What is the Difference Between Recruitment and Selection?

Rohit Rajpal

Senior Writer

Guide on difference between recruitment and selection

Recruitment and selection are two essential processes for any organization. And although many people use these terms interchangeably, they’re not the same. Recruitment aims to attract a pool of eligible candidates, while selection focuses on choosing the best candidate from the pool for a particular job.

Both recruitment and selection play a crucial role in determining a company’s future, as the quality of the employees hired will directly impact the organization’s productivity and success. Unfortunately, about 73% of recruiters find it difficult to search for skilled candidates.

Looking for Recruiting Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best Recruiting Software solutions.

Another report indicates that, on average, 118 candidates apply for one open job position, of whom only 20% are interviewed. However, selecting that 20% isn’t as easy. You must consider many factors, including skills, experience, cultural fit, etc.

And that’s what we’ll discuss today. We will talk about recruitment and selection definition and the difference between recruitment and selection. Let’s get started!

What is the Recruitment Process?

The recruitment process refers to the series of activities that organizations conduct to fill a vacant position. It begins with companies defining what kind of candidates they are looking for and encouraging them to apply.

However, when we go into the details, the entire recruitment process or recruitment life cycle typically includes

  • Job analysis
  • Job posting
  • Sourcing and screening candidates
  • Conducting interviews
  • Making job offers
  • Onboarding employees

The goal of recruitment is to help find the perfect match per the job requirements, culture fit and overall compatibility. Depending on the organization’s practices, it may involve background checks, reference checks, and assessments (skills and personality tests).

Note: Effective recruitment processes help organizations hire quality employees and build a diverse, engaged workforce.

Let’s understand the objectives of recruitment in detail.

What Are the Objectives of Recruitment?

The objectives of the recruitment process vary from organization to organization. However, the most common ones are

  1. Attract qualified job applicants
  2. Create a talent pool of candidates 
  3. Identify and hire the best candidates for the organization
  4. Ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce
  5. Speed up the hiring process while minimizing costs
  6. Enhance the company’s employer brand and reputation
  7. Evaluate the effectiveness of various recruitment strategies and improve accordingly

Remember that your entire recruitment process should include strategies aligned with your objectives. For instance, to ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce, you must first analyze the current workforce to determine the kind of people you should hire.

What Activities Are Involved in Employee Recruitment?

As mentioned above, your recruitment objectives should guide your process. However, here are the general activities that HR managers perform when hiring employees.

Activities Involved in Employee Recruitment

  1. Job analysis and description

    Craft an effective job description highlighting the day-to-day tasks, skills, and experience required for the position. You can also consider mentioning the pay range for the role. This will help attract only interested candidates.

  2. Source candidates

    Find potential employees through various channels, including job boards, employee referrals, campus recruitment, and social media recruiting.

  3. Screen and shortlist

    Review resumes and applications to determine which candidates fit the job. This will help remove unsuitable candidates from the list.

  4. Interview

    Conduct face-to-face or virtual meetings to assess a candidate’s qualifications, skills, and fit with the company culture.

  5. Negotiation and offer

    Once you have chosen a candidate(s), it’s time to negotiate the offer. Decide with the stakeholders how much you’re ready to pay the candidate and negotiate accordingly. After they accept the offer, send an official employment letter with all the details.

  6. Onboard

    This is the last step, where you add the employees to the organization. You must then provide orientation and training to help them comprehend how things work in your company.

    To maintain and improve your employer brand, you must create an overall positive process. Every stage should be engaging and positive for candidates, regardless of whether they’re hired.

What is the Selection Process?

The selection process refers to the steps that HR professionals take to identify the best candidate for an open position. It includes reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, conducting reference checks, and assessing skills, abilities, and qualifications.

This process helps companies differentiate between the most suitable candidate and unqualified applicants. Shortlisted candidates are then invited for further screening (via interviews and technical assessments).

What Are the Objectives of Selection?

As mentioned above, the selection process helps identify the most suitable candidate for a vacant position. Additionally, it also helps companies,

  1. Determine the most suitable candidate(s) for the job based on custom criteria.
  2. Ensure that the organization complies with equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination laws.
  3. Reduce attrition rates and the costs associated with recruitment.
  4. Promote fairness and consistency while eliminating bias in the hiring process.
  5. Ensure a positive candidate experience to enhance the organization’s employer brand.

In short, selection enables you to find the best candidates for current and future openings in the organization. This reduces the time to hire while improving the quality.

What Is the Difference Between Recruitment and Selection?

Let’s understand the difference between recruitment and selection in detail.

Recruitment focuses on attracting candidates and building a pool of applicants via internal and external recruitment strategies. On the other hand, selection helps you differentiate between qualified and unqualified applicants.

What is Difference Between Recruitment and Selection

Another difference between the recruitment and selection process is that the former only helps you communicate the vacancies. This means no contractual relationship is set. However, selection involves the creation of a contractual relationship between the employer and the employee.

Recruiting Vs. Selection: Know the Difference

There are many differences between recruitment and hiring. Understanding the difference between recruitment and selection is critical to making informed decisions. One helps you find potential talent for your organization while another helps you handpick from that list. And both contribute to the business’s bottom line equally. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of how the recruitment and selection processes differ, let’s distinguish between recruitment and selection via a table. 

DefinitionSearching candidates for an open role in the organizationShortlisting the best candidates for the vacant position
Key factorAdvertise the open position to attract applicantsChoose and onboard the best candidate
GoalEncourage more candidates to apply for the roleReject unsuitable candidates and find a perfect match
NaturePositive as it promotes applying for a job at your companyNegative as it involves rejecting people (who are not the right fit)
RelationshipContractual relation isn’t establishedContractual relation exists
DurationLess time-consuming and is usually a short processLengthy process and is time-consuming
ScopeBegins with identifying a hiring need and ends with filling the positionOnly involves choosing the best candidates from the talent pool
ProcessYou notify about the vacancies via multiple channels, including job boards, emails, social media, etc.Candidates must pass through several stages (e.g., tests, interviews, negotiation, etc.)


Both the recruitment and selection processes are critical for any organization. They’re equally important, and human resource managers must create a robust strategy for both recruitment and selection. If not, they will end up with a large pool of candidates not qualified for the advertised role. 

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the market’s top recruitment tool for HR teams for advanced and efficient hiring.

Google News
subscribe image
Let’s Stay in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter & never miss our latest news and promotions.

people subscribed+21K people have already subscribed 

Related Articles

Share This