Difference between Recruitment and Selection

“Recruitment” and “Selection”. These two words sound almost the same right? The words that have been used interchangeably for god knows how long, looks like synonyms at first glance, but they bear a slight difference from one other. Though the differences are quite subtle, it will be really helpful to understand the differences, especially for the budding managers. As we know that employees are the building block of any organization. It is the employees’ contribution that plays a huge role in making or breaking the organization. So, careful recruitment and selection procedure must be carried out to reduce the amount of loss caused to the organization.

The entire recruitment and the selection procedure comes under the job scope of the Human Resource department. The HR team is the one responsible for bringing in the fresh selects, training them and making them comfortable with the culture of the organization. Every company needs to expand its workforce, maybe to cater to growth or because of a vacancy in a job position. So, the way to extend the workforce is nothing but “hiring”. Hiring is the gateway for bringing in the best talents from among the lot so that they can add value to the company in the best possible way and recruitment and selection forms a part of the hiring process. 

What is Recruitment?

As Edwin B. Flippo said, Recruitment is the process of searching for the potential candidates for employment and stimulating them to apply for job vacancies in the organisation.

It is defined as the act of searching for potential candidates for the company. The procedure involves looking out for potential candidates, searching about their educational backgrounds and finally motivating them to apply for the job profiles for which the company is hiring. A huge process spanning out for weeks, recruitment is a process which is the summation of many different activities. It involves searching and finally hiring the most eligible candidates for the job by scrutiny and examination. 

For the hiring process, recruitment is the first step. As, the market place is extremely competitive, so every company must keep itself updating with more effective human resources (manpower) that can be of a great addition to the company. So, recruitment is not just a necessity but also is of strategic importance to the company. Recruitment serves as the link between the people for jobs and the companies that require them. So, following the correct recruitment process yields in fruitful results.

Why Recruitment?

The recruitment process is carried out to increase the workforce of an organisation. Broadly, recruitment can be carried out for 3 reasons. They are:

  • PLANNED: This kind of recruitment activities are already planned and happens because of known changes in the organisation like the retirement of a certain percentage of the workforce.
  • ANTICIPATED: This type of recruitment occurs when there has been some indication to the HR about the movement of the employees, by analysing the recent trend that has been going on in the organisation. 
  • UNEXPECTED: This recruitment process cannot be planned as it happens without any prior notice. This includes reasons like sudden resignations, deaths and accidents.

How to Do Recruitment?

As said above, recruitment is the culmination of various activities. The activities are listed below:

  • Assess the needs of the organisation and analyse the kind of resource requirement of the company.
  • Advertising the vacancy in the organisation through various means like print media, social media, to make the job seekers aware of the recent opening.
  • Generate interest in the minds of the candidates and encourage them to fill the application form.
  • Manage the responses from a massive pile of interested candidates.
  • Careful analysis and scrutiny of all the applications.
  • Shortlisting of the candidates for the following process, that is most suitable for the job profile offered.

Types of Recruitments

Though all the steps are followed in any recruitment process, 2 types of recruitments can take place.

  • Internal recruitment: This process does not involve any fresh hiring, it implies the transfer of the employees within the organisation to new positions. Examples include:
    • Promotions
    • Transfers
    • Contact or references
    • Ex-employees
  • External recruitment: This process involves fresh hiring of new talent from outside resources. Examples are:
    • Advertisement
    • Poaching
    • Campus recruitments
    • Recruitment agencies

What is Selection?

As Stone defines, Selection is the process of differentiating between applicants to identify (and hire) those with a greater likelihood of success in a job. 

Choosing the most suitable candidate from the pool of candidates provided by the recruitment process is called as the process of selection. It is generally an elimination process where the unsuitable candidates are removed, and the most worthy candidates are hired by the organisation. It is the job of HR to differentiate between the qualified and the unqualified applicants. The goal is to find the perfect candidate for the job, just like the correct piece fits the jigsaw puzzle.

How to Carry Out the Selection Procedure?

There is a certain overlap between the recruitment and the selection process. Just like the recruitment procedure, there are many steps involved in the selection process too. They are: 

  • Screening process: This involves reviewing the candidate’s applications to eliminate unsuitable applications.
  • Elimination of some candidates: After the screening process is over, the unsuitable candidates are removed from the process of further hiring steps.
  • Conducting selection tasks: There have to be specific criteria based on which the most eligible candidate is selected. So, this can include an aptitude test, performance test, behaviour test, psychological test and many more.
  • Interview: One of the most important steps in choosing the candidate. Here, the candidate can be tested on multiple fronts by asking behavioural questions, situation-based questions and can gauge the candidate’s thought process.
  • Checking references: This is generally done to cross-check the information as furnished by the candidate. Usually, a company asks for a minimum of two references, from where the candidate’s authenticity can be verified.
  • Medical check-ups: The candidate must be strong, fit and of sound mind, to be considered eligible for the job. So, this is a mandatory step that must be completed before selecting a candidate for the job.

These are the steps that are involved in a selection procedure. As can be seen, a selection process is a long and time-consuming process. It is carried out after the recruitment process is done. The selection process brings the entire hiring process to its completion. 

Difference between Recruitment and Selection

So, the key differences between recruitment and selection can be summarised precisely as follows:

Meaning Searching and encouraging potential candidates to fill in the application. Selecting the best fit for the job.
Objective To have a large pool of applicants. To eliminate and select the perfect candidate.
Nature It is a positive process as it encourages maximum participation. It is a negative process as it involves the rejection of the majority of candidates.
Process It is a fairly simple process. It is a complex one.
Sequence It comes before the selection process. It follows the recruitment process.
Function Its main aim is to provide the candidates for the selection process. It results in making an offer to the most suitable candidate by providing the appointment letter.
Process It involves the advertising of vacancies through various methods. It involves the evaluation of the candidates on various parameters.
Method It is an economical method. It is a fairly expensive method.
Time required It is a quicker method. It requires much more time.

Thus, recruitment and selection though seeming quite similar, have a large number of differences between them. A clear understanding of both the processes is a must, as it will ensure that the organisation has a strong and effective workforce. It will help in proper scouting, shortlisting and selection of the perfect candidate for the job. Great hiring, followed by proper training can do wonders for the organisation.

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