Staffing and Recruiting: What’s the Difference?

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Businesses often require additional employees to fill new and existing positions as organizational expansion occurs. They may use staffing or recruiting, or a combination of both. Generally, staffing and recruiting are used interchangeably, but they actually have some key operational differences.

What Is Staffing?

Simply put, staffing is the process of filling positions in the company with skilled and competent talents for short-term and specific assignments. A good example would be a start-up company trying to fill positions with new employees within the short term.

Staffing often requires hiring managers or temp agencies to conduct multiple interviews to find qualified candidates. Candidates’ academic background, skills, and previous work experiences will be analyzed to make sure they are a good fit for the positions available.

The most essential factor in any hiring process is to ensure the selected candidates possess the skills required to satisfy the requirements of the position.

The general pool of job candidates includes temporary employees and contract staff to fill positions immediately. Most of these candidates are on the staffing and recruiting agency databases and are often unemployed and actively searching for jobs.

Who Benefits from Staffing Services?

Regardless of the industry where an organization operates, it can benefit from staffing services.  Small to medium-scale businesses (SMEs) can also benefit from staffing services as they often need qualified candidates to fill the available positions in the short term.

Other beneficiaries of staffing services include e-commerce organizations and service providers that regularly require manpower to carry out corporate activities.

What Is Recruiting?

Another kind of on-boarding process is recruiting. Recruitment is the process of scouting for and onboarding skilled and competent individuals by offering them a job within a company for the long term.

The recruitment process often requires a hiring manager or recruitment agency to actively search for experienced candidates for a position. Recruitment is part of the overall staffing process. It is almost always exclusively reserved for experienced individuals, while hiring can be for all employment levels.

The hiring process for recruiting is somewhat different from that of staffing. The candidates can be classified as either passive or active.

Passive candidates are either not actively looking for jobs or are satisfied in their place of work while active candidates are actively job hunting. Passive candidates will typically consider changing jobs when recruiting agencies or hiring managers offer opportunities with better employment packages than their current employers.

Who Benefits from Recruiting Services?

Like staffing, recruiting services are available to organizations across several industries, depending on their operational needs. Recruitment services are often utilized by organizations seeking candidates to fill out immediately-available positions and these companies will typically create a recruitment plan. Recruitment processes typically end after positions have been filled.

Key Differences between Staffing and Recruiting Services

Staffing Recruiting
Staffing is the process of filling positions in the company with skilled talent. Recruiting is a crucial part of a staffing process that performs the placement function.
Staffing requires positions to be filled immediately, on a short-term basis. Recruiting is a complete process from searching for candidates to onboarding them in an organization with the purpose of retention.
Staffing agencies scout for candidates to fill out roles by creating and driving interest in the position. A recruitment agency purposefully looks for and contacts candidates for a job.
The main goal in a staffing process is fulfilling employment targets. The main goal in a recruiting process is completing certain aspects of the hiring cycle.
Staffing is the entire onboarding process from start to finish. A recruitment process is a part of the overall staffing process.
Staffing is a short-term process which will occur throughout the lifetime of the business Recruitment is a long-term process and occurs in the beginning stages of a hiring process.

Similarities between Staffing and Recruiting

The main similarity between recruiting and staffing is that both are essential components of the onboarding process. Both staffing and recruiting services are required for filling open positions in organizations. They work hand-in-hand to provide competent talent to function in various roles within an organization.

What Services are Available to Help with Staffing and Recruitment?

After understanding the differences and similarities between staffing and recruiting processes, the next logical step is to find the right services to find, attract, and retain the best talent.

The two main ways to do this is using in-house staffing/recruitment professionals or the services of an RPO provider:

In-House Recruiting

A company may choose to hire staffing/recruitment professionals to build an HR department. These professionals will advertise available positions on a variety of channels e.g., the company website, print media, or social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to scout for potential employees. Next, they may conduct recruitment tests and interviews and hire candidates based on qualifications and test results.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Outsourcing the staffing and recruiting process of a company to a third-party is a great way for organizations to free up time and resources while focusing on other key business objectives. RPO providers take on the full range of staffing/recruitment services from advertising open positions to selecting and interviewing candidates and onboarding within an organization.

Published by Kidal Delonix (1004 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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