A talent acquisition specialist is an HR professional who specializes in sourcing, identifying and hiring specific types of employees. They are usually employed in highly competitive job markets that are rapidly growing and changing. Certain industries, such as tech, finance and health care, use talent acquisition specialists to fill important positions.

Job Description

Talent acquisition specialist will deliver full life-cycle recruiting. This means they will use their abilities to source, screen and prepare candidates for interviews with hiring managers. They may even conduct final interviews themselves and offer job candidates compensation packages. They are usually the public face of the company during the recruiting process, so they must ensure positive candidate experiences from the initial application to the final on-boarding process. They maintain awareness of competitor practices, industry trends and recruitment standards.

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They collaboratively consult with hiring managers to recommend strategies for identifying and recruiting potential candidates. They help identify key performance factors, develop sourcing pools and establish interviewing criteria. Talent acquisition specialists proactively create applicant pools and talent pipelines by posting job ads through job boards, social media, state employment agencies, professional associations and employee referral programs. They evaluate applications, review resumes, conduct reference checks and complete initial phone interviews to establish a narrow candidate pool. They make recommendations to hiring managers on the top candidates for in-person interviews.

Job Requirements

Talent acquisition specialists usually have a minimum of five years of human resources experience. Most companies prefer candidates who have direct experience with job screening, hiring practices and talent acquisition. Some companies prefer candidates who have demonstrated proficiency with applicant tracking systems (ATS) and human resource information systems (HRIS). Familiarity with Office applications, like Word and Excel, as well as popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are a must.

Some employers will require basic knowledge of labor unions, regulations and practices. Knowledge of contracts, such as non-disclosure agreements, and service level agreements will be helpful. A working knowledge of human resources functional areas and applicable state employment laws is expected. Knowledge of the full life cycle recruitment process is required. They must have comprehensive knowledge of ethical and professional recruitment standards associated with employment in their specific sector or industry.

Degree Requirement

Talent acquisition specialists will almost have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to human resources management. These general degrees teach students how to evaluate internal and external factors in order to understand their impacts of interconnected HR functions. Students will learn how to analyze job processes and staffing reviews as well as conduct employee appraisals and interviews. Classes will teach students about the complex interactions among labor, employment laws and management practices. Other standard courses will cover motivation, communication, personnel management and compliance practices.

Ideally, the student will specialize their degree in talent acquisition or management in order to learn about strategic HR planning, sourcing and staffing. Students will learn how to smoothly advertise, screen, recruit, interview and hire new employees. Knowledge of compensation and benefits practices will help them meet their long-range organizational goals and objectives. Students will learn techniques on how to source and attract qualified candidates, identify future staffing needs and accurately assess and select the right candidates.

Anyone who wants to work as a talent acquisition specialist should consider earning a degree through a program approved by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).