Recruitment and Selection: How do they differ to HR managers?

rs2Recruitment and selection- two common but confusing terms associated with Human Resource management. Though these are often used in the same sense, real meanings of both the terms differ to the great extent. Let’ s have a look at what do these terms mean.

What is recruitment?


Recruitment refers to the entire process of filling vacant positions in an organization with suitable candidates. A recruitment drive typically includes identification of vacant positions, attracting potential candidates, assessing those through various techniques, finally shortlisting and appointing them.

As per Edwin B. Flippo, “Recruitment is the process of searching the candidates for employment and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization”. So, it again indicates that the process starts from looking for the suitable candidates and ends with appointing the most suitable ones.

The recruitment process in detail:

Upon reading this, it must be clear to you that recruitment points to the total process of ensuring that the organization never runs out of human resources. The next part of our discussion is at different stages of the recruitment.

In most of the cases, the process takes place in the following order-

  • Identifying the vacant positions
  • Informing the potential candidates through advertisement
  • Collecting applications from the interested ones
  • Arranging and conducting the assessment process to judge candidates
  • Taking decisions on basis of their performance
  • Informing the candidates about decisions and hiring them

This is how employees are recruited in maximum organizations. However, the criteria for different positions in an organization are different. Similarly, different organizations too require resources with different capabilities. Therefore the recruitment process varies from position to position, from organization to organization.

Now, it’s time to discuss selection…..

What is the selection?

In short, Selection is the process of finding out the most suitable candidates for the available vacant positions in an organization. In other words, we can say, that Selection process is carried out in order to cancel out those applicants who do not fit the organizational requirements.


What does it indicate? Let’s be simpler.

As the recruitment drive starts, the HR manager knows which positions are left Selectionunoccupied. Once it is determined, at the next stage, companies publish ads or seek referrals from existing employees to find out potential applicants and informing them about vacancies. It is quite predictable that after doing it, HR team will start receiving applications from different candidates. Obviously, all of those applicants will not be hired. Thus, it is important to find out which one of those fit the best.Here, comes the selection process. Usually, it is done in several consecutive stages. Each stage is designed in such way so that the selectors have a sound idea on skills and abilities of candidates. After successful completion of each and every stage, the best candidates are filtered out.

Steps in the Selection process:

Before final selection, an applicant has to go through the following stages-

  • Receiving and sorting applications
  • Employment tests
  • Interview
  • Checking references
  • Medical check-up ( if required)
  • Final selection

This is a rough outline of the process. Just like recruitment, it also can vary according to the positions and organizational needs.

Let’s conclude…

Here, at a glance, check out the main differences between recruitment and selection-

Recruitment Selection
Aims for informing maximum number of applicants about vacancies Aims for identifying right persons for a job
Approach  is  positive Negative approach
Economical  process More expensive

It can be concluded that selection is only a part of the recruitment process. It deals with eliminating the not-so-suitable candidates and identifying the best-suited ones while recruitment takes care of everything- starting from locating the vacant positions to absorbing selected candidates.