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Differences between recruitment and selection


Recruitment and selection are two important functions in human resource planning. Organisations certainly need people to run their functions on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, it may be necessary for organisations to take more people on board. This is where the issue of recruitment and selection come into action. The aim of this article is to explore the differences between recruitment and selection.

Definition of recruitment and selection

Recruitment is a campaign of two main functions i.e. recruitment and selection. According to Rees & French (2010) recruitment is the process of generating a pool of capable people to apply for employment to an organisation. On the other hand, selection is the process by which managers and others use specific instruments to choose from a pool of applicants a person or persons more likely to succeed in the job.

Differences between recruitment and selection

There are number of differences between recruitment and selection. However, the key differences have been outlined below.

Recruitment is about attracting applications for a job. On the other hand, selection is a part of recruitment activity whereby recruiters select the best candidate out of perhaps many applied for the job.

Recruitment indeed generates interest among potential candidates for a job. On the other hand, selection shortlists people to take them further trough the process.

Recruitment comes before selection. Selection process cannot start unless and until the job is advertised and applications are processed.

Recruitment is a relatively easy activity. Developing job description, and person specification, and advertising the job is easier than short-listing a pool of candidates, assessing them in line specific instruments e.g. job description, and person specification, and making the final decision.

Recruitment does not create a contract between the organisation which has advertised the job and the people who have responded to it. On the other hand, selection results in a contract of service between the organisation and the successful candidate.

Organisations cannot function without people. Recruitment and selection together bring in new people to the organisations. Therefore, it is very important that HR practitioners understand job designs very well, particularly within the context of their work place so that they can contribute to the development of appropriate job description, person specification, and assessment strategies e.g. interview, assessment center, and role play which are all important in a recruitment campaign.

Hope the article on the ‘Differences between recruitment and selection’ has been helpful. You may also like reading:

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Functions of human resource management

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The article publication date: 31 July 2016


Rees, G. & French, R. (2010) Leading, Managing and Developing People, 3rd edition, UK: CIPD.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management and marketing. He is a graduate of both Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.

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