At some point in time, every company needs to increase its workforce or fill in vacant positions. Someone might seek other opportunities elsewhere or move up to higher roles. Whichever the case, recruitment teams need to move quickly and efficiently to ensure that there are no holes to the company’s staff.
Selection and recruitment are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the hiring process. While they both have the same end goal, which is to bring in qualified candidates to the team, they both have different definitions and processes.
Which one is best for your hiring process and HR team? Let’s delve into the recruitment vs selection debacle.
What is the difference between recruitment and selection?
Before actually diving into the differences between recruitment and selection, let’s first define and understand recruitment.
In a nutshell, recruitment is the process of finding or reaching out to candidates and encouraging them to apply for vacancies in your company. While it may seem simple from the get-go, truly effective recruitment is a long process that involves a series of activities. The process usually involves:
- Analysis of job requirements
- Advertisement of job openings
- Attracting interested candidates
- Managing applications sent in by candidates
- Screening applications from interested candidates
It’s a lengthy process but it starts out in an equal playing field so every interested job seeker has a shot at getting into your company.
This is where the difference between recruitment and selection begins. While the purpose of recruitment is to create a talent pool of qualified candidates, the purpose of selection is to choose the best candidates to fill the vacancies in the organization. If recruitment is a positive process, selection is a negative one because you’re only targeting eligible candidates. Those who lack the skills or experience are no longer considered.
Another difference between recruitment and selection is that recruitment is typically a simple process while selection is more complex. During recruitment, members of the hiring team do not consign themselves with scrutinizing candidates. They simply indicate that there are openings and encourage interested job seekers to apply.
But in the selection process, recruiters have to know every single detail of the candidates who applied for the opening. It becomes a challenging process for both employers and applicants, and applicants will now have to cross the hurdles to secure the coveted position.
To gain a deeper understanding of the recruitment vs selection debate, let’s take a look at the different methods of each process.
What are the different methods of recruitment?
Recruitment techniques are always evolving and there are many different types of recruitment that companies use to attract the best candidates. After all, not every job has the same requirements and each organization has different needs. Here are the different hiring tactics that employers use to find the candidates they’re looking for. Afterwards, we’ll discuss how the methods contribute to the difference between recruitment and selection.
This includes placing job ads on job boards, your Careers site, social media channels, and industry publications. This is an excellent way to find a large pool of talent, give exposure to employer branding, and boost your company’s overall reputation. While advertising can be expensive, you’ll reap its benefits as long as you target your ads well.
Almost all companies have some type of employee referral program in place. The value is that it’s cost-effective, efficient, and you can trust in your employees that they’ll refer suitable candidates. Additionally, the new hire will likely already know more about your company compared to an outside hire and they’ll fit in better with the company culture.
Boomerang employees are those people who worked for your company before but left on good terms for personal reasons. There’s value in rehiring them because you know what they’re capable of and the employee already knows what’s it like to work for you. They’ll fit right back into the company culture. Rehiring past employees also reduces time to hire and cost per hire plus it eliminates the risks of you making a bad hire.
Talent pool databases
You should always search your existing talent pool databases for candidates who didn’t get hired before but showed potential. If you’ve been using a free online recruitment software, it’s easy to keep track of past applicants. When a new opening comes up, simply search your talent pool for candidates with skills and experience who fit the requirements. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort.
Promotions and transfers
While promotions and transfers aren’t necessarily the same thing, the concept is the same. You identify internal employees to fill in open roles. While a promotion means someone moves up the career ladder and is given a pay increase along with additional responsibilities, a transfer is a horizontal move that seldom involves added compensation or greater responsibility.
For big companies or large organizations planning expansion, recruitment events are great for attracting qualified candidates, especially fresh graduates. Events can range from holding hackathons, recruitment drives on universities, hosting open days, or setting up a booth at job fairs.
What about the different methods of selection?
As you’ve probably deduced from the list above, recruitment is really all about gathering as many candidates as possible. The true difference between recruitment and selection then lies in the way both processes are handled. If recruitment is all about amassing a huge talent pool, selection is all about reducing that talent pool so that you’re only left with the most qualified candidates.
Here are the various methods of selection that hiring teams use.
The purpose of a preliminary interview is to basically eliminate unqualified candidates based on the information supplied in resumes or CVs. The objective is to reject misfits or applicants who don’t possess the necessary skills or credentials. Preliminary interviews are also often called courtesy interviews as they’re a good way to establish rapport and practice good public relations.
Skills Test and Psychometric Testing
Job seekers who pass the preliminary interviews are often called in for tests. Depending on the position and the company, there are various types of tests conducted. Popular examples include Personality Tests, Aptitude Tests, Integrity Tests, and Ability Tests. These help the hiring team objectively measure how well a candidate can perform tasks related to the job. It also helps determine if the candidate will be a good culture fit for the company.
The next step in selection is the employment interview, which is typically a formal and in-depth conversation that determines an applicant’s acceptability. It’s considered as the ultimate selection device. However, interviewers might evaluate candidates in a subjective manner. This makes it difficult to take what they say at face value. A good practice is creating a standardized interview guide that includes a detailed scoring criteria and pre-determined questions. This ensures you ask each candidate the same questions and remain as objective as possible.
Reference and background checks
Reference and background checks go beyond just being formalities. They’re an effective way of revealing valuable information that can help you identify top talent and better grasp how a candidate would transition into the new role. Checking references and background credentials also allows you to discover more about candidates and their work ethics. This is also a practice that highlights a difference between recruitment and selection: the ability to pinpoint red flags in the employee selection process.
However, checking references take a lot of time and effort – especially when you’re hiring for several vacant positions at a time. But you can make it worth your while by focusing on questions that provide more insight into a candidate’s accomplishments, weaknesses, and overall performance. For instance, avoid asking closed questions that only require a yes or no answer. Those often don’t offer useful information. Good questions include “Would you rehire them?” or “How did the candidate carry out his role and responsibilities?”
Recruitment vs Selection: Which one is better?
In order to find the best employees for your company, there shouldn’t be a recruitment vs selection debate. Why? Because they’re both intrinsically different processes and you need both if you want your hiring efforts to succeed.
Recruitment, as the name implies, focuses on finding candidates and making them apply for openings. Selection is all about picking the most qualified candidates among the talent pool you’ve built. They go hand-in-hand. However, while the recruitment process is often straightforward, the selection process is often unique to an organization. The best format for yours depends on many factors so it’s best to form a process that’s reliable, predictive, and suitable for the roles you need to hire for.
While there are many differences between recruitment and selection, at the end of the day, your hiring team needs both to onboard new employees and fill the gaps in your organization. All companies try to hire the best employees and if you want to do the same, don’t pit selection and recruitment against each other. You need recruitment to gather as many applicants as possible, and selection to help narrow down potential candidates. When you know how to master both, you’ll have a well-oiled hiring process that lets you onboard top talent and grow your organization’s potential to the fullest.