Knowing the Distinctions Between Talent Advisors and Recruiters

These two types of partners in finding the right individuals for your company are far from interchangeable, says SGA Talent in separate reports. The two are by their very definitions different. Nor are their approaches, long-term view, and specialization the same.

August 22, 2022 – When filling open positions within your organization, your instinct may be to contact a recruiter to find candidates. You not only need qualified candidates but the top talent in your field to ensure ongoing growth for your organization, according to a report from SGA Talent. “When recruiters restrict their search to the same strategies, such as LinkedIn, they limit their ability to find diverse and qualified candidates,” the report said. “Talent advisors are connected to those who are not only innovating in their field but an ideal match for an organization’s corporate culture. Learn the difference between talent advisors and recruiters and which delivers more value.”

A talent advisor does not fulfill the same role as a recruiter, according to the SGA Talent report. “While a recruiter has the skills, knowledge, and expertise to help streamline a company’s hiring process, a talent advisor acts as a strategic partner to a company’s hiring manager as well as the company as a whole,” the study said.

The Role of a Talent Advisor

So what exactly does a talent advisor do? Primarily, a talent advisor uses data such as market, industry, and hiring trends to develop strategic recruitment processes that align with a company’s current and future needs, says SGA Talent.

A key, common difference between a recruiter and a talent advisor is their approach, long-term view, and specialization, according to the report. While every business in every industry is likely to have a recruiter on its team, a talent advisor is often a specialist in a specific industry or type of company. The search firm says that this means talent advisors have more extensive knowledge about trends in a certain industry.

Common challenges that companies are facing as well as future needs of a sector are all factors talent advisors are thinking about when looking for talent and developing strategies to hire talent, the SGA Talent report explains. “A talent advisor’s strategic, cost-effective recruiting process is a big benefit companies experience when working with talent advisors,” it said. “For many companies, recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new team members can be a long, tedious process. What’s more, after a team member is hired, a recruiter may consider their job over.”

However, the SGA Talent report notes that a talent advisor continuously evaluates the quality of the hires they make to ensure that they are actually finding the talent a company needs — both today and tomorrow — by staying up to date with retention rate data. Additionally, their strategic partnership with hiring managers and recruiters helps a company’s hiring funnel continuously improve and adapt to a company and industry’s needs. “It’s a talent advisor’s long-term outlook, industry expertise, and commitment to providing effective recruiting solutions that save the companies they work for considerable time and resources,” the report said.

One of the main recruitment strategies a talent advisor deploys is called talent mapping.

Delivering Long-Term Value for Companies

Talent mapping provides several benefits for a company. “The main benefit of effective talent mapping is finding and onboarding talent that a company needs through a more cost-effective recruitment process,” the SGA report said. “Instead of reaching out to a larger pool of potential candidates, talent mapping prioritizes a company’s goals and needs to strategically find the right talent faster. Instead of needing to fish in a sea of applicants, talent mapping helps a company fish for great talent by reducing the size of the applicant pool.”

The search firm offers three reasons why talent mapping might be a good path to take.

1. A Proactive Recruiting Method

The needs of a company change every year. So too does a company’s industry and market. Therefore, a more effective recruitment model takes into account the needs of a company today and anticipates its needs in the future. Talent mapping helps talent advisors take a whole-picture look at a company and plan for upcoming talent needs.

2. Fulfilling Upcoming Needs with Internal Team Members

Talent mapping allows a talent advisor to identify the current needs of a business and connect these needs with a team member already at the company whose skills might be a good match. For example, if a company needs mid-level managers for new locations, talent mapping can help a talent advisor determine which employees already have the experience that could align with a manager’s responsibilities.

3. Developing Plans to Fill Existing Gaps

While talent mapping helps keep a company’s recruiting strategies relevant and flexible, talent mapping also seeks to look for team member development opportunities as well. Creating training paths to leadership roles or specialization training can help companies fill gaps with their current team members, and create a more innovative workforce as well.

Key Differences Between Talent Advisors and Recruiters

It can seem like recruiters are on top of talent searches because they get cursory information from a hiring manager to begin their search, according to a separate report from SGA Talent. “Starting a search with just the basics doesn’t always mean a recruiter is more adept at finding talent,” it said. “By comparison, a talent advisor takes extra time at the beginning of the search to meet with a hiring manager and leadership throughout the organization.”

SGA Talent says that the goal is to establish a clear understanding of many aspects of the positions, including:

  • Compensation
  • Goals
  • Expectations
  • Corporate structure

The SGA Talent report notes that taking extra time at the beginning of the hiring process means a talent advisor won’t waste the hiring team’s or the candidate’s time by recommending individuals who aren’t well-suited to the position.

Related: What Candidates are Really Looking for In New Jobs

Talent advisors push back on expectations. Every company wants to find “purple squirrels” for its open positions, according to the report. “They are those candidates who have the perfect combination of skills, experience, and salary requirements,” it said. “However, in waiting to find a purple squirrel, your organization may miss out on industry talent ideally suited to your corporate culture.”

Why You Should Invest in Talent Mapping

You may be thinking this isn’t the right time to bring on a new hire. With budgets, the economy and quarantine policies in flux, you may not be ready to make a commitment, not only to a new employee, but also to the time and money that a recruitment and onboarding process will take.

Talent advisors bring an outside perspective to manage expectations. Their guidance may suggest finding talented candidates with less experience or potentially outsourcing the role to save money and improve quality. An advisor looks at your organization’s future and how to optimize an open position for the most benefit.

Faster Time-To-Fill for Open Positions

Ultimately, talent advisors are faster in filling positions than recruiters, according to the SGA Talent report. “While recruiters start the search more quickly, with less information, they often present candidates who aren’t ideal for the role,” it said. “Talent advisors bring fewer candidates, but they’re better vetted and suited to your corporate culture. Ultimately, it takes less interviews to fill an open position, and there is less overall turnover.”

Access Industry Talent Maps

The SGA report also notes that talent mapping is one of the biggest benefits of a talent advisor and traditional recruiter. “Talent advisors expand their research beyond LinkedIn to stay current on the leading talent within an industry,” the search firm said. “They know when individuals are looking to make a move from their current organization. By investing in a talent pipeline, you can shape your organization’s future with innovative thinkers who are transforming the industry. You also eliminate the chance that you may miss out on the ideal candidate for your organization.”

SGA Talent is a 100 percent women-owned company that utilizes a research-first strategy to secure senior hires in the professional services, hospitality, financial services, insurance, healthcare/pharmaceutical, manufacturing, utilities, and aerospace and defense industries. Some of SGA’s clients include McKinsey & CompanyNorthrop GrummanPayPalNew York LifeCompass Group, and a Big Four consulting firm.

SGA Talent offers “recruiting on-demand express” and “research on-demand express” solutions provide hiring managers, human resources professionals, and talent acquisition leaders with additional options beyond traditional recruiting services. SGA Talent’s recruiting on-demand express delivers a high-quality targeted talent candidate pipeline in three days. This service utilizes SGA Talent’s propriety recruitment methodology and offers the answer to time-constraint recruiting activities. “This service is often used when an internal recruiting team is overextended and needs results quickly,” the firm said. “It is designed for mid-level to junior-level candidates; it is not designed for executive search level candidates.”

Related: Post-COVID Recovery Sees the Rise of Revenge Hiring

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

Share This Article


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments