Talent Acquisition Partner

Preston Sharpston, PHR, SHRM-CP
Hiring the right people is critical to your company’s success. Talent acquisition partners can play a major role in your mission to find the best and the brightest talent for your workforce. In this article, you’ll learn what a talent acquisition partner is, what they do and how to become one.

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What Is a Talent Acquisition Partner?

Talent acquisition partners (or “TA partners”) are professionals whose focus is helping companies find, attract and hire top talent. Typically reporting into a company’s human resources (HR) department, TA partners act as the main point of contact for both candidates and hiring managers throughout the talent acquisition (or “TA”) life cycle.

Talent Acquisition Partners vs. Recruiters

Similar to recruiters, TA partners execute various recruitment functions, such as sourcing candidates, interviewing job applicants, and extending job offers. However, there are some notable differences between the two.

Recruiters work to fill a company’s live vacancies and typically focus on immediate hiring needs. While recruiters can certainly be strategic, they aren’t usually responsible for developing long-term talent strategies and processes.

Talent acquisition partners are not only focused on recruitment but work to optimize a company’s overall talent acquisition function. In addition to recruitment, TA partners often own some or all aspects of:

Key Responsibilities and Duties of a Talent Acquisition Partner

Like any other role, the exact duties of a TA partner will vary by company. If you are thinking about hiring a talent acquisition partner or would like to become one, here is a breakdown of the typical duties of someone in this role:

Sourcing and Recruitment

  • Market open positions via the company’s careers page and job boards such as Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter
  • Source candidates utilizing social media, resume databases, Boolean searches, industry contacts, professional networks, etc.
  • Engage with active and passive talent and connect them to current job opportunities
  • Prescreen candidates via phone, video, and/or in-person interviews
  • Evaluate applicants and submit top candidates for hiring manager review
  • Schedule interviews with hiring managers and other stakeholders
  • Anticipate future talent needs and work to develop pools of passive candidates to fill vacancies

Talent Advisory

  • Partner with hiring managers to identify recruitment needs and candidate “must haves” and draft job descriptions
  • Communicate with interview panels to ensure preparedness during the interview process
  • Partner with hiring managers to identify competency questions for interview consistency and quality
  • Work closely with business leaders to influence effective recruiting approaches and set realistic expectations on time to fill, compensation, candidate pool quality, and market feedback
  • Provide training and coaching to hiring managers and junior recruiting staff

Employer Branding

  • Collaborate with marketing, human resources and business leaders to establish an employer brand identity
  • Manage the company’s profiles on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and other talent-related websites
  • Build awareness and promote recruiting efforts through social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter
  • Work with marketing to develop advertisement materials, such as flyers, digital media, and promotional products
  • Build and maintain positive relationships with external agencies, colleges, vendors, associations, and other bodies who might route talent to the organization or aid in TA processes

Candidate Experience

  • Manage candidate expectations and engage talent throughout the hiring process
  • Collaborate with human resources and business leaders to design the company’s hiring process, from application to hire
  • Communicate regularly with candidates
  • Perform research to evaluate the general needs and opinions of talent
  • Draft and utilize templates for TA communications, such as application received messages, knockout notices, interview requests, rejection emails, and offer letters

Process Improvement and Development

  • Partner with business leaders to develop talent acquisition practices, processes and systems
  • Track and report on talent acquisition metrics, such as time-to-fill, offer acceptance rate, cost per hire, etc.
  • Work to ensure diverse, inclusive, and equitable hiring practices
  • Oversee the completion of various talent acquisition projects and initiatives

Looking for a New Career? How to Become a Talent Acquisition Partner

If you enjoy working with people and helping others and like the idea of having a major impact on business success, you may enjoy being a talent acquisition partner! While a career in talent acquisition can be rewarding, you’ll need several things in order to become a TA partner.

Education

Although it is possible to become a talent acquisition partner with a high school diploma, the majority of TA partners have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources, or a similar area. It’s worthwhile to note, however, that one can become a talent acquisition partner with a degree in just about anything.

Experience

While there are many routes to becoming a talent acquisition partner, gaining experience in full-cycle recruitment is critical. Many TA partners have worked in recruiting or human resources, and anywhere from two to eight years of experience in recruiting, sourcing, marketing or HR is typically required.

Certification

There are many certification programs for TA professionals to choose from. While not required for a career in talent acquisition, a certification can set you apart from other candidates. Some bodies where you can obtain certification in the United States include:

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About Talent Acquisition Partners

Is a talent acquisition partner the same as a hiring manager?
Not typically. Talent acquisition partners are responsible for a company’s ongoing strategy to find, attract and recruit top talent. The term “hiring manager” refers to the person who makes the final hiring decision for a given vacancy and manages the new employee once they are hired. If a TA partner is looking to hire someone to their own team, they would then be a hiring manager.
Are talent acquisitions partners contractors or in-house HR employees?
They can be both! Typically, TA partners are exempt-level employees who report into a company’s HR department. However, there are also talent acquisition consultants who function similarly to TA partners. These individuals are often contractors.
Preston Sharpston, PHR, SHRM-CP

Preston is a dual-certified People and Culture professional with nearly 6 years in the HR space. While Preston is experienced in many areas of HR, his expertise lies in employee experience, talent management, talent acquisition, management and leadership, and employee relations.

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