Recruitment vs. Selection

What is the Difference Between Recruitment and Selection?

Emily BarrHR Professionals, Leaders


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Recruitment vs. Selection


What is the Difference Between Recruitment and Selection?


The difference between recruitment and selection is important to understand. Recruitment refers to the process where potential applicants are searched for, and then encouraged to apply for an actual or anticipated vacancy. Selection is the process of hiring employees among the shortlisted candidates and providing them a job in the organization. 

The success of any organization depends on its employees. When an employee is well suited for their job, the entire company can enjoy the benefits of their unbeatable success. Recruitment and selection help organizations choose the right candidates for the right positions. Therefore, understanding the difference between recruitment and selection is essential to reduce any losses for an organization. 

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What is Recruitment? 

Recruitment is the process in which people are offered selection in an organization. It is when prospective employees are searched for and are then encouraged to apply for jobs within the organization. 

This is just one step in the process of employment however it is a long process that involves a series of tasks, starting with an analysis of the job requirements and ending with the appointment of the employee. Specific tasks involved in the process of recruitment include: 

  • Analyzing job requirements 
  • Advertising the vacancy 
  • Attracting candidates to apply for the job 
  • Managing response 
  • Scrutinizing applications 
  • Shortlisting candidates 

Recruitment activities are typically performed by Human Resource practitioners, either internally or externally. Internal recruitment sources are promotion, transfers, retrenched employees, contact or references, ex-employees, retired employees, etc. External recruitment sources are recruitment through advertisement, campus recruitment, recruitment by employee exchanges, recruitment by third parties, internet recruitment, unsolicited applicants, etc. 


Difference Between Recruitment and Selection 2


What is Selection? 

Selection is the process of identifying an individual from a pool of job applicants with the requisite qualifications and competencies to fill jobs in the organization. This is an HR process that helps differentiate between qualified and unqualified applicants by applying various techniques.  

The term ‘selection’ comes with the connotation of placing the right person in the right job. Selection is the process in which various strategies are employed to help recruiters decide which applicant is best suited for the job. Some activities include: 

  • Screening 
  • Eliminating unsuitable candidates 
  • Conducting an examination (aptitude test, intelligence test, performance test, personality test, etc.) 
  • Interviews 
  • Checking references 
  • Medical tests 

The selection process is a largely time-consuming step in an employee’s hiring experience. HR managers must carefully identify the eligibility of every candidate for the post, being careful not to disregard important factors such as educational qualification, background, age, etc. 


The Difference Between Recruitment and Selection 

The difference between recruitment and selection can be understood by comparing the two processes against the same characteristics or factors. See the chart below. 

Comparison  Recruitment  Selection 
Meaning  An activity of searching for potential candidates and encouraging them to apply.  A process of selecting the best candidates and offering them the job. 
Approach  Positive – seeking out an increase in the applicant pool.  Negative – seeking out ways to reduce the applicant pool until one ideal candidate is identified. 
Objective  Inviting more candidates to apply for a vacant position.  Choosing the most suitable candidate and rejecting the rest. 
Key Factor  Advertising the job.  Appointing the candidate. 
Sequence  First.  Second. 
Process  Vacancies are notified by the organization through various sources, then an application form is made available to candidates.  The organization makes an applicant go through various levels (submitting a form, writing a test, undergoing an interview, etc.) to deem whether they’re an appropriate fit. 
Specifications  The recruitment policy specifies the objectives of recruitment, providing rules and regulations for the implementation of the recruitment program.  The selection policy consists of a series of methods/steps/stages by which the evaluation of the candidate will be done. 
Contractual Relation  Recruitment only implies communication of vacancies and open positions – therefore, no contractual relation is established.  Selection involves the creation of a contractual agreement between the employer and employee. 
Method  Economical.  Expensive. 

Key Differences 

The process of recruitment involves the development of suitable techniques for attracting more candidates to a position vacancy, while the process of selection involves identifying the most suitable candidate for the vacancy. Recruitment precedes the selection process, and the selection process is only completed when a job offer is created and given to the selected candidate by appointment letter.  

In order to thoroughly understand the difference between recruitment and selection, there are certain points to keep in mind. 

  1. Recruitment is the process of finding candidates for the vacant position and encouraging them to apply for it. Selection means choosing the best candidate from the pool of applicants and offering them the job. 
  2. Recruitment is a positive process aimed at attracting more and more job seekers to apply. Selection is a negative process, rejecting unfit candidates from the list. 
  3. Of the two, recruitment is relatively simpler. Recruitment has the recruiter paying less attention to scrutinizing individual candidates, whereas selection involves a more thorough examination of candidates where recruiters aim to learn every minute detail about each candidate, so they can choose the perfect match for the job. 
  4. Recruitment is less time-consuming and less economically demanding, as it only involves identifying the needs of the job and encouraging candidates to apply for them. Selection involves a wide range of activities, which can be both time-consuming and expensive. 
  5. In recruitment, communication of vacancy is done so through various sources such as the internet, newspaper, magazines, etc., and distributes forms easily so candidates can apply. During the selection process, assessment is done so through various evaluation stages, such as form submission, written exams, interviews, etc. 

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Sprigg Performance Management

Understanding the Difference Between Recruitment and Selection Will Ensure Your Organization Has a Strong and Successful Workforce 

For the recruitment process to be effective, the needs of the organization need to be matched with the needs of the applicant. Similarly, a properly conducted selection process means the right personnel will join an organization’s workforce, helping management in strengthening the team and completing the work successfully. Therefore, understanding the distinction between recruitment and selection is a necessity in any organization’s onboarding process. 

Recognizing the importance in these two distinct phases, the first being proper scouting and advertising of attracting the appropriate candidates, and the second being effective methods of narrowing down the applicant pool to one ideal candidate, will ultimately be what improves your organization’s onboarding process. And, with a strong and effective onboarding process, you will be able to construct a workforce of which every individual aligns perfectly with your organization’s goals for success.


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Recruitment and Selection

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