How to Build a Talent Acquisition Team


Having a skilled and experienced recruiting task force can make up the difference between a failing business with high employee turnover, and a thriving company with a dedicated and qualified employee base.

The talent acquisition team at any business directly reflects the quality of the rest of your staff: they quite literally set the standard for all of your employees, and it’s important to build a strong TAT right from the get-go. Without it, you risk making bad hires, losing time and money on each turnover.

The right talent acquisition team will not only help you find the right candidates to hire, but will improve employee retention, team happiness, company culture and help to cultivate the brand and success of your company as a whole.

What is a Talent Acquisition Team?

Any given talent acquisition team will look a little different, depending on the size and needs of an organization.

At a larger company, a talent acquisition team will include:

  • Recruiters, including both senior and junior recruiters.
  • Recruiting specialists.
  • Recruiting coordinators.
  • Sourcers.
  • Talent acquisition managers, and recruiting managers.

The workflow of a team of this size might look something like this: sourcers will supply a steady flow of candidates into the talent pool for potential hires. Initial screening interviews will be conducted by junior recruiters, who will then pass qualified new talent to senior recruiters. Recruiting coordinators schedule interviews between recruiters and talent. Talent acquisition managers will then negotiate salaries, and close top talent hires.

A small business bare-bones talent acquisition “team” might consist of as little as a single recruiter, who will handle all aspects of the acquisition process, from sourcing to closing. Ideally, a minimalist unit would initially consist of two members: one to act as a sourcer, and one to act as a recruiter. The sourcer, as said above, will feed candidates to the recruiter, and slowly adjust their sourcing strategy and process depending on the success of their talent sourced.

How to Build a Talent Acquisition Team

If you’re starting this team from scratch, you should first consider the size of your company, and your rate of growth. A large talent acquisition team may seem impractical for an infant company, but can prove invaluable as your organization expands. So first, analyze your needs, are hire accordingly.

Talent acquisition team members should all be at the top of their game. Here are some desirable qualities to look for when sourcing your crew:

  • Great communication and listening skills: at its most basic, a recruiter’s job is communication. They should be able to listen carefully to hiring managers and know how to translate their needs into clearly stated requirements for an open position. They then should know how to tune into responses from talent, sifting through their interview answers to find a good match for both the candidate and the manager.
  • Self-starting attitudes: to work in talent acquisitions is to constantly be balancing tasks and on the move. The ability to organize and prioritize tasks with minimal instruction is essential. Recruiters should also be able to set boundaries and limits and say ‘no’ when they need to: it can be a difficult thing to do, but it is often necessary.
  • Investment in the organization: talent acquisition teams should know the organization’s business inside and out. This might not be a quality to look for when you’re first hiring, but a great recruiter will show curiosity for your organization, and work hard to learn all there is to know about your company, so that they can make talent decisions based on the greater needs of the business.
  • Talent expertise: recruiters need to know people. Having a detailed understanding of the business enables them to recognize who are the key players in the organization and why they’re successful. This strategic insight will allow recruiters to search for the exact qualities and experience in talent which will result in a successful hire, and ultimately move the company further ahead.
  • Collaboration skills:the recruiter plays well with others. Anyone on the talent acquisition team should want to put the wellbeing of the team, and of the company, above all else.

Where to Find Talent

Top talent for your talent acquisition team is out there, if you know where to look.

  • Social networks are the best place to start, and you’ll be able to spot a top notch recruiter right away. You can either work your own personal network, or go traditional and post a recruiting job on LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media recruiting sites -- be sure to use their targeting abilities to suss out the perfect fit experience. Take advantage of social stats and seek talent with a larger network to find candidates who have strong people skills.
  • One company suggested engaging recruiters from other companies who may be contacting your employees. You can provide your staff with a template reply to let recruiters know that you’re hiring for a talent acquisition team.
  • Ask external recruiters you’ve engaged in the past for referrals. Even if promising talent declines an offer, you may be able to ask them for further references in their network.
  • Expanding on the referral concept, you can use a tool like Reference Insights to capitalize on people networks. With an easy opt-in, this tool automatically adds most references of candidates to a sourcing database. So if you hire (or even just interview) top quality recruiters or talent acquisition specialists, you will be able to use their network as a sourcing channel for similar hires in the future.

Use this article as a guide to get you started on hiring top candidates for your talent acquisition team.

Checkster’s Hiring suite of solutions can help you hire the right staff on the first try. By leveraging collecting intelligence, Checkster captures data and feedback during critical points throughout your hiring process, providing critical insights to help you make smarter hiring decisions.

For example, Reference Insights automates your reference checks, giving you unparalleled visibility into candidate qualifications via an average of 6 references (significant feedback data), which will help you find the perfect fit all while saving you significant work time.

To find out more about how Checkster can help you hire and retain employees who love their work,, schedule a demo here.