In this blog, we examine the role of a talent acquisition specialist identifying their responsibilities, what makes a great one and the financial potential within the role. We also look into the differences between a talent acquisition specialist vs a freelance recruiter. 

What is a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

The lifeblood of any company is its people. But finding the right people to fill important roles can be a challenge. That’s where talent acquisition specialists come in. These HR professionals are the ultimate headhunters, responsible for attracting, identifying, and hiring top talent to fuel a company’s success.

What Does a Talent Acquisition Specialist Do?

Their day-to-day tasks can involve a variety of activities, but some key areas of focus include:

  • Partnering with hiring managers: They work closely with hiring managers to understand specific needs and the ideal candidate profile for open positions.
  • Crafting compelling job descriptions: They write clear and concise job descriptions that accurately reflect the role’s requirements and entice qualified candidates to apply.
  • Sourcing talent: They leverage a variety of channels to find potential candidates, from online job boards and professional networking sites like LinkedIn to attending industry events and utilizing employee referrals. This can entail working with recruitment agencies and freelance recruiters. 
  • Screening resumes and applications: They meticulously review applications to identify candidates with the necessary skills and experience for the role.
  • Conducting interviews: Talent acquisition specialists develop interview questions to assess a candidate’s qualifications and fit for the company culture. This may involve phone screenings, in-person interviews, or even panel interviews depending on the role.
  • Making hiring recommendations: After a thorough evaluation process, they provide hiring managers with their assessment of the top candidates and recommend the best fit for the role.
  • Negotiating offers and onboarding: Talent acquisition specialists may be involved in negotiating salary and benefits packages, and play a role in ensuring a smooth onboarding process for new hires.

What Makes a Great Talent Acquisition Specialist?

  • Strong communication: The ability to clearly communicate with both hiring managers and candidates is essential.
  • Organizational skills: Juggling multiple positions and candidate pipelines requires excellent organization and time management.
  • Employer branding expertise: They understand how to build a strong employer brand that attracts top talent to the company.
  • Tech-savviness: In today’s digital world, talent acquisition specialists need to be adept at using online recruiting tools and social media platforms.

Talent acquisition specialist vs. Freelance recruiter

Both talent acquisition specialists and freelance recruiters play a crucial role in bringing talented individuals to companies. But while there’s some overlap in their responsibilities, the two career paths offer distinct experiences. Let’s delve into the key differences to help you decide which path might be the best fit for you.

Focus and Approach

  • Talent Acquisition Specialist: These specialists take a strategic, long-term approach. They focus on aligning talent acquisition with the company’s overall goals and future needs. This involves understanding industry trends, identifying skills required for future success, and crafting a comprehensive talent pool strategy.
  • Freelance Recruiter: Freelancers typically take a more operational, project-based approach. They concentrate on filling specific job openings for their clients. Their focus is on efficiently sourcing qualified candidates and completing the recruitment process for immediate needs.

Scope of Roles Filled

  • Talent Acquisition Specialist: These in-house professionals handle a wide range of roles, covering all seniority levels and will have a long-term focus on attracting the best talent for the future success of that specific business.
  • Freelance Recruiter: Freelancers will handle highly specialized, senior management or niche positions, where their expertise is required. They might also work with multiple clients across different industries, filling several positions.

Work Environment and Benefits

  • Talent Acquisition Specialist: These in-house professionals are typically full-time employees with a structured work environment and benefits package offered by the company, including health insurance, paid time off, a pension plan and other benefits.
  • Freelance Recruiter: Freelancers are self-employed and have the flexibility to set their own hours and work from anywhere. However, they are responsible for securing their own clients, managing their income, and securing their own benefits.

Which Path is Right for You?

The choice between Talent Acquisition Specialist and Freelance Recruiter boils down to your personality and career aspirations. Here are some additional factors to consider:

  • Stability vs. Flexibility: Do you prefer the security of a traditional role or the flexibility of being your own boss?
  • Structure vs. Independence: Do you thrive in a structured environment or crave the freedom to manage your own workload?
  • Collaboration vs. Autonomy: Do you enjoy working within a team or prefer to operate independently?

Ultimately, both Talent Acquisition Specialist and Freelance Recruiter play vital roles in today’s job market.

How to Become a Talent Acquisition Specialist?

