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What Is Talent Acquisition?

Some recruiters specialize in finding high-quality employees in various industries.
Talent acquisition managers may establish contact with people who may be good prospects in the future.
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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2014
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Talent acquisition is a term used to talk about the process of finding, attracting, or otherwise acquiring talented people to work for a company, as well as the steps taken to retain them as employees. Since many companies rely on their employees for success, this aspect of business is extremely important for the longevity of any company. There are many different talent acquisition techniques that may be successful for a company, but given the difficulties with this process, many companies practice recruitment process outsourcing. Otherwise, talent acquisition is usually overseen by a company's human resources department, who may utilize a variety of strategies to get the best talent for the most reasonable cost.

For many businesses that do not require skilled individuals, talent acquisition is not a large problem. It is primarily companies that require workers with specific talents other than being able to perform basic service functions that need good strategies for hiring workers. For example, a graphic design company or a magazine may wish to attract individuals who have a lot of perceived prestige in the field, and a computer company might wish to hire a programmer who has already demonstrated an impressive knack for programming. The key to talent acquisition is usually to hire people who have a lot of potential and mold them into good employees, but it is important to consider the degree of compatibility between the individual and the company as well.

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One way in which companies attempt to hire the best and most talented individuals is by simply being a company that attracts this type of employee. The other main method of acquiring talent involves recruiting at schools, employment events, and other locations likely to attract appropriate employees. Some companies have success using current employees to find additional employees through referral programs, sometimes involving rewarding the employee who gives the referral. Contests, auditions, and other unique strategies can also yield truly exceptional employees.

It is important to note that all employees, regardless of skill level, are in some sense a type of talent. Most companies find that acquiring new employees by a well-defined process reduces the risk of being charged with discrimination. Additionally, having competent and inexpensive skilled employees is the best strategy for some businesses that do not need to be on the cutting edge. Retaining employees for a long time can be a way of building talent, as skills naturally improve over the duration of employment, although this requires the employee in question to have a certain level of devotion to the job. While the method of obtaining talent may be different for each company, most businesses find that investing in finding a successful talent acquisition strategy is worth the expense in the long run.

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