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.