Talent Acquisition Specialist

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Talent Acquisition Specialist

Postby Michael James » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:14 pm

Hello forum,

I have been an Assistant Professor at a new medical institution for 1.5 years. I reluctantly took the position after very successful Ph.D. and postdoctoral experiences. I was concerned about the institution's low research profile and difficulty/impossibility in obtaining research grants. That said, I have a family and mouths need to be fed. I took the job.

Although it has been difficult to establish a research program, I have obtained significant teaching and administrative experience while developing a brand new medical school curriculum. Even with research difficulties, my CV is currently without gaps. I had 5 pubs in 2014!

I have recently been hunting for more research-focused positions. I applied to 4 positions and haven't heard anything. Last week, however, I was contacted by a "Talent Acquisition Specialist" from a neighboring medical school. She is a bona fide employee of the institution - not a spammer. She states in her e-mail that she is impressed with my background and accomplishments and that her institution has several faculty positions available. She wants me to call her and/or send her my CV to discuss opportunities at her institution.

I am a bit hesitant because I have never heard of faculty positions being obtained in this manner. Can anyone shed some light on the role of a Talent Acquisition Specialist and what she might do with my information? I want to be overjoyed, but I am a skeptical scientist.

Michael James
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Re: Talent Acquisition Specialist

Postby Dave Walker » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:06 pm

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the question -- I think you'll get some good answers here, as we all have had different interactions with this "Talent Acquisition Specialist" type. I.e., a recruiter.

If I were in your shoes, I would not send out anything but would call and hear what this person has to say. I would make sure to be skeptical versus overjoyed. (It's always dangerous to be overjoyed in the job hunt before you've accepted the offer!) You really can't go by what you hear about how "things are done" until you hear more information. Too many unknowns, which can lead to filling in the gaps with your imagination.

Any legit recruiter wouldn't mind filling you in on the job details and if they are indeed "sole source" employees of the company or not. If there's any hesitation on the other end and they ask for a CV before anything else....politely decline and go back to the traditional job hunt.

"The single factor that differentiates Nobel laureates from other scientists is training with another Nobel laureate." -- Sol Snyder
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Dave Walker
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Re: Talent Acquisition Specialist

Postby Dick Woodward » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:02 pm


Since your entire CV is on LinkedIn (I checked), I would be less concerned about sending anything than Dave is. That being said, he is correct - a phone call is always the best idea. This allows you to develop a rapport with the recruiter, and that can often lead to other insights.

Dave is correct - a "talent acquisition specialist" is another name for a recruiter, but I suspect that they are employees of the institution rather than someone who would get a commission. This is probably a way of filling positions that makes more sense than an ad which will have 1000 or more applications from every post-doc on the planet, all of which would have to be reviewed.

Note also that if this is a neighboring medical school, you may not have to relocate - and they won't have to pay for it. Something else that both of you should be considering.

Good luck - let us know how it turns out.

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Dick Woodward
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Re: Talent Acquisition Specialist

Postby Ana » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:54 am

"Talent acquisition specialist" was also the name they used at my former company for the HR colleagues that were in charge of sourcing new candidates.

I always think in this case of situation it doesn't hurt to talk to the other person. Just call her.

And good luck finding that more research-focused position that you want,

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