The world of talent acquisition moves fast and is always changing. Here are our steps on how to become a talent acquisition specialist:

1. Build a Strong Foundation

Formal education is a plus. A bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business administration, or psychology provides a solid understanding of organizational behaviour, employment law, and HR fundamentals. 

2. Experience is Key

While a degree is great, experience is what truly makes you shine. Look for entry-level HR roles or recruitment positions. These can provide valuable hands-on experience with the recruitment process. 

3. Sharpen Your Skills

Talent acquisition specialists are masters of many trades. Here are some key skills to develop:

  • Communication: Excellent written and verbal communication is essential to connect with candidates and clearly explain job requirements.
  • Analytical Skills: You’ll need to assess resumes, screen candidates, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Tech Savvy: Familiarity with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and HR Information Systems (HRIS) is a must.
  • Networking Pro: Building relationships with potential candidates and industry professionals is crucial for sourcing top talent.

4. Stay Ahead of the Curve

Talent acquisition is constantly evolving. Stay updated on industry trends, recruitment best practices, and emerging technologies. There are many online resources, industry publications, and even conferences dedicated to talent acquisition.

5. Tailor Your Approach

Remember, every company and role is unique. Tailor your resume to highlight the specific skills and experiences relevant to the position you’re applying for. Research the company and showcase how you can be a valuable asset to their team.

Talent acquisition is a people-centric role. If you enjoy connecting with people and helping them find their dream jobs, you’ll have a natural edge. 

By following these steps, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful talent acquisition specialist. 

How to Become a Freelance Recruiter?

In this section, we summarize the steps highlighted in a previous blog titled: How To Become A Freelance Recruiter — The 15 Steps To Starting!

Here are the key steps:

  1. Choose a business structure: Decide on how you want to register your business, such as a sole trader or a limited company.
  2. Name your business: Pick a unique and appropriate name that follows regulations.
  3. Register your business: Register your company with Companies House.
  4. Appoint directors (if applicable): If you choose a limited company structure, appoint directors to oversee the company.
  5. Define your company’s articles of association: Outline the rules and regulations governing your business operations.
  6. Obtain licenses and certifications: Research any necessary licenses or certifications required for your industry.
  7. Register for taxes: Register your company for relevant taxes.
  8. Set up a business bank account: Open a dedicated account to separate business and personal finances.
  9. Find an accountant: Hire an accountant to manage your finances and ensure compliance with tax regulations.
  10. Understand employment regulations: Familiarize yourself with employment laws relevant to recruiting.
  11. Build a candidate network: Develop a network of potential candidates through professional connections, online platforms, and industry events.
  12. Set up processes and systems: Establish a system for sourcing, screening, interviewing, and placing candidates. Consider Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage candidates efficiently.
  13. Market your services: Develop a marketing strategy to attract clients. This could include building a website, using social media, attending industry conferences, and establishing partnerships.
  14. Buy a website domain (optional): Purchase a domain name for your website if you choose to build one.
  15. Create contracts and agreements: Develop standard contracts to protect yourself and clearly outline the scope of your services, fees, and other important details.

Talent Acquisition Specialist Salary

Financial potential is another key factor to consider when pursuing a career as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. Here’s a breakdown of average salaries:

  • USA: According to, the average Talent Acquisition Specialist salary in the USA in 2024 is $62,000 ( This ranges from a low of $50k and a high of $90k per annum. According to, the average salary is slightly higher at $76,545 ( with a range typically falling between $68,472 and $85,599 per annum.
  • UK: According to Total Jobs the average Talent Acquisition Specialist salary in the UK in 2024 is £42,500 (Total Jobs). This ranges from a low of £29k and a high of £57k per annum. Glassdoor reports a slightly lower average salary figure of £38,232 ( in the UK. London offers a higher average of £47,821 (, potentially exceeding £53,000 with bonuses.


In conclusion, the role of a Talent Acquisition Specialist is pivotal in shaping the success of any organization by identifying and attracting top talent. From partnering with hiring managers to craft compelling job descriptions and conducting thorough interviews, they play a multifaceted role in the recruitment process. 

While both Talent Acquisition Specialists and Freelance Recruiters contribute to the job market, they offer distinct experiences and career paths. Whether you thrive in a structured environment as an in-house professional or prefer the autonomy of freelance work, there are opportunities to excel in talent acquisition. 

By building a strong foundation, gaining valuable experience, and continuously refining your skills, you can embark on a rewarding journey towards becoming a successful Talent Acquisition Specialist in today’s dynamic job market.