. Treat prospective employees like your most important new customers and partners and you’ll see your ‘Talent Acquisition’ challenges disappear and your ‘Recruitment’ success begin.




Views: 1224

Comment by Tim Spagnola on November 4, 2011 at 3:52pm

@Kristina - I have to say I'm with you on this rant. I never was a fan of the word acquisition myself (even when used in a sports trade scenario). You make a strong case as to exactly how I feel when I hear the term. I get why it is used, but still don't like it. Recruitment is Recruitment and at the end of the day inhouse/outside we are all doing the same thing- working with people and trying to make connections. Not acquisitions.

Comment by Cora Mae Lengeman on November 4, 2011 at 4:10pm

I so agree!  The title of Talent Aquisition puts the thought in my mind of:  "let's line 'em up and take a look... who do I want to buy today"?  I have heard several stupid titles in throughout my career but Talent Aquisition is at the top! 

Seriously, who made that one up? 

Comment by Sandra McCartt on November 4, 2011 at 5:55pm
I have thrown verbal fits about this more than stupid title and the arrogant little morons who think talent acquisition specialist is sexier than recruiter. In my opinion it makes you sound like a pimp or a junior recruiter at best.
Comment by Valentino Martinez on November 5, 2011 at 2:15pm

I agree Talent Acquisitioner sounds too antiseptic. I can live with Recruiter but would much prefer Talent Magnet.  

However, Talent Catcher would be the apt descriptor of what recruiters do plus it has more FEAR of the LORD to it.  In a way, we're not too far removed from what Dog or Hog Catchers do...(plus they can get a uniform and critter-catcher-snare stick—or a Tranquilliser Gun to get the job done).

Comment by Robert Fanshawe on November 8, 2011 at 12:31am

Agreed - its why I left Acquisition out of my company tag line. In place is Sourcing.


I reckon Talent Sorcerer as I dont about anyone else but I am constantly asked to produce miracles every day! 


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