Simply put, a talent acquisition specialist is a recruiting professional who specializes in identifying staffing needs of their company and then sourcing and hiring talented people to fill those roles.
Depending on the size of the company, there are many different types of recruiters. Some companies may only need one Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist to handle the full-cycle (meaning from job inception to onboarding). In contrast, other companies may have multiple recruiters focused on one task, like screening candidates to interview.
Talent acquisition specialists are employed either with a larger organization or recruitment agency. They work with department managers to identify talent needs and create job descriptions.
A talent acquisition specialists' roles will vary from company to company and they may spend some of their time finding and screening candidates for interviews with hiring managers. Recruiters will typically assist with or manage the entire hiring and onboarding process. Additionally, they will need to have in-depth knowledge of industry trends with the vertical they are recruiting in. That means the talent acquisition specialist may need to attend educational seminars or industry (live or virtual) events, and learn from their peers about the industry they are hiring in.
It's important to be knowledgeable about an industry, and the roles they are hiring for because recruiters may need to be able to sell the industry, company, product, and location to the potential new hire. If the talent acquisition specialist can sell the role to the best talent in the market, the company will likely do well, and the recruiter will be rewarded as the company continues to achieve goals and succeed.
A talent acquisition specialist will typically have about five years of recruiting experience. While this will vary from company to company, most organizations prefer candidates with experience sourcing and managing the hiring process. Early in your career, choose roles that will give you a variety of recruiting experience.
Pro Tip: Spend some time thinking about the type of organization you want to work in as it may be difficult to transition from industry to industry.
If you are not familiar with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), now is an excellent time to learn about the options available. Most employers will expect a talent acquisition specialist to have some experience managing their talent pools with an ATS.
Additionally, anyone in recruiting should be well versed in using software applications like Microsoft Word and Excel, Google Docs, Slack, Gem, Donut, Greenhouse, Erin, and of course, LinkedIn Recruiter.
Skills are not born with; they are developed. So, we created a list of the top skills that will provide you with some next steps to focus on as you evaluate potential gaps in your experience or resume.
It goes without saying that most employers are looking to hire the most talented people to help their organization grow. These people have the perfect blend of soft and hard skills along with deep hiring experience.
If you are looking to change your career and join the fun world of recruitment, you will want to focus your time on learning the foundational skills all the great recruiters have. You need a hands-on recruiting experience. By starting at the bottom, you will learn the fundamental building blocks that you will take with you as you grow into a talent acquisition role:
Learn how to use an Applicant Tracking System
If you have not acquired the desired amount of experience or skills to be a talent acquisition specialist, consider learning the ins and outs of recruiting as a human resource coordinator or a talent acquisition coordinator. These roles will help build the recruiting skills you need to be a successful talent acquisition specialist. Find a human resource coordinator or recruiting associate jobs here.
If you have some experience in recruiting start searching for talent acquisition jobs now.
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