200 Words: The Difference between Recruiting and Staffing

Yes – there is a difference. IMHO, RECRUITING is defined as the activities performed to convert a non-employee or non-interested party into an qualified, motivated, affordable interested party in regards to employment. STAFFING is defined as the activities performed to convert an interested party into an actual hire.

RECRUITING is about getting and confirming interest, while STAFFING is processing that interest to completion and acceptance. The skill sets for RECRUITING are completely different than STAFFING. Not sure why, but organizations tend to bleed the two together, and to a fault. We separated accounting and finance, manufacturing and logistics, and so on, but we did not necessarily separate recruiting and staffing.

Some companies would argue that they have researchers or sourcers, and thusly they have separated. But recruiting does not equal research or sourcing. A strong talent organization is likley exceeding 40% employee referrals, and accounting for another 15 to 35% through employment branding – both of which are part of RECRUITING. But how many sourcers / researchers are charged with the employment brand strategy, or creating employee referral programs nationwide?

If you want to start transforming into a high performing talent organization, start evaluating a separation of RECRUITING and STAFFING.

4 replies
    • Andrew Gadomski
      Andrew Gadomski says:

      As for sending “the how” I am happy to discuss how our services can assist you here. Our company specializes in helping companies figure that out, and in many cases administer the changes required.

  1. Richard Cialone
    Richard Cialone says:

    Interesting perspective. Mine’s a bit different. I believe that Recruiting definitely does include all activities up to and including the hire. To me, the term Staffing is a broader role that encompasses not only the sourcing and recruiting activities, but also those that ensure future position openings are fillable by either internal or external candidates. Some may call this Talent Management or Employee Development, but I tend to think of that term as one part of Staffing.

    To summarize, Staffing is the all-encompassing process that includes:

    – sourcing (could be internal or external prospects)
    – recruiting (typically a process for external candidates)
    – skills development of existing employees as the needs of the organization evolve

    Just my $.02

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