What Does a Talent Acquisition Specialist Do?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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A talent acquisition specialist is a type of recruiting professional that aids in the task of locating and qualifying potential employment candidates for hire by a specific employer. A specialist of this type may operate as an independent contractor, working closely with key personnel within each client firm to develop a strategy for locating talented individuals for employment by that client. A talent acquisition specialist may also be a full time employee with a given firm, working with managers, human resource personnel and others to research, locate, and qualify individuals for prospective employment in a wide range of positions within the company structure.

One of the chief functions of a person in this position is to conduct research that helps to identify sources of potential employment candidates. This will usually involve utilizing a number of methods such as building relationships with professional associations, employment agencies, and even making use of web sites that allow individuals to post professional resumes online. The idea behind the research is to identify talented individuals who may be a good fit for both the positions open within the company structure as well as the culture of the business.


Another key role of the talent acquisition specialist is to engage in the task of screening potential employees who are located and contacted for interviews. Typically, the specialist will conduct the initial interview. Assuming the individual passes this first layer of qualification, further interviews with human resource personnel and possibly departmental managers can be scheduled. In this scenario, the specialist helps to screen potential candidates, making it possible to weed out those who are not likely to be a good fit for the employer. This allows managers to ultimately only see candidates who are highly likely to be right for the jobs currently open.

While the exact duties of a talent acquisition specialist will vary based on the needs of the company, just about every scenario will require the specialist to locate and screen potential job candidates in a manner that focuses attention on candidates with the right skill sets, experience, background, and attitude to be as asset to the business. From attending networking events to making use of online tools, the specialist is constantly on the lookout for qualified individuals who could fill current and future positions within the company structure. The work of the specialist is ongoing, since the goal is to maintain a listing of screened candidates that can be called upon to fill positions that are suddenly vacant, or to aid in increasing staffing when and as the company expands.


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Post 3

I always thought of this in terms of entertainment companies, like people who make movies or modeling agencies. I guess because of the term "talent" which is what they call it in those industries.

It's a really important role, especially if it's a film with a lot of unknown actors, or a small modeling agency that can't hire many famous models. You need to know how to get the right people for the job, or nothing else will go right.

Post 2

@browncoat - Depending on the company, I'm sure it's a mix of the two. I know people in IT who have been given the wine and dine treatment, and it's certainly no myth that sports people get that kind of treatment if they are being recruited.

Not to mention that people over a certain level of management are going to be treated really well when someone wants them to jump ship and take command somewhere else.

The other thing is, that if you're a talent acquisition specialist, I imagine you'd be doing this kind of work at least some of the time, rather than just interviewing office staff, since any human resources worker could do that. A company must have a real push to hire the best people if they are going to use a specialist to find the best talent.

Post 1

I know this might be a tad unrealistic, but this makes me think of those high powered internet companies who are always looking for the next wunderkind to power their innovations and designs. I kind of imagine that this kind of job would be competitive, with the people in it vying to get the best talent by wining and dining them and offering them all kinds of perks.

It always looks so good on the TV, and it makes you wonder what it would really be like. But I suspect that the average talent acquisition specialist would just be interviewing people and picking the best out of the heap, without any of that kind of excitement.

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