What is the difference between recruitment and selection? All you need to know


Rachita Jain


Word Count
Securing a decent candidate is becoming increasingly difficult with the ‘n’ number of applications for one job. You want only the best one but choosing the top talent, is the most demanding and exhausting part. However, you have an upper hand while choosing because of the large candidate pool you get.
There are two main stages in a recruitment process, recruiting and selection, which you may have heard many times. Most of us see them as being the same. But their purpose and practices are very different.
It's important to understand the difference between recruitment and selection for ensuring a smooth and enhanced hiring process.

What is recruitment?

In the process of recruitment, you seek potential employees and encourage them to apply for open positions. Recruitment is the first step of the entire process of hiring a candidate; therefore, it must be done right to hire the most suitable candidate.
Recruitment in HR can be a drawn-out procedure that includes several steps, from analyzing the job requirements to hiring employees. The following activities are involved in the recruitment process:
  • Reviewing the job requirements
  • Promoting the open position
  • Attracting applicants to apply for the open position
  • Managing response for the post
  • Evaluation of applications
  • Candidate shortlisting
Generally, HR professionals are in charge of recruitment activities, either internally or externally. Internal recruitment sources include transfers, promotions, laid-off workers, contacts or references, former employees, retired employees, etc.
External recruitment sources include ads, on-campus recruitment, employee exchanges, recruitment by third parties, online recruitment, uninvited candidates, etc.

Methods of recruitment

You can recruit qualified candidates for your company in several ways. While depending on your industry and sector, you may use the following methods:

1. Employee recommendation

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Employee recommendations hike the chances of matching a job by 2.6-6.6%. Furthermore, employee recommendation is an economical way to find suitable people for the job.
  • A current employee can suggest one of their friends, family members, or coworkers for an open position.
  • This is primarily an internal hiring process that can reduce hiring costs and time.
  • Employees are entitled to receive a monetary reward or a bonus if the company hires a candidate that they recommended.

2. Direct advertisement

Recruiters often use direct advertisements to promote vacant positions.
  • You can feature your vacancies on the radio, on billboards, in television commercials, and in ads.
  • You can communicate with a wide range of qualified candidates through these methods.
  • Direct advertisement methods can be beneficial when you are hiring for several entry-level positions.
  • You can use direct advertising to target people who meet their potential when looking for competent workers.

3. Boomerang hiring

Boomerang hiring mainly includes hiring former workers. There are fewer selection and training programs needed for these employees. During boomerang hiring, we select those who share the same values as the company and are qualified for the position. Because the recruiter is aware of the candidate's skill set, this helps save a ton of time and money.

4. Internal promotions

Internal promotion can be seen as an alternative to recruitment. There is a high chance that the company already has an employee with the necessary skills and qualifications for the position. You can keep your current employees and increase their morale by giving internal promotions to outstanding employees. Internal promotions usually result in cost savings and time savings. It is important to encourage team members to improve their abilities and work ethics.

5. Online job boards

An online job board with job descriptions is an excellent resource for finding fresh and qualified applicants. A job board makes sure that the right people see your job posting.
These job boards can assist your company in connecting with prospective employees. They offer a simple and user-friendly way for job seekers to apply for open positions. These job boards allow you to describe the position's duties, benefits, and work environment.

What is selection?

Selection refers to hiring employees among the shortlisted candidates and giving them a position in the company. It usually comes later in the hiring process. Selection basically includes filtering the candidates to hire the best and most suitable candidate. "Selection" means matching the right individual with the correct position.
Selection in HRM employs several strategies to help distinguish between qualified and unqualified applicants.
You can use different techniques during the selection process to determine which applicant is best suited for the job. Some of these include:
  • Screening
  • Disqualifying unsuitable applicants
  • Test administration (aptitude, intellect, performance, personality, etc.)
  • Interview
  • Reference Check
  • Medical Test
The selection process takes time because it is crucial for HR to determine the candidate's suitability for the position. Age, employment background, and education are some of the most important aspects to which you must pay close attention to. The written test and interview that follow are both quite challenging as it is not easy to do a thorough examination of a candidate within such a short span of time.

