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This content is part of the Essential Guide: The essential guide to managing HR technology trends

talent acquisition

Contributor(s): Shaun Sutner

Talent acquisition refers to the process employers use for recruiting, tracking and interviewing job candidates, and onboarding and training new employees. It is usually a function of the human resources department.

Talent acquisition often includes stand-alone software or modules in larger human capital management (HCM) systems that help automate the recruitment and hiring cycle. Products in this software category are sometimes called recruitment management systems.

Talent acquisition is often seen as a more comprehensive and strategic subset of talent management, the process employers use in hiring, deploying, training, and evaluating the performance and compensation of employees.


Employers -- including large, medium and small companies, as well as nonprofit and government organizations -- have a variety of recruiting technologies from which to choose if they move to automate the hiring process.

Some employers opt for talent management suites, such as Oracle Taleo Cloud Service. These systems are typically delivered from SaaS platforms and offer talent acquisition, performance management, compensation management and learning management modules.

Other big talent management vendors include SAP, with its SuccessFactors software; IBM Kenexa; Cornerstone OnDemand; SilkRoad; and Halogen. Many startups and smaller vendors also offer integrated talent management systems.

Another route employers take is to use dedicated recruiting software from vendors like Recruitee, JazzHR, MightyRecruiter, COMPAS for Staffing and many others.

Job boards

Another talent acquisition option is the job boards, or job marketplaces, such as Simply Hired, ZipRecruiter and Indeed, on which employers post open positions. Longtime participants in this niche include Monster and Glassdoor.

At least one vendor, Hired, reverses the process, providing job-board-like systems on which job candidates can accept offers of interviews from employers.

In addition, major social media and technology players, such as LinkedIn and Google, are also in the market with strong job-matching, business networking and job-search offerings.


After a candidate is hired and becomes an employee, employers have digital alternatives to the traditional paper-based post-hiring process, often called onboarding, the next major step in talent acquisition.

Employee onboarding encompasses online benefits enrollment, welcome emails and team introductions, and signing on to employee engagement and wellness programs.

Major HR technology players such as Kronos and Cornerstone OnDemand provide onboarding features, as do smaller HCM suite vendors such as Zenefits and Namely, as well as ERP vendors like NetSuite. Niche vendors, including Bamboo, focus on onboarding.

This was last updated in September 2017

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