Similarities and Differences between Hiring and Recruiting

Growing organizations are on the constant look out for skilled and talented candidates to build a competent talent pool that enables progressive business growth. Building a candidate pool helps organizations gain a competitive edge. The onus of hiring the best talent lies with the HR team. Recruitment and hiring are the two main HR processes that are concerned with building a talent pool. Seemingly the same, recruitment and hiring processes are different in certain aspects. It is important to understand the difference between these two processes so that the HR team can effectively utilize them to engage, screen, hire, and onboard the perfect fit for each open position. Read on to understand the hiring versus recruiting comparison.

Hiring Process at a Glance

In order to understand the difference between the hiring and recruiting process, we should first understand what each of these processes entails.

The hiring process is executed to fill in an open position and consider candidates for employment. The hiring process entails soliciting and reviewing applications for open positions. The invites for candidate profiles may be posted through advertisements on LinkedIn, job posting websites, social media sites, and newspapers. The scope of hiring is limited to seeking and evaluating candidates for specific positions within the company. Hiring happens only when there is a candidate requirement within the company.

The hiring process requires a strategic and practical approach to hiring the best talent while maintaining the human touch. By definition, hiring is the process of finding, selecting, and hiring new employees into an organization.

The hiring process can be divided into 5 stages.

1) Opening up the requisition

The recruitment team opens up the job requisition based on the specific requirements provided by the department looking for candidates. While opening the requisition, a deadline and road map for the hiring process must also be set. Working around set deadlines enables the hiring managers to stay focussed and deliver as per the expectations of the requisition. A clearly defined process map allows the hiring team to understand and identify the points they should focus on at each phase of the hiring process. At this stage, hiring managers can clarify any queries they have regarding the requisition with the recruitment team. To proceed with the hiring process, absolute clarity into the roles and responsibilities of the position is a must. Hiring managers can refine the list of roles and responsibilities based on specific skills required for job success. The refined list is then translated into the job description for that role. At this stage in the hiring process, knock-out questions for candidate screening can be decided.

2) Posting and promoting job openings

the main purpose of the hiring manager and recruiter intake meeting is to gain a clear understanding needs and expectations of the new hire and plan the technicalities around the hiring process. Once this clarity is attained, posting and promoting job openings is the ensuing step. Job postings are done via job portals, social media, and sometimes via newspaper advertisements.

3) Screening the applicants

applicant screening is the most important and tedious part of the hiring process. Companies that screen applicants via manual practices tend to spend a huge time and effort sifting through several applications. Using pre-employment assessment software for screening applicants is a quick and effective process that cuts down significantly on hiring costs and time. Employment skills tests combine different types of skill evaluations in order to get a complete picture of the applicant’s skills, competencies, and behavioral tendencies. Pre-employment screening tools like SkillRobo provide instant reports and analytics on the candidate’s performance so that the hiring manager can make informed decisions. Administering screening evaluations using skill assessment software is a breeze for the hiring team. Using pre-hire assessment tools also improves the candidate experience during the screening process.

4) Interviewing candidates

candidates who clear the initial screening process will be set for the next stage, which is the candidate interview. The candidate assessment and interview in the recruitment process are ways to know the complete details of the candidate. Before interviewing the candidates, interview questions must be prepared and the manner in which the interview is going to be conducted must be determined. Whether it would be a live interview or a telephonic one or through video calls must be determined in advance so that necessary planning can be made. The type and number of interview questions will determine the length and course of the interview.

5) Decision and offer rollout

the results of the employment skills test and the interview are combined to make the hiring decision. Assessing the candidate based on pre-employment assessment tests enables an unbiased hiring decision. The payment offered to the candidate depends on performance in the pre-employment tests and personal interviews.

Rolling out the job offer is the final step of the hiring process.

Recruitment Process at a Glance

Recruitment is a more strategic process that is aligned with the overall organizational strategy. The main focus of the recruitment process is to build a competent talent pool within the company. Hiring is tilted toward filling open requisitions, while recruitment is about gaining a competitive edge by building the talent pool within the organization.

The recruitment process may be divided into 5 stages.

Planning stage

The entire roadmap of the recruitment process needs to be planned once a job requisition is created. A comprehensive job description that outlines the major and minor responsibilities, skill requirements, experience and qualifications, grade salary levels, and other details is created as part of the planning process.

Strategy development

Once the job description is prepared, an appropriate recruitment strategy should be framed. Geographical constraints, external or internal hiring, various recruitment sources, etc need to be considered as part of the recruitment strategy.

Candidate search

This step involves job posting to attract candidates for the specific position. Internal or external sources may be utilized based on the requirement.

Candidate screening

This step involves skill and competency assessment of potential hires. Each organization has its own screening process to filter the best talent for its requirements. Using pre-employment screening tools is a quick and effective way to screen candidates for a variety of roles across industries.

Offer and onboarding

Once the right candidate has been identified, the next step is to roll out the job offer to the candidate based on their performance in the screening process. The candidate who accepts the job offer is recruited by the organization. The recruited candidates are then pushed to the onboarding stage to learn the ropes of their role.

Hiring Versus Recruitment

Hiring and recruitment are often understood as the same. There are significant differences between the two seemingly similar processes.

The table below represents the main differences between the hiring and recruitment processes.

Attribute Hiring Process Recruitment Process
Definition Focuses on filling open job positions A long-term strategic process that focuses on building the talent pool
Trigger Hiring is triggered when a job requisition is submitted. An ongoing process that is used to attract, select, and retain the best talent for the company. Starts even before an open position appears in the organization
Scope The main aim is to appoint someone to a specific role or position The broader selection process chooses individuals that have the potential to fulfill the goals of the organization and future vacancies.
Job specifications Complete job specifications are given before the process begins Job specifications are decided during the planning phase of the recruitment process.
Duration Begins as soon as a vacancy arises and ends with the candidate selection Starts as soon as there is a requirement for talent and lasts till the best fit is identified.
Focus Filling open job positions Engaging, retaining, and attracting the best talent and informing prospects about the company’s mission and value.
Nature Easy and fast process with a retail outlook The artful and deliberate process with a direct marketing outlook
Screening Made more effective by using pre-employment screening software Made more effective and quick by using pre-employment screening tools
Initiatives Rely on job postings to attract talent Include strategic initiatives like job fairs, campus recruitment, and off-campus drives.
Challenges Hiring is done against open requisitions. Sourcing niche skills might be a challenge Recruiting is more of a long-term process that focuses on finding the best talent. Takes longer to get the candidate onboarded.
Candidate engagement The focus is more on filling open positions rather than engaging and retaining talent Strategic process that focuses on attracting, engaging, and retaining talent
Networking Use sourcing networks to find potential hires for evaluation Create awareness about the company by managing public relations, social media connections, and recruitment networks.
Talent pool A need-based process that is suitable for temporary or lower-level requirements Suitable for filling permanent positions that require specialized skills and capabilities. Ideal for filling managerial positions that involve decision making
Impact of wrong hires Since it involves low or entry-level positions, only minimal losses are incurred when the wrong candidates are hired Since it involves recruitment for pivotal job positions, a wrong hire causes long-term cost and effort losses

Where does Pre-Employment Software Fit In?

We have seen more than one reference to pre-employment assessment software in the hiring versus recruitment discussions. So what is pre-employment assessment software and where does it fit in the whole recruitment and hiring process flow? Pre-employment screening tools equip hiring and recruitment managers with effective ways of evaluating candidate skills, competencies, and behavioral tendencies. Skill assessment software provides hiring and recruitment teams with the flexibility to customize the tests based on specific skill requirements of the role.

Over the past decade, a number of organizations have invested in skill assessment software to simplify and accelerate candidate screening. When compared to conventional screening tools, skill assessments evaluate candidates in skill and behavioral aspects that the role demands. Employment skills tests are an integral and important part of hiring and recruitment processes. As opposed to the tedious hours that the hiring/recruitment team spends on screening candidate profiles, these tests bring down the effort and time drastically. Progressive organizations looking to hire candidates that are not just skilled but are a perfect fit for the culture of the company can safely bank on pre-hire assessment tools to do the job. These tools are most effective when used in the screening stage of the hiring or recruitment process. In some organizations, these tools are also used for evaluating the skill levels of existing candidates as well.

SkillRobo is a pre-employment assessment platform that provides a wide range of skill tests that can be customized according to the role. The hiring team can create customized tests by picking up various skills from the skill library that are essential for that particular role, which ensures that the candidate is evaluated on skills that are essential for the particular role. Users can also choose from the test library which has a set of tests that are role-based. The hiring team can rest assured of a safe test environment that prevents fraudulent practices during the test. Whether it is the hiring process or the recruiting process, pre-employment assessments ensure quick, efficient, and secure hiring.


Talent managers are tasked with building the organization’s candidate pool with the best available talent in the market. There are several factors that affect this decision, including the timeline for recruitment, qualification, and skill-set requirements, and the budget available for hiring. Filling high-level, specialized positions may take longer and is more complex when compared to filling low-level positions.

There are several differences between the recruitment and hiring processes, but pre-employment skill assessments are a similarity point between both processes. Both hiring and recruitment can be rendered more effective and efficient by using various pre-employment assessment tools. Pre-employment skill assessment platforms in the likes of SkillRobo are highly effective in finding the right fit for any role across any industry. The best part is that the skill assessments can be customized to suit the requirements of particular roles.

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