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Organisations confusing recruitment with talent acquisition

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Organisations that confuse recruitment with talent acquisition risk undermining strategic talent management activity, James Purvis, head of talent acquisition at nuclear research centre CERN, has told HR magazine.

“A lot of people throw the words ‘recruitment’ and ‘talent acquisition’ around interchangeably,” said Purvis, adding: There are light years of distance between the two approaches.” 

“Recruitment is someone coming to you and saying ‘I’ve got a vacancy, I have a job that needs doing, so can we recruit somebody to fill this hole?’” he said. “Talent acquisition is using predictive analytics for your workforce.

"We’re trying to predict our workforce evolution at such a rate that we could say ‘we have some potential candidates on a training scheme in-house. Let’s review them now to decide if we need to start an external hiring process right away."

He added: “It’s basically being so proactive that we can be one step ahead of the hiring manager.”

Recruitment was highlighted four years ago as a major area of improvement for CERN, reported Purvis, with technology key to tackling this.

“We’ve got some really fun technology that allows us to use CV parsing," he said. "But CV parsing is far more than just keyword recognition. [The system] understands natural language. For example, say you’re looking for an accountant, it will know to look at keywords such as ‘banking’ and ‘finance’, so it understands concepts.”

Purvis will be speaking about CERN’s recruitment experiences at the HR Tech World Congress in Paris this October.

“I originally found this technology at the HR Tech World Congress,” he said. “There are so many conferences out there, but this one really is the mecca of technology in this industry."

Purvis added: “We hope to share what has gone well, but also what hasn’t. That way it might stop people falling into the same pitfalls that we did.”

HR Tech World Congress

James Purvis will be speaking at the HR Tech World Congress (@HRTECHWORLD) in Paris on the 27th/28th of October. Get your 2FOR1 ticket now. Use code: 2FOR1MP