Does changing the title of the recruiting process to talent acquisition accomplish results?

If you would like to tweak an entree recipe, do you simply change the name and expect a different taste? Why do human resource organizations change the title of “recruiting” to “talent acquisition?” Do they want to change the name to be “more modern?” Do they feel the Talent Acquisition name will attract more qualified candidates? With the new name, do they expect different results?

What do the experts say when an organization changes what they call a process without changing the process — and then expects different results?

Creating different results requires a change in the process, not the name of the process.

As a leading talent attraction consultant, who actively recruits, I work most often directly with executives. The talent attraction process is completely different from talent acquisition.

In most organizations, talent acquisition amounts to posting openings on job boards (Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, ZipRecruiter, etc.) and company websites. Of course, some organizations give employee referral bonuses for hired referrals. These activities are fine if recruiting is not limited to them. 

Recruiting mirrors the sales process

Last August, I spoke at DisruptHR Cedar Rapids. My goal was to educate the audience that the human resource department was an important function in a company. Consider that benefits, compensation, culture, employee development, employee relations, HR tech, etc. are all important functions, particularly in medium and large businesses. Have you noticed that all those roles are administrative and compliance roles? Typically, what talent do you hire for administrative and compliance functions? My professional guess is you would search for candidates who have administrative and/or compliance skills and experience.

Recruiting (Talent Acquisition, Talent Attraction, etc.) mirrors the sales process perfectly.

Do the recruiters in your company have previous successful sales experience and sales skills? Do they view themselves as sales professionals? If not, when was the first time that you ever saw a compliance officer create a sales strategy and successfully implement it? Never. Did you notice that retention is the last step of the sales process? Every sales professional works to retain their clients because they (should) receive a bonus to do so.

Why companies should improve recruiting processes

Would it not be wonderful to have top talent on your organization’s team? The NFL Super Bowl was this past weekend. We have worked through the playoffs with the teams who had the best talent and determination, which put them in the position to potentially win the Super Bowl.

Your company plays a Super Bowl every, single, day. You are either winning over new customers from your competition or losing them. How do you position your business in this daily Super Bowl?

Just as in football, it is important to attract the best players. In my talent attraction consulting, my clients have discovered that attracting the best talent initially tends to have the benefit of making it easier to attract better talent. Once the word is out that your team is the best team in your industry, the better and best talent will knock on your doors. Isn’t that a stronger hiring position? Remember IBM in its heyday? Candidates were knocking on their doors and asking to have a chance to work for IBM. Were all these candidates selected? No, only the best were selected — and computers were flying out of their factories. IBM is still a leader in attracting the best talent.

Locally, remember when Rockwell Collins and Aegon attracted the best talent? Then Collins was purchased, and the layoffs began. Aegon’s leadership chose to move to Baltimore. While both companies are still great companies, the shine is off the employer apple.

Why becoming the best is worth the effort

The answer depends on the leadership of your organization. Are they willing to invest in becoming the next IBM with rocketing profits? Are they willing to invest in their labor force? Do they take care of the people they are forced to lay off? Company culture is more important today than when I entered the workforce. Is your company culture a culture that attracts the best employees at all levels? Remember, over the years, many presidents of companies started in the mail room.

The first five steps to attract better talent

Over the next five months, these will become future topics for this recurring column.

  1. Improve your job descriptions. Most job descriptions are either poorly written or copied and pasted from some other organization’s job posting online. If your job description is not accurate, you will attract the wrong candidates. There is a difference between a job description and a job posting.
  2. Understand that sourcing top talent is an important sales step. Many companies drive the best candidates away by forcing professionals to complete an application before they send the resume. Is a top performer going to spend 20 to 30 minutes of their life completing an application? No, is the short answer. Remember, I also coach professionals in their search during slower hiring seasons. Some leaders refer to me as the “candidate whisperer.”
  3. Train your managers on how to effectively interview. A manager who has not been instructed how to effectively interview candidates certainly has not been taught how to select the best-qualified candidates.
  4. Actuate your employees. In the GALLUP “State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report”, only 21% of employees are engaged at work. How do you run a successful business when only 21% of your team is engaged? This will not be fixed by snapping your fingers. Moving your team to a top-performing team requires effort and top-down and bottom-up loyalty.
  5. Retaining your top employees is crucial. If your business retains your top performers, other top talented professionals will notice — guaranteed! 

Bill Humbert lived in Marion for 15 years and consulted with many local companies on talent attraction. He is the Google ranked #1 talent attraction consultant and his third career search book “Expect Success!” has been recognized as 1 of 100+ Best Business Books by the C-Suite Network. Mr. Humbert can be reached at