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Is HR management the same as talent acquisition?

#image 30 March 2023 | #image 4 min read


The terms human resource (HR) management and talent acquisition (TA) are often used interchangeably and synonymously. For instance, you may feel puzzled when you go through the LinkedIn profiles of human resource graduates and observe they use distinct terminologies like talent acquisition executive or HR executive in their designation. This sets a base for confusion and raises a very significant question – Is HR management the same as talent acquisition?

We will end your confusion by answering this question, and the answer is NO, human resource management and talent acquisition are not the same.

Talent acquisition primarily focuses on creating a strategic plan to ensure the right resources for the future. On the other hand, human resource management is more concerned with meeting and managing the current requirements and resources. It holds various responsibilities concerning payroll processing, conflict resolution, employee policies, benefits, etc. Interestingly, talent acquisition is a subset of HR management. Let us discuss the two in detail.

A talent acquisition executive

What is HR management?

The Human Resources (HR) department has many responsibilities that go beyond the recruitment and onboarding of new employees. It upholds the needs and interests of employees and organizations and works with the management to develop and administer workplace policies. They train the employees and evaluate (employee) satisfaction to ensure the team works in compliance with company policies.

Here are some important roles and responsibilities of the Human Resource teams:

  1. Benefits and Compensation
    Offering competitive benefits and compensation goes a long way in attracting talent. Developing suitable benefits and compensation packages for the employees falls under the responsibilities of the HR department. The package lists down all the benefits like health insurance, reimbursement, travel allowance, retirement benefits, etc. that an organization provides to the employees in return for their services. HR teams carefully form the packages, so it suits employees’ expectations and fits the organization’s budget.
  2. Employee Record Management
    Record management is crucial for all organizations as it facilitates the decision-making process. The HR team is responsible for managing all the employee records. The latter includes tracking employee information, updating files, and ensuring accurate documentation. The records prove highly helpful for an organization in important business tasks like identifying skill gaps, optimizing recruitment, resource allocation, performance assessment, and productivity evaluation at individual and organizational levels.
  3. Conflict Resolution
    Building and ensuring a pleasant work atmosphere and good employee-employer relations is one of the primary responsibilities of the HR department. Thus, the latter attends to all the grievances or concerns of the employees and extends their support to resolve them. The practice is incredibly helpful in improving employee satisfaction and increasing employee retention. Moreover, it facilitates a great working environment, especially when working with an inclusive candidate pool.
  4. Payroll Processing
    Accurate and timely payroll processing is another big responsibility held by the human resource team. It is a complex and time-consuming task that includes the evaluation of aspects like the number of hours worked, overtime pay, benefits, taxes, and deductions. The HR team ensures that all payments are processed precisely and on time as it further aids the smooth functioning of the business.

What is Talent Acquisition?

As mentioned above, talent acquisition is one of the sub-divisions that fall under the big umbrella of HR management. It refers to a systematic process aimed at identifying and acquiring skilled employees that meet all the professional requirements. Talent acquisition teams are primarily responsible for finding, attracting, and hiring the best talent that can help an organization meet its goals and objectives. They simultaneously create candidate pipelines to cater to present and future business requirements.

Here are some roles and responsibilities of talent acquisition teams:

  1. Building Employer Brand
    Talent acquisition teams build strategies to effectively compete for the best talent in the market. Building a strong employer brand and positive reputation in the industry is one such great strategy that helps in attracting cream candidates. Talent acquisition teams use digital channels like social media and websites to promote the organization’s culture and employee benefits like bonuses, healthcare facilities, CSRs, and more.
  2. Candidate Experience
    A great candidate experience compels the talent to join an organization. Thus, talent acquisition teams oversee all the pre-onboarding processes before the HR managers proceed with the onboarding process. For instance, the team creates a strategic and detailed job description, verifies job referrals, and develops plans to expand an organization’s reach to attract candidates from a larger pool. Many teams also use data analytics to innovate the acquisition process and gather insights for improving the candidate experience.
  3. Increasing Reach
    Talent acquisition teams focus on increasing the reach of the job posting. For instance, they post job descriptions on multiple platforms like social media platforms (LinkedIn) and job search portals. They also conduct on-campus hiring and attend events like job fairs. On-campus hiring is an effective approach for connecting with bright minds and hiring candidates with the potential to become the best for the role. Talent acquisition teams maintain great relationships with educational institutions to find hidden gems and offer jobs before their competitors. On the other hand, job fairs help build relationships with the community and minority associations. It also allows them to tap into local talent pools and hire employees from underrepresented backgrounds.

Significance of HR management and talent acquisition in an organization

Human resource management and talent acquisition are distinct in terms of roles and responsibilities, approaches, and functionalities. However, it is crucial for the two to work collectively to enable an organization’s workforce transformation goals. While the talent acquisition teams find and hire the right candidates, it is the duty of the HR team to retain them. It takes two to empower the real asset of an organization – The People!


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