Methods of selection

Selecting skilled and qualified employees will benefit your company's workforce in multiple ways. It'll also raise the work standard of your company. However, the selection method varies depending on the number of applications received. The following are some typical methods of selection:

1. Screening applications

Application screening is the first stage in the selection process. It is to ensure candidates meet the requirements for the position. For instance, HR might confirm that the candidate is qualified for the job, and has the required credentials. You can save time using ATS or applicant tracking systems instead of manually reviewing applicants.

2. Skill test

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Your company may require a candidate to complete a skill test, resume, curriculum vitae, and cover letter. For instance, an aptitude test may be necessary to assess analytical skills if a candidate is applying for an analytics position.

3. Preliminary interview

Preliminary interviews are held for applicants with solid applications to test their talents. To save time, you can conduct these interviews over the phone or via video. Its main goal is to see whether the candidate satisfies the minimum qualification requirements. These initial interviews can all be completed within 15 minutes.

4. Interviewing for a job with a team

You can ask in-depth questions from candidates during the interview to understand their qualifications and check their abilities. It helps in getting to know each applicant. You can also learn about their work duties and assess their level of industry expertise. Doing this with your team can bring in the required objectivity and different perspectives. Make a list of questions to ask candidates to gauge their knowledge.

5. Background and reference checks

Reference and background checks are the third part of the selection process. It will help the company determine whether the candidates are truthful about their information. Background checks can help you confirm important details about the candidate. It also helps in evaluating the candidate's workplace attitude.

Difference between the recruitment and selection process

Here are some differences between the recruitment and selection process that will help you understand the importance of recruitment and selection.
Seeking potential candidates and encouraging them to apply for the company
Offering a job to the best candidates
Positive approach - aiming to expand the candidate pool
Negative approach - seeking ways to reduce the candidate pool
Inviting more applicants to apply for the open position
HR selects the best candidate while dismissing the rest.
First step of the hiring process
Second step of the hiring process
• When recruiting, you promote the position and encourage candidates to apply • The company notifies candidates of open positions through different means of advertisement • They are then provided access to an application form
• An applicant is put through different stages (submitting a form, completing a test, being interviewed, etc.) to determine their suitability for the position • The process of selecting a candidate by filtering out rest of the lot
Recruitment policies specify recruitment objectives by providing rules and regulations for implementing recruitment programs
As per the selection policy, candidates will be evaluated by several methods, steps, and stages
The recruitment process entails communicating open positions and vacancies - no contract is formed
An employment contract is created between an employer and an employee during selection
Economical process
Expensive process

The importance of recruitment and selection policies

1. Establishment of a successful workforce

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The key to having a successful workforce is the recruitment and selection of the right candidates. For the recruitment process to be effective the company's needs must match the applicant's needs.
In recruitment, you scout and advertise to attract the right candidates. In the selection process, you narrow down the candidate pool to one ideal candidate. And with an effective recruitment, selection, and onboarding process, you will be able to build a workforce that aligns perfectly with the goals of your company.

2. Transparency in the hiring process

A sound recruitment and selection policy ensures transparency in the process of hiring a candidate. The candidates get the latest updates from time to time which enhances the candidate experience as well. Additionally, transparent selection in HRM will strengthen the team. It also helps in completing work by ensuring the right personnel are hired.

3. Consistency in the process

With a good recruitment and selection plan, you can bring consistency to the entire process. A good plan will ensure that everything takes place at its anticipated time. Moreover, if you face any difficulties, your action plan will come to your rescue.

4. Saves time and money

When everything is planned, it becomes a lot easier to fill an open position in your firm. It also saves you money as you move ahead systematically. Wastage of resources is minimal when you plan out things in advance.

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