Key differences between the recruitment and selection process

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Key differences between the recruitment and selection process

Recruitment is an integral part of any organization. Whether a business owner of a small company or a recruitment manager or an HR professional of a big corporate house, at some point in time, there is a need for recruitment. Hiring candidates can be a lengthy process on its own and can involve many steps. Companies need to develop and adopt an effective recruitment strategy to stay ahead in recruitment competition and improve the candidate experience.

What is the recruitment strategy?

A recruitment strategy consists of a clear, formal plan that exemplifies how a business will attract, hire, and onboard experienced and inexperienced talents. The plan should be tied to the overall company objectives, which include talent requirements and fulfilling skill gaps, headcount planning, recruitment marketing strategies, selection procedures, tools and technologies to implement succession plans in the recruitment budget.

A recruitment strategy must be easy and achievable to execute and communicate with candidates. While recruitment techniques can be tweaked as per the manpower requirements and business needs, the strategy should be clear from the beginning of implementation.

What is the selection process?

The ultimate goal of the recruitment and selection process in organizations is to find, select and recruit top candidates for the job vacancy. Any recruitment process comes with a funnel structure. This means that an organization’s candidate selection process starts with a job opening. Every job opening must have a clear and defined job functionality on the profile. When the company makes the job description online, it should contain a clear job description, criteria, required work experience, educational background and proficiency in certain skills.

When a company publishes a job opening, candidates’ applications start flowing in. Here is where a selection funnel starts. The selection process in human resource management consists of steps that a candidate’s application moves through. A typical selection funnel consists of six stages. Not every application/candidate makes it through every stage. The best one gets the job. Let us go over the selection procedure stages one by one.

  • Application
  • Screening & shortlisting
  • Interview & Assessment
  • Background check
  • Job offer
  • Contract (in case of contractual hiring)

What is the difference between recruitment and selection?

The difference between recruitment and selection is extremely important to understand if you are a company or a recruiter. Recruitment refers to the process where potential applicants are searched and encouraged to apply for the vacancy. Selection is the process of hiring employees from the shortlisted candidates into the organization.

The success of an organization depends primarily on its employees. When a company hires employees with relevant work experience, they become the reason for a company’s success. Recruitment and selection are important processes that help organizations choose the right candidates for the right positions.

Therefore, understanding the difference between recruitment and selection is very important to reduce any losses for an organization.

Recruitment and selection difference at a glance –


Recruitment is the process in which candidates are offered the selection in an organization. Recruitment is done when prospective employees are being searched and encouraged to apply for jobs within the organization.

It is a process that is typically performed by Human Resource managers, either internally or externally.

Internal recruitment sources are job promotion, transfers, retrenchment of employees, recruitment through references, ex-employees absorption, retired employees, etc.


The term ‘selection’ comes with the connotation of placing the right person in the right job. Selection is the process that includes various strategies and is implemented to help recruiters in deciding which applicant is the right fit right for the job.

The process of selection constitutes selection identifying a candidate from the pool of job applicants in adherence to desired qualifications and competencies of the vacancy. It is the process led by an HR, which helps to differentiate between qualified and unqualified applications received.


Recruitment Process Steps

Identifying the vacancy

A recruitment process should start with identifying the needs of vacancies followed by analyzing job specifications like knowledge, skills, and years of experience mandatory for the role. It is the foremost step of the recruitment process. The best way to determine hiring needs is to find out the gaps in the current team in terms of ability, productivity, and performance. Consider taking the help of someone if anything is not being addressed currently by keeping track of output. Hire people when the workload is large and can be addressed by hiring.

The recruitment process starts with hiring strategy and planning which involves analyzing job specifications, qualifications, and experience required for the open position.

Role analysis

Role analysis is an in-depth study of responsibilities and skills required to perform a job role successfully. Role analysis is one of the successful recruitment ideas that should be considered as a key step in the recruiting process. Human resources personnel can clarify the role’s needs with such an analysis. Role analysis helps you to identify everything you need to write in the most accurate job description to present the best job advert for recruitment needs. Role analysis is the typical talent acquisition strategy that cannot be neglected, irrespective of the size of the company.

Creating a perfect job description

Writing a descriptive job description is one of the vital recruitment strategy plans for effective recruitment after understanding business needs. A clear job description should include the job title, duties, and responsibilities of the role. Job descriptions help communicate the organization’s needs and expectations to hire a potential candidate. It is essential to be as specific as possible in the job description so that the applicant has clarity of the same to sufficiently meet the demands of the role.

Job specification

A job specification outlines special traits for the job vacancy and is one of the important steps in selection process. It comprises information like desired qualifications, skill sets, and experience required for the vacancy. A job description focuses more on on-the-job specifics focussed on filling for the position. Whereas, the job description includes the environment and location of the job. Job specifications include aspects like educational requirements, training, technical skills, years of experience, and personality traits that can fulfill the company’s requirements.

Promoting the vacancy in all mediums

Nowadays, job seekers rely heavily on social network sites to search and apply for jobs. An HR recruitment process starts with posting vacancies/ positions that can reach the masses. This is made possible through advertisements on social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Job postings, if done on these platforms, can help to increase job visibility and reach potential candidates. To capture candidates’ attention, make engaging and attractive creatives, and write job descriptions clearly.

Selection Process

Collecting applications

Potential employees apply for the job via various mediums like social media platforms, direct mail, or apply through job portals. Hiring management then accepts and collects applications that give interviewers information about candidates, their bio-data, work experience details, hobbies, and interests.

The shortlist

Once the applications are received from various sources, they are screened by hiring managers or screening committees who select candidates from the applications received and are good to call for an interview. Applicants are then selected on special criteria like qualifications, work experience, special skill sets, etc.


The next step in the selection process is to call the candidate for an interview. This can take place virtually or physically. Employment interviews are done based on CV evaluation and by identifying candidates’ skill sets and experience, and ability to work in an organization. The purpose of conducting an employment interview is to determine the suitability of the candidate for the open profile and the expectations of the potential employee. Conducting an interview is an important point for selecting the right people for the right jobs.

Make an offer

An offer is the last step in the selection process. After the candidate has successfully passed all the rounds of interviews, tests, and medical examinations, the employee will be given or emailed an appointment letter that will confirm his/her selection for the job. The appointment letter contains details of the job like designation, working hours, salary, leave allowance, etc. Very often, employees are hired on a conditional basis hiring committee and employers are satisfied with their overall performance.


Hiring the right person for the vacant job position is critical and requires effective recruitment strategies and practices. It cannot be denied that the entire process is time-consuming, expensive, and often can lead to failures.

But considering above mentioned steps and automating the process through recruitment outsourcing companies and investing your time to streamline every task, a company can improve existing hiring strategies to get the best results. And when companies keep improving on existing recruitment and retention strategies, the hiring success rate eventually goes through the roof.

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