What to consider when creating an internal talent acquisition function

Talent acquisition (TA) remains a hot topic. The term talent acquisition is often used synonymously with recruitment. Whilst similar, the key difference between them is that while recruitment focuses on filling more immediate vacancies, talent acquisition takes a more strategic, longer-term approach to find specialists and leadership talent.

Companies either create their own internal TA team or outsource at least part of their TA activities to headhunters and agencies; the variation between these approaches appears to be cyclical. At the moment, there is a trend to create internal talent acquisition functions, with the intent of saving costs and increasing ownership. Hereby, creating a team with a centralised approach in the form of TA Centres of Excellence (CoEs), often regionally and/or functionally aligned, is a more common approach.

Building an internal talent acquisition function certainly has advantages: an internal TA team may have a stronger understanding of the company brand, better judgement of whether a candidate is a right cultural fit and be able to present a more compelling case for working there. Many organisations are also currently exploring how their internal talent function can benefit from AI and other technological advancements, thereby further eliminating the need to outsource.

Although there are clear advantages of in-sourcing talent acquisition, there are numerous considerations to navigate when building an internal TA function.

It’s crucial to carefully define the remit and organisational alignment of the TA team, from the role levels they will cover, to their respective process and their alignment with the wider business. It’s critical for the TA to have a voice and credibility at the senior management table, as well as working smoothly alongside HR, TM and C&B. There’s not a ‘one size fits all’ solution:  varying business requirements inform different designs of function. A company’s budget, workforce planning and existing internal capabilities will all influence how successfully an internal TA team can function.

Attracting TA professionals of the required calibre to join their in-house team is another obstacle. As the number of in-house team increases, so too does the competition for talent, in particular for those with proactive TA skills. An in-house team without sufficient time or specialist knowledge will be stretched to compete with outsourced agencies in terms of efficiency of service.

Although designed to decrease both dependence from third party suppliers and external recruitment spending, the majority of companies with internal TA teams continue to outsource some talent requirements. For confidential executive, critical leadership or niche roles, for example, it may be required to engage external support.

One key advantage of outsourcing talent acquisition is the convenience and pre-established expertise of an agency; either with regards to a specialist functional or subject area, or capabilities in delivering bespoke solutions for specific needs. At Euromedica, we pride ourselves on our integrated partnership approach, offering our consultation and recruitment support at our clients’ point of need. Find out more about how we operate in tandem with internal TA teams.


By Fiona Motley

Chief Operating Officer

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