Talent Acquisition Specialist Job Description

A Talent Acquisition Specialist facilitates the effective staffing of a company or organization. They do this by assessing the staffing needs of their company and then identifying and recruiting talented individuals to fill those needs. Talent Acquisition Specialists also participate in the interviewing and hiring process.

Talent Acquisition Specialists typically work in conjunction with the managers of the company or department for which they are hiring. They may work in-house with a company or organization, or they may work for a staffing and recruitment agency. Similar positions in Human Resources are expected to grow about 5 percent through 2024, which is an average growth rate.

 

Talent Acquisition Specialist Duties and Responsibilities 

In order to identify and recruit successful employees, a Talent Acquisition Specialist performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Talent Acquisition Specialists in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.

Work with Hiring Managers

Talent Acquisition Specialists must work very closely with hiring managers to ensure that they adequately understand the needs of the manager and the requirements and expectations of the job. Once they have a good understanding of the position, they can effectively assess applicants in regard to whether or not they would be able to perform well in the position. It’s critical that they develop and keep strong relationships with the hiring managers.

Source Candidates

The Talent Acquisition Specialist must source and recruit candidates using a variety of outlets, such as job postings and social media, while effectively targeting the right kinds of candidates for the job. Throughout this process, they develop relationships with prospective talent. Talent Acquisition Specialists also seek out and recommend creative new ways of sourcing talent.

Screen, Interview, and Assess Candidates

Typically, Talent Acquisition Specialists schedule all interviews and then prepare and advise their candidates beforehand. They review resumes, cover letters, and assess interview performance. Talent Acquisition Specialists must also complete all pre-screening and screening activities for prospective employees, which may include calling previous employers and completing background screens and drug tests.

Assist with Hiring Process

In order to facilitate a smooth on-boarding process for new employees, the Talent Acquisition Specialist will administer and submit all hiring paperwork for new employees as well as assist with the orientation process. They work closely with the Human Resources department during this phase.

Stay Up-to-Date with Industry Trends

Talent Acquisition Specialists must have in-depth knowledge of the industry in which they recruit. This may include having previously worked in that industry or attending educational seminars, networking, and industry events in order to gather such knowledge, as well as learning from hiring managers. It’s important to understand the industry in order to understand the needs of the hiring manager and the qualifications of prospective employees.

 

Talent Acquisition Specialist Skills

In a way, the Talent Acquisition Specialist provides customer service for prospective employees throughout the recruiting process. In order to facilitate a pleasant experience for job candidates, they must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and be able to build relationships. Motivated and ambitious, Talent Acquisition Specialists are also results-driven go-getters. They are well-organized and always professional.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Talent Acquisition Specialists with these core skills. If you want to work as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, focus on the following.

  • Obtaining human resources experience
  • Having recruiting or related experience
  • Possessing industry-specific knowledge
  • Proving success in previous positions
  • Demonstrating proficiency in Microsoft Office applications

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Talent Acquisition Specialist toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification
  • Sector-specific experience
  • Experience recruiting through full lifecycle
  • Prior experience working with Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

 

Talent Acquisition Specialist Q & A

Interested in a career as a Talent Acquisition Specialist? Sarah Dabby, head of talent at SaaS firm ClickTime, says it is an “incredibly rewarding” profession. “It’s a win-win role,” she says. “You’re giving candidates a chance at landing their dream job, and you’re giving the company a chance at landing their dream employee.” We talked Dabby to find out more about being a Talent Acquisition Specialist. Here’s what she had to say.

What’s the most rewarding part about being a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

The value you’re providing to everyone involved is tangible and massive. It’s incredibly rewarding to be in a position where you get to see everyone’s hopes and dreams realized.

What is the biggest challenge faced by Talent Acquisition Specialists?

Being a Talent Acquisition Specialist requires a lot of patience, a lot of persistence and handling a fair amount of rejection. Many times, you talk to dozens or even hundreds of candidates before finding an ideal match. It’s like dating: Sometimes the company is more into the employee. Sometimes the employee’s more into the company. Sometimes there just isn’t a mutual fit. And sometimes there’s an ideal fit that doesn’t pan out for some reason.

When time drags on, it’s easy to feel discouraged, or like all the work you’re putting into the job isn’t paying off. But when the ideal candidate walks through the door, is excited about your company and accepts an offer – and you realize all that patience, persistence and rejection paid off – there’s no better feeling in the world.

What skills do you use every day?

Communication skills are key. The ability to write nice emails, lead great phone interviews and make the candidate feel welcome when they arrive for an in-person interview are crucial to being a Talent Acquisition Specialist.

Who succeeds in this job?

Connectors – if you’re already the friend introducing all your friends to one another, setting people up on dates, introducing family member to potential employers or vice versa, this job is for you. A genuine interest in helping people realize their goals is a huge component of talent acquisition, and having a natural disposition toward wanting to help others is key.

How should someone prepare for a career as a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

There are hundreds of pathways into talent acquisition, and no one route is the right way to get there. Any job or environment that allows you to connect with people on a daily basis is a good start. Life or work experience before entering the talent acquisition realm is helpful; it’s important to be able to relate with people from different backgrounds and experiences, so any accumulated life experience can only help.

Are there any misconceptions people have about being a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

Talent acquisition specialists often have a slimy reputation for being overly sales-y or predatory, especially when it comes to third-party firms. The reputation is unfortunate. but not entirely undeserved; many third-party firms work under strict quotas, so their work becomes more akin to a salesperson than a matchmaker, and then start recruiting in ways that can come across as morally questionable or outright objectionable. Those firms tend to be few and far-between; listen to your gut during the interview process, and you’ll probably avoid this type of environment altogether.

 

Talent Acquisition Specialist Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web 

The HR Capitalist – Insight from a young HR professional

Fistful of Talent – A blog about leading HR into the modern era

HR Ringleader – A blog from a major HR professional

Industry Groups 

Society for Human Resource Management – Leading organization for Human Resource professionals

National Human Resources Association – Society of Human Resources professionals

Academy of Human Resource Development – Society for the study of the Human Resources field

Employee Relations Specialist Books 

The HR Answer Book – A comprehensive guide to human resources

The Essential HR Handbook – A handbook for HR professionals

The Big Book of HR – Information and resources for HR professionals

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