Frequently Asked Questions

Strategic Talent Acquisition (STA) Certification
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The Premier Credential for Professionals Seeking a Comprehensive, Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Approach

Become a true business influencer with HCI’s new comprehensive, data-driven approach. As an HCI certified Talent Acquisition Strategist, you’ll learn to identify quality talent, increase diversity and enable winning teams to drive business outcomes. In addition, view the future of talent acquisition through a lens of customer centricity.

A Customer-Centric Approach
Rather than taking orders and recruiting on a position-by-position basis, Talent Acquisition Strategists need a new set of competencies to meet the talent needs of the organization today and provide the agility it will need for tomorrow. Transparency, communication and relationship-building with business leaders, hiring managers and internal and external candidates form the foundation of the Strategist’s approach.

The Marketer’s Advantage
The rise of social and consumer technologies has changed candidate expectations. They have the same high expectations that your clients and customers do—personalized experiences, relevant messaging, transparency and honesty. The right marketing strategies driven by relevant data and analytics will help you attract the best candidates and make the best hires. This goal-driven approach will help you connect hiring to the entire employee lifecycle, ensuring long-term organizational success.

Increasingly, the best answer may be found within the Strategic Talent Acquisition function. The High Potentials, Innovators and Customer Service champions of the future are all within the grasp of the best Talent Acquisition Strategists. Through better, more consultative relationships with hiring managers, a strategic view of workforce planning and analytics that lead to business outcomes and mastery of a set of new relationship-building competencies and tools — Talent Acquisition professionals are poised to contribute answers on each of these fronts. First, however, they must move beyond the world of order taking and searching resumes for keywords.

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A New Set of Competencies and a Strategic and Systematic Approach for Today’s Talent Acquisition Landscape


The Talent Acquisition Strategist must understand business strategy in a way recruiters have never had to before. As markets evolve, product cycles shorten and the global economy fluctuates, making the right workforce planning decisions becomes a critical business process and the Talent Acquisition Strategist plays a key role in:

  • Understanding and applying the right mix of “Build, Buy & Borrow” strategies.
  • Leveraging external labor supply knowledge to drive decision making.
  • Integrating TA work with other talent leaders to execute on key business strategies.


The idea that a recruiter can manage 50 or more requisitions simultaneously without having an adverse impact on talent acquisition outcomes is outdated. This implies that all open positions have equal value to the organization when, in fact, even the briefest review of any company strategy will show that this isn’t the case. The Talent Acquisition Strategist must become proficient at:

  • Segmenting roles to understand which positions most directly align to strategic execution and reassessing this connection on a regular basis.
  • Prioritizing these roles when executing TA strategies.
  • Revising Talent Acquisition metrics to understand gaps in delivering the workforce needed for these strategic roles.


Research from DDI has suggested that as many as 1 in 8 new hires fails to be successful in their new job, and while there are many explanations for this a lot of them don’t have anything to do with lack of skills. It is more important than ever that today’s Talent Acquisition Strategists are effective at first understanding the realities inside their organization and then reflecting those realities to the candidates that are going to find them appealing. This includes:

  • Understanding all the touchpoints of their employer brand to gain a clear picture of what it will be like to do a particular job in order to match candidates to culture.
  • Crafting job descriptions and messaging that paint a compelling portrait of this reality.
  • Matching segments of the candidate target population with the elements of their culture that will offer the best fit based on the differentiators that will matter most to them.


It doesn’t take long scanning the business section of any newspaper to locate trends that have the potential to disrupt entire market segments. Organizations simply cannot afford to wait to capitalize on opportunities presented in a new market or to respond to threats to their strategy. As a result, the idea of talent pipelines is particularly important for the Talent Acquisition Strategist who is effective at:

  • Building a database of potentially qualified, interested and available talent for key strategic roles.
  • Maintaining a long-term communication strategy  based on the principles of market segmentation.
  • Understanding and leveraging the internal pipeline of competencies that can allow organizations to redeploy talent most effectively to meet talent needs.

Assess & Select:

Of all the opportunities for strategic partnership between business leaders and Talent Acquisition Strategists, there are few more critical than providing expertise on assessment and selection. Far too many business leaders continue to rely on their “gut” when making hiring decisions despite mountains of evidence that shows that their gut is usually wrong. Talent Acquisition Strategists should be able to:

  • Provide a detailed description of the relative benefits of various assessments types, as well as guidance on the use of each.
  • Know how to get past keywords and generic job qualifications to really understand what will be required to be successful in a role.
  • Be able to assess for both current and future fit.