Talent Acquisition

Written by: Julia Lamotte, Kayla Maldonado & Zyrah Figueroa – students at Eastern Connecticut State University

What is Talent Acquisition?

To put it simply, Talent Acquisition is finding the right person for the job. People such as recruiters, Hiring Managers, and Human Resource (HR) professionals are just some of the people who make up this Talent Acquisition team.

There is a six step process for Talent Acquisition. The following information can be found at What is Talent Acquisition and How to Do It. .

The first step is lead generation, in which you start out with an irresistible job description and get the word out at different events such as social networks, industry events or communities where they specialize in that job. That way you can create a large candidate pool and a large pool for new hires.

The second step is attraction & recruiting. This is where you have to promote your company and their culture. You can design a competitive compensation package which has key components for attracting and retaining the star players in your industry. You really want to create a positive candidate experience. This is also where you can court leads and keep in touch with those who aren’t a perfect fit now but could be in the future.

The third step is the interview process, where you can aim for questions that sort out candidates’ ability to solve problems, be resourceful, and think on their feet. You can also assess candidates using other tools such as a skill test , or a personality or cognitive evaluation.

The fourth step is the reference check,  which a lot of professionals don’t do and it’s really important to do it because checking a candidate’s references can really solidify your gut feeling about them. It can validate your choice by checking their references to see if there are any final concerns or impressions you may have missed. If the reference solidifies you’re feeling that the candidate has the qualifications you are looking for, you are set to start making offers.

The fifth step is the selection process. For example, you can pick the five best candidates for the  job you are hiring for, review all candidates again and find the best one for that job.  This is where you can keep resumes and contact information of the other candidates you didn’t choose for future job openings.

The final step is the hiring process, for this you really want a strong onboarding process because this can either make or break an employee, So, you really want to prepare and streamline this process as much as possible before your new employee starts. When company’s have a poor onboarding process, new hires are more likely to leave because they feel like they are not welcome, or put into the job with no support.

Talent Acquisition v. Recruiting: What’s the difference?

Talent acquisition and recruiting are very similar but they are also very different.

Talent AcquisitionRecruiting
* Talent acquisition factors in long-term goals.
* It acknowledges that people can play a huge role in a company’s  future successes.
* It is an ongoing process that identifies candidates for executive level positions, leadership goals, and jobs with specialized training.
* It is also about building relationships with talent with the intent higher in the future.
* Factors in short-term goals and short-term needs.
* Where employees address a current opening, a spot that needs to be filled right away.


5 Recruiting Strategies

  • Retained recruiting
    • Organization uses recruiting firms to fill a vacancy. The firm is responsible for finding candidates.
  • Contingency recruiting
    • Similar to retained recruiting, only there is no upfront fee. Instead, the  recruitment company only receives payment when a candidate is hired.
  • Staffing recruiting
    • Matches qualified applicants with qualified job openings.
  • Outplacement recruiting
    • Employer sponsored benefit which helps former employees transition into new jobs.
  • Reverse recruiting
    • Employees are encouraged to seek employment with a different organization that offers a better fit for their skill set.

Here is a video link further explaining Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment

Recruitment vs. Talent Acquistion  

Tips to optimize Talent Acquisition Strategies

  • Hire for attitude, train for skill
    • A candidate can have and impressive résumé but a toxic attitude.
    • Companies shifted their strategy to ask questions around a candidate’s attitude.
    • Goal is to hire individuals who positively add to existing culture.
  • Have an effective sourcing strategy
    • “Post and pray” mentality is outdated.
    • Get creative and find where talent hangs out.
      • Linked In
      • Indeed
      • Other job recruiting sites
    • Build relationships with passive job seekers and rising talent.
  • Increased focus on retention
    • Be transparent about company culture early on so candidates know what they’re getting into.
    • Poor onboarding = hires leaving the job.
      • 40% of hires leave the job in the first  six months because of poor onboarding
    • Show career journey for the position in which they are interviewing for.
  • Invest in a quality applicant tracking system(ATS)
    • Allows companies to organize and visualize their data based on past and current candidates.

These strategies can be found at:

Importance of the Interview Process in Talent Acquisition

            The interview is one of the most crucial parts of the hiring process and finding the best fit for your organization. Therefore, it is essential that you understand the responsibility given to help the interview move in a positive direction for the person hiring for the job. Doing this can help ensure that you have interviewed in the most productive and insightful way possible.

Here are some tips that may be useful in being sure your interview goes smoothly:

  1. Prepare questions that are in sync with the position you are hiring for.
  2. Don’t set your sights on the “perfect” candidate.
  3. Focus on the candidate’s strengths and how they may benefit your organization instead of their weaknesses.
  4. Just as you expect a candidate to do their research, be sure to read up on their resume or LinkedIn page before the interview.
  5. Be prepared to answer any questions about the company or position.
  6. Remember that people can adapt.
  7. Enlighten the candidate about the next step in the hiring process.

Behavioral v. Situational Interviewing

Two different interviewing styles that can help you learn the most about your candidate are behavioral and situational interviews.

Behavioral InterviewingSituational Interviewing
Candidates are asked to describe past behavior, giving examples from their professional life.Based on the idea that past behavior can give a good idea of the person’s future behavior.Better at predicting job performance.When candidates provide job-related examples of how they acted and learned from an experience, they can show the knowledge, values, and abilities that they possess.   Candidates are asked how they may act in a hypothetical situation related to the job.Based on the idea that intentions predict behaviors. When asked what they do in a specific situation, candidates demonstrate a motivation to act on knowledge and values.The answer does not say anything about whether they will carry out those wishes and practices.Wanting to do something vs. doing it are not the same.

