Recruitment vs Selection: What Are the Differences?

recruitment vs selection what are the defferences between them?

One of the biggest challenges companies face is trying to fill a vacancy. Despite the abundance of candidates for some roles, companies still struggle with finding the candidates they need.

There are many reasons behind these challenges. From looking for a wide range of skills that’s impossible to find in a single candidate to simply being unfamiliar with how recruitment and selection work.

Both recruitment and selection are stages within the broad recruitment process. And hiring managers need to be aware of what each stage entails and how to collaborate with HR to get the best results.

In this article, we’ll be talking about the differences between recruitment and selection. We’ll also offer tips to help you make the most of your recruitment experience.


What is recruitment?

Recruitment is the process of finding qualified candidates to fill vacant positions in your company. If you’re working with a recruitment agency, then it’s the agency’s job to find those candidates for you.

Think of recruitment as a broad term. Often, when we think of recruitment, we envision the entire recruitment process.

The hiring process usually encompasses 9 steps. You may find that some companies merge one or more of these steps, but the basics are:

  1. Identifying business needs and the role needed to be filled
  2. Creating an accurate job description
  3. Publishing the vacancy on job boards and platforms like LinkedIn
  4. Screening resumes
  5. Conducting interviews, which may be divided into sub-stages for in-person interviews, technical interviews…etc.
  6. Reviewing tests (if applicable)
  7. Selecting the best candidates from those who applied
  8. Presenting a job offer to the top candidate(s)

In the last stage of the recruitment process, if the candidate accepts the job offer, then the company begins the onboarding stage. If they reject the offer, the company returns to the top candidates list and presents another job to another candidate.


What is selection?

Selection is one of the final stages of the hiring process. It’s the final stage before presenting a job offer to a candidate.

Unlike the recruitment stage, selection, sometimes referred to as filtration, is only concerned with a smaller number of candidates.

Selection is when hiring managers handpick the best candidates that pass the initial screening and technical or role-based tests.


Recruitment vs selection: What’s the difference?

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s highlight the differences between recruitment and selection.

Both recruitment and selection are stages in the recruitment process.


Recruitment vs selection: Stages 

Recruitment is the first stage in the process. On the other hand, selection is one of the final stages.


Recruitment vs selection: Process

Both recruitment and selection are processes. However, recruitment is not only the name of the entire process, but also marks the first step where your HR specialist identifies needs and creates a job description.

Meanwhile, the selection process involves reviewing candidates’ skills, such as their interpersonal skills, their technical skills as in on the test,…etc.

Note: By technical test, we mean the test or assessment related to the vacancy. This test could be a translation test, accounting test, coding test, or something else.


Recruitment vs selection: Number of candidates

The number of candidates is a major difference between recruitment and selection.

In the recruitment stage, HR executives and hiring managers need to sift through a large pool of candidates. Depending on the role to be filled, HR specialists may receive hundreds of resumes for a single role.

Meanwhile, the selection stage involves a smaller number of candidates. It could be 5 candidates or less.

These are the top candidates who passed the screening interview, have met with the hiring manager, and have completed an assessment to evaluate their skills for the role.


Recruitment vs selection: The final decision maker

The hiring process usually involves two main parties or teams in a company. These are the human resources team, and the manager trying to fill the vacancy.

For example, if your marketing team needs a copywriter, your HR team will be in charge of the initial recruitment stages. Meanwhile, the hiring manager is responsible for the testing, assessment, and selection stages.

When a company is filling a position for the first time, HR may turn to the CEO or a different manager for their input. Alternatively, they may use an external service or software to assess the candidate.

Continuing the example of the copywriter, if the company doesn’t have a marketing team, or they only have juniors, they may turn to a different manager for advice. With copywriters, for example, it’s possible that a translation manager, public relations specialist can help assess the candidate.


Recruitment vs selection: Costs involved

The costs involved in the recruitment phase are considered minimal, if a little time-consuming depending on the volume of resumes received.

Meanwhile, the costs involved in the selection stage are higher as they require managers to shift their focus to hiring and assessing candidates. It’s also significantly more time-consuming.


Here’s a summary of these 5 differences between recruitment and selection

Point of comparison Recruitment Selection
Stage First stage in the hiring process One of the final stages of the hiring process
Process Initial process involving identifying needs, creating a job description, publishing the vacancy online and across job boards Late-stage process involving assessing candidates’ skills in relation to the available vacancy
Number of candidates Involves a large number of candidates and resumes Involves a smaller number of candidates
Decision maker HR filters resumes as part of initial screening Final decision is made by the hiring manager
Costs involved Less costly More costly and time-consuming


Recruitment methods for finding talents

There are a number of ways to go about searching for talents to fill vacancies in your company. There are internal recruitment methods and external ones.

Internal recruitment methods involve employees currently working in your company or organization. These usually include promotions and candidates moving to different teams or departments.

Naturally internal recruitment may be faster, although it may sometimes cause friction between employees or managers. So, you need to handle internal recruitment with care.

Meanwhile, external recruitment methods are the most common. You’ve probably tried a few yourself.

  1. Referrals 

Asking employees in your organization to refer others to you can be a great way to find high quality candidates. That’s because many people are likely to refer those with similar skills in their network. Few people are willing to recommend people they don’t trust.

  1. Job boards 

Many companies today, especially those looking to fill part-time or contract positions, publish their vacancies on job boards. There are free and paid job boards. Free job boards often result in a large number of resumes. Whereas, paid job boards can render quality candidates.

  1. Social media

Social media has become one of the top places, companies publish job posts. Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), or elsewhere. LinkedIn is by far the most popular social media platform where companies search for candidates.

You can publish jobs on the platform and on your company page, where team members can then share them with their network.

  1. Job fairs

While these are time-based, many companies focus on meeting candidates through job or employment fairs.

It has also become common practice for many universities to have an annual job fair before the summer holidays. During those fairs, companies meet-and-greet undergraduates and get applications for internships and junior roles.

  1. Recruitment agencies 

Sometimes you don’t have the capacity, time, or network to find qualified candidates. That’s where third-party recruitment agencies, like Tawzef, come in.

Not only do recruitment agencies have a large talent pool, but also many candidates follow their social media pages in search of their next role.


How to improve recruitment and selection in your company

To help you improve the hiring process as a whole and especially the recruitment and selection stages, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Vary between structured and unstructured interviews when meeting with candidates.
  • Set up your employee assessments or technical tests before you begin the hiring process.
  • Determine the salary range available for the vacant position.
  •  Avoid common hiring mistakes like asking for too much in the job description, or not being clear about the role to be filled.
  • Make sure you offer a good candidate experience. Employees may not pass this time, but make them feel welcomed to reapply in the future.
  • Speed up the process and save time by working with a recruitment agency like Tawzef.
  • Ask for guidance on roles you’re not familiar with or that are new to your company.


Need help finding the right hire for your company? Get in touch with Tawzef and let us manage your recruitment process all the way to the selection stage.



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