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Difference Between Recruitment and Selection

Every firm will at some point increase their workforce. It’s a normal thing that happens throughout the world. Someone might move up to a higher position or seek greener pastures elsewhere, leaving a hole in the company. The company’s decision, going forward, would be to fill up the available vacancy.

Recruitment and Selection are two terms that are often interchangeably used during the hiring process. But unfortunately, they both have a different meaning. In this post, we will look at the differences between the term “recruitment and selection.” You will have a better understanding of them both after reading this post.

Recruitment and Selection

What is Recruitment?

Before diving into how recruitment differs from selection, let’s look at the definition of the term ‘recruitment.’ First, understand that recruitment is a long process. It usually involves a series of activities, not just one.

Recruitment is defined as the process that involves finding or reaching out to job seekers and luring them to apply for the said vacancy. It starts from the analysis phase, where the employer uses the job recruitments which include paying attention to the qualification, responsibilities, skills, experience, among others to screen and identify the ideal candidate.

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But then, this lengthy process always ends in joy, particularly for the lucky employee. After hours of question and answer, the final stage could be a presentation of the appointment letter to the ideal candidate.

Activities in the Recruitment Process

Another easy way to differentiate recruitment from selection is to consider the events the two processes involved. So below, let’s look at the activities that companies engage in during the recruitment process.

  • Analyzing the job requirements.
  • Advertising the job vacancy.
  • Attracting interested applicants.
  • Managing response from applicants.
  • Scrutinizing applications from interested candidates.
  • Shortlisting of candidates

However, bear in mind that the recruitment process is handled by the HR managers and done in two ways. It could either be internal or external.

Here is how the internal recruitment process takes place;

  • Transfers
  • Promotion
  • Ex-employees
  • Retired employees
  • Contact or references.
  • Retrenched employees

External recruitment process which implies recruitment through;

  • Advertisement
  • Employment exchanges
  • Campus recruitment
  • Internet recruitment
  • From recruitment agencies

What is the Selection Process?

Every company is looking to hire the best candidate. So after receiving hundreds of application for a vacancy, only a few candidates are shortlisted for the job, either to undergo an interview or to start working. In most cases, companies perform interviews before hiring.

So does selection means? Selection is the process whereby a company selects or picks a certain number of applicants out of the hundreds of applicants they received for the said vacancy.

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Therefore, to make this clear and straightforward to understand, selection literarily means placing the right candidate in a particular position. And it happens after a series of activities.

So, Here are Activities Involved in the Selection Process:

  • Screening of applicants.
  • Removing unqualified job applicants.
  • Offering examination to test candidates such as intelligence tests, aptitude test, personality test, performance test and so on.
  • Interview.
  • Checking the job applicant’s references.
  • Conduct of medical examination.

Unlike the recruitment process, the selection is quite long and stressful. The human resource managers, in this case, have to go through the application from each applicant to determine their suitability for the job. Factors such as age, qualification, background, experience, and so on are considered, then after that, candidates are made to write an examination in which those with higher scores will progress to the next stage.

Difference Between Recruitment and Selection

1. Recruitment, as the name implies, centers on finding candidates and making them apply for the said vacancy voluntarily. Selection, on the other hand, means picking up only the best candidate that matches the job requirements.

2. Recruitment aims to invite as many candidates as possible for the job, whether qualified or not. Selection, on the other hand, aims at targeting the eligible candidates. The unsuitable ones are therefore not considered.

3. Recruitment is a positive process while selection is a negative one. In other words, recruitment encourages any job seeker to apply while during the selection process, the hiring manager rejects unsuitable candidates.

4. Recruitment is quite simple, while the selection process is usually more complex. During recruitment, the recruiter or HR manager does not consign his or herself with scrutinizing candidates.

The only major concerning or role is to indicate that there is an opening in the company and encourage those interested in applying. But in the selection process, the HR manager wants to know every single detail of candidates who applied for the job.

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That’s the reason selection is usually complicated. The human resource manager or recruiter checks the background, qualification, experience and other criteria before hiring.

5. Recruitment is quite inexpensive. In other words, companies do not spend much money during this process. But the reverse is the case for the selection process. In short, the selection process is more expensive, not only time-consuming and demanding.

6. Recruitment is very straightforward. And as a matter of fact, no contractual agreement is established between the employer and employee at this point. The employer does not even know the candidates too well at this stage and considers the position open until the selection process begins. But in the case of selection, a contractual agreement between the employer and employer is established.

7. The recruitment process is simple for both employers and applicants. Employees don’t have to cross many hurdles, while employers don’t waste too much time during this process. But the selection process is different. It’s also a complicated and challenging process for both employers and applicants. Applicants have to cross many hurdles to secure the position.


To achieve success, every company must hire the right employees. With the right employers fitted in their respective positions, the company can move faster and achieve its targeted goals. So, recruitment and selection are vital processes that companies can use to select the right candidates.

About Sonia Kukreja

I am a mother of a lovely kid, and an avid fan technology, computing and management related topics. I hold a degree in MBA from well known management college in India. After completing my post graduation I thought to start a website where I can share management related concepts with rest of the people.