It is important to remember that behavioral interviewing cannot assume that a person’s motivations will remain constant over time and situations. Likewise, as the interviewer, you cannot believe that experience or organizational pressure won’t affect a person’s future choices in situational interviewing. In the end, both behavioral and situational interviews can provide a good base for evaluating which candidates may be successful. However, this is only possible if the company recognizes that each of these styles only highlights specific components of the candidate values and their actions according to their values.

Recruiting Top Talent Using Artificial Intelligence

Platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, and etc., were used to virtually communicate during the pandemic. Many companies also resorted to these platforms to conduct interviews and hire new employees as well. As the pandemic commenced, employers continued to find new ways to make processes more efficient. Artificial Intelligence interviewing is a trend rising in popularity amongst large companies because of its effectiveness and time-saving abilities.

Artificial intelligence interviewing is an online platform that uses artificial Intelligence to select candidates based on the criteria the employer is looking for. The goal of these platforms is to automate workflow and create efficiency in the hiring process. This aids in the recruiting process by reducing time. It uses algorithms to scan through video recorded interviews to select the best candidate.

Companies such as CVS Health, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and Unilever utilize artificial intelligence interviewing to streamline their interview processes. Digital recruiting companies such as HireVue offer a new approach to recruiting and streamlines the process to create efficiency.

HireVue has the technology to integrate with applicant tracking systems to pick out words and phrases the company is looking for in the job description. HireVue uses custom machine learning algorithms to analyze data points found in the video interview to predict future job performance of the candidate. This helps companies identify who will be the top performers that can meet the company’s business objectives. This form of interviewing has become popular amongst larger companies because it saves time, money, and resources.

Why Do Companies Use AI Instead of In-Person, or Video Platforms?

AI interview platforms like HireVue are statistically proven to save employers time in the hiring process because of the automation software and ATS integration. The filters sort applicants based on who will move on to the second round and who will get rejected. This speeds up the interview process not only for the employer, but the applicant as well. Applicants who are rejected will receive a response faster.

Overall, companies use it to streamline the interview process. AI interviews can pick up more cues that an in-person or online interview would not otherwise pick up. This includes body language, posture and eye contact to name a few. AI also eliminates bias since the program is looking for specific words and actions from the applicant.

What are the Positives and Negatives of Using AI to Conduct Interviews?

Positives of AI InterviewsNegatives of AI Interviews
The candidate can conduct the interview at their own convenience. Provides extra time that a candidate would not otherwise have to prepare and answer a question. Some companies provide candidates with a second attempt to record their answer if they are not happy with the first attempt. Saves companies time, money, and resources. Creates efficiency and streamlines the interview process. Eliminates conscious bias that impacts decision making.  Unfavorable impact on low income communities. Issues include unstable internet connection and access to technology. Large companies mainly benefit from the opportunity cost. Cost of the AI program in the short-term. It takes time to see a return on investment. Technical difficulties and background noise can impact the quality of the interview. Not enough time given to prepare and record answers. Candidates are not able to probe and ask questions about the position.  

            Based on the positives and negatives, AI-based interviewing is a double-edged sword. Companies should consider the benefits and drawbacks for both parties to have a positive interview experience.

Tips For AI Interviews

            It is essential to treat an AI-based interview the same as a face-to-face or virtual interview. Candidates should still prepare and do the same amount of research as they would for a traditional interview. Remember, most companies only allow one attempt to record an answer so make it count! In addition, it is important to look presentable and have a neutral backdrop that is not distracting. Make sure to have positive body language and energy. The AI will be looking for this as well as maintaining eye contact. Have all of your answers memorized, and do not read off of a screen. The AI program and possible recruiter reviewing your interview will notice this. It may be a determining factor that will get you rejected.

HireVue provides practice questions, and it is crucial to take advantage of it to get used to the platform. This will create less difficulties when the candidate records their answers. Lastly, be confident! You were chosen to interview for a reason– you are qualified and the employer wants to know you.

Sample Questions to Prepare for AI Interviews

It’s important to know and be prepared for all kinds of questions. In AI based interviews, the interviewer will ask many of the expected questions, sometimes difficult questions, and behavioral based questions to see what kind of person you really are.

According to HireVue, here are some sample questions to prepare for an AI-based interview:

  • Why are you applying for this position?
  • How did you deal with a difficult co-worker in your previous work experiences?
  • Why do you think you are the right candidate for this position?
  • What is the most important leadership experience you have? And why?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • What relevant skills have you gained from your past work, or internship that are easily transferable and directly beneficial to the new role you’re applying for?
  • What were your top responsibilities at your current/previous position?
  • What are your three main weaknesses?
  • How will you use your background and skills to succeed in this role?


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About the Authors

Julia Lamotte is a senior at Eastern Connecticut State University, graduating this spring of 2022 with a major in English and a minor in Business Administration. When she isn’t in school, she enjoys riding and showing her horse, reading, and cooking good food.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julia-lamotte-7630a6224

Kayla Maldonado is a recent graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University. Kayla obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration a semester early in December of 2021. She aspires to pursue a career in finance or human resources. During her free time, Kayla enjoys hiking, reading, and painting.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kayla-mariemaldonado-

Zyrah Figueroa is a senior at Eastern Connecticut State University, graduating with her bachelor’s degree in the Winter semester of 2022. She is currently studying business administration with a focus on HR Management. If she weren’t studying business, Zyrah would likely be studying music education as she has always had a passion for singing.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/zyrah-figueroa

A Special Thanks to:

Linda Ferraro who was our Professor for Human Resource Management this past fall of 2021. She was an excellent teacher and mentor, providing us with the ability to speak freely, build off each other’s ideas, and talk in a safe environment. She provided the class with experiences and brought in guest speakers. We want to thank her for creating the end of semester presentation where this article stemmed from.

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