Understanding the Difference Between Hiring and Recruiting

By Maria Forbes
December 17, 2020

The success of your small business is dependent upon motivated and focused employees with the right strengths to operate your company and increase market share.  Think of your employees as the essential fuel to firing all business performance engines.  Building high performing teams begins with recruiting and hiring.  While the terms can be used synonymously, they play different parts in team formation or team expansion.  The long-term success of your teams will require expertise in both recruiting and hiring.  To better understand the difference, let’s break it down.

Why Should We Engage A Recruiting Partner?

Recruiting partners help to define your expectations for a role, promote it in the right marketplace, and attract top candidates.  Recruiting pre-work is essential to effective recruiting.  If you are working with search partners, the collaboration between internal role design with the recruiting processes is key to an effective candidate search.  Complete information about the role enables your recruiting partners to attract highly qualified candidates and present only those with the best potential fit for the role.
Good recruiting begins with the deep information gathering that provides a view beyond the role itself.  Recruiting partners should understand how the role impacts your business culture, your growth plans, and the necessary collaborations that will lead your company into the future.  The information should contain a full understanding of conative or execution values, cognitive, and affective values, that will enable success in the role.  Without complete search criteria, you may experience longer than necessary investment of time and resources to find your next team member.
If you have focused on posting a job description to find candidates, you might rethink your recruiting process.  A job description is one dimension of the search information and it should be combined with a detailed role description; day-to-day responsibilities meets specific contributions to the growth plan, as a business contributor.  This helps candidates understand the short-term responsibilities and the broader contributions of the role.
Another way you can miss the mark on identifying candidates is by recruiting those you know, like, and trust, without a thorough screening for whether the person is right for the role.  Owners and partners often find great people within their business networks, but without a complete examination of individual strengths within the context of the role, a likeable and trustworthy associate is set up to underperform.  Role design and accurate search information are not the only aspect of effective recruiting.  Once qualified candidates are identified, a targeted interview process will provide an evaluation of performance alignment.  The right mix of interviews will reveal the information you need to make an informed hiring decision.  The right recruiting partner as part of your workforce advisory team is essential to building or expanding teams with long-term potential.

About Hiring

Once you have attracted the right candidates for the role, the hiring process begins.  Selection of the best candidate through internal interviews must be a three-part process.  An assessment of final candidates should include three primary hiring considerations, cognitive; education, skills and experience, affective; motivations, desires, core values, and conative; the instinctive need to address challenge in a certain way, or method of operation.  The three essential values are evaluated differently.  Cognitive values are visible on a resume and insight is gained through exploring the details of current and previous roles, and reporting relationships.  Affective values can be evaluated through