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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.

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.

Need help finding talent? See how an ATS (application tracking system) can make recruiting easier

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:

Looking to Elevate Your Recruiting Strategy? How to Hire a Talent Acquisition Partner

If your company is looking for ways to improve your hiring strategy, hiring a talent acquisition partner might be the right way to go. One of the most important parts of approaching this is having a clear understanding of the type of person you’re looking for. After that, it’s a matter of following the typical steps in the hiring process.

Step 1: Include the Right Qualifications and Experience Level in the Job Description

Most talent acquisition roles require a bachelor’s degree. There’s some flexibility here, as many different degrees can adequately prepare someone to work in talent acquisition. 

Here are just a few of the most common ones:

  • Human resources
  • Business administration
  • Psychology
  • Communication
  • Marketing

Depending on what your company is looking for, you may choose to consider candidates who don’t have a four-year degree but do have equivalent experience in recruiting. Many TA partners start in other HR or recruiting roles before moving into talent acquisition, so they can be very qualified candidates.

Step 2: Look for People With the Necessary Skills

This step comes into play during multiple stages of the hiring process: writing a job description, screening candidates, and interviewing. In addition to attracting TA partner candidates with the required skills, it’s also vital to assess them to make sure they really possess those skills. Behavioral interviewing questions can be an effective way to learn about how candidates have demonstrated their skills in real life. 

The following skills are necessary for TA partners to do their job effectively:

  • Organization
  • People management
  • Strategic thinking
  • Communication, including presentation skills 
  • Multitasking, prioritizing, and meeting deadlines
  • Using data analytics to measure recruiting success
  • Using technology to find and hire talent
  • Marketing (promoting jobs and strengthening employer brand)

Step 3: Follow the Usual Steps in the Hiring Process

Once you know what you’re looking for in a talent acquisition partner, the hiring process is fairly straightforward. Just approach it as you would any other role you’re hiring for. Post the job online, reach out to passive candidates, collect applications, conduct interviews, evaluate candidates, and eventually make a hiring decision. Then, be prepared for your new TA partner to help refine your hiring strategy so it’s even more effective the next time you need to add someone to the team. 

Sample Talent Acquisition Partner Job Description

Although every job description is different depending on the company’s needs, it can be helpful to look at a sample description. With that said, here’s an example of what a TA partner job description might look like. 

Job Summary

[Company Name] is seeking a talent acquisition partner to help increase our recruiting effectiveness and refine our hiring strategy. In this role, you will be responsible for assessing current hiring practices, implementing improvements, and training others on best practices for recruiting. The ideal candidate is skilled in data analytics and has experience using a variety of social platforms and other technologies in recruiting. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Improve hiring strategies
  • Evaluate current talent sourcing strategies and recommend improvements
  • Train hiring managers and others on best practices for recruiting
  • Help assess candidates and make hiring decisions
  • Use an applicant tracking system to find and evaluate candidates
  • Oversee the scheduling and logistics of interviews
  • Assess and improve current hiring pipelines 
  • Hold virtual and in-person events to improve the candidate experience

Required Education/Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or related field 
  • At least 2 years professional experience

Preferred Education/Experience

  • Master’s degree in human resources, business administration or related field

Necessary Skills

  • Organization
  • People management
  • Strategic thinking
  • Communication, including presentation skills 
  • Multitasking, prioritizing, and meeting deadlines
  • Using data analytics to measure recruiting success
  • Using technology to find and hire talent
  • Marketing (promoting jobs and strengthening employer brand)

Eddy Hire Can Help You Find Top Talent

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a talent acquisition partner is $87,150 a year. That’s doable for larger companies, but not as realistic for small businesses. However, small businesses can still build an effective hiring strategy using other methods. A good way to get started? Use an applicant tracking system like Eddy Hire.

Eddy Hire lets you post for free to top job boards like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and more. It also creates a smooth hiring process by automating candidate communication, storing feedback on each candidate in a central location, and allowing the hiring team to customize the hiring pipeline. Candidates are kept in the loop, and hiring managers have more time to focus on big-picture hiring strategies. 

Learn more about how Eddy Hire can help you find top talent

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Talent Acquisition Partners

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.

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 is a senior talent partner with experience building and leading recruiting functions for healthcare, education, and tech companies. Presently, he is the head of talent acquisition at Parallel Learning.

Preston holds several certifications. In addition to sourcing and recruiting, Preston specializes in talent strategy, candidate experience, hiring process design, recruitment marketing, and onboarding.

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