Talent is scarce. It is ever scarcer than it was five years ago and we were already struggling back then! Unfortunately, the lack of talent in South Africa, and elsewhere in the world, is having a serious business impact. Companies cannot deliver on their promises and business progress is being halted. This is most notable impacting the Technology sector for now but it is closely followed by the medical and mining sectors. Now more than ever, you need to decide if you are will be known as a Recruiter vs a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

As a Talent Acquisition Specialist, (please note I never used the term Recruiter – more on this later) what are you doing to ensure that you are sourcing the best talent for your client?

In my opinion, we need to be reaching out to more passive candidates. We need to be targeting those people who do not think they are on the job market until we phone them with an offer that they simply cannot refuse! It’s all about the way you as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, communicate with people to get your message across to them in an enticing and ‘cannot be refused’ manner. Recruitment is no longer about pulling someone off a job board and putting them into a new job. You need to focus on building a relationship with your candidates and on establishing a network.

One of the things which you cannot still be doing, is sending out large volumes of LinkedIn requests and then spamming these candidates with generic messages. You need to personalise your response to the people who have taken the time to Link Up with you, especially if they are the people that you are looking for to fill your current vacancies. I see more and more top talent on LinkedIn complaining bitterly about the way they are treated by Recruiters. Here is an example below that I saw just last week:

I believe if you are going to send me unsolicited job opportunities over LinkedIn, then as a recruiter, you should at least be prepared to do your homework. Surely your job is to find a skilled resources and your search in LinkedIn brought my profile forth. So if you can go to that effort, at least have the decency and professionalism to read my profile and NOT just send some copy paste blanket message asking me to do your job for you and send through my salary expectations and my CV. Don’t be lazy seriously!

Unfortunately, some Recruiters are giving some of the other Talent Acquisition Specialists a bad name. We all tend to be ‘painted with the same brush’ even though I know there are some people out there who understand the importance of relationship building these days. This for me is where the difference between a Talent Acquisition Specialists and a Recruiter can be seen.

I turned to our friend Google for a few definitions of these terms:

Recruiter: A person whose job is to enlist or enroll people as employees, in the armed forces, or as members of an organization.

Talent Acquisition Specialist: The person who heads up the process of sourcing, attracting, recruiting, interviewing, and on-boarding employees to an organization.

It is clear to see that even Google has a good grasp on the difference between these two job titles! In the USA. A Recruiter is usually associated with the military as Recruitment Officers are based in most towns to encourage people to join the Armed Forces. I know we recruit for some tough Jobs but I do not think it would be fair to liken us to people who want to send people into a war like situation!

So it really is up to each individual Recruiter or Talent Acquisition Specialist – you need to make the decision what sort of a reputation you want to build for yourself in the industry. Do you want to make a difference in people’s lives? Or do you just want to keep trying ‘shoving square pegs into round holes’?

Here is another complaint that I saw on LinkedIn from another irate candidate:

Some Recruiters need to start respecting candidates. If you put a candidate forward and they are unsuccessful do not leave it to the candidate to chase you up for a response. Have a level decency and professionalism to contact them and inform them of the outcome!!

We simply have to work together to improve and uplift the profile we have in the market place. I know that we perform a vital role in today’s business world by connecting the best talent with the most exciting jobs out there. We need to start taking ourselves and the service we provide seriously too. Recruiter vs Talent Acquisition Specialists: the decision is an easy one to make but only you can make it for yourself.

Take some pride in what you do and remember it is all about #changinglives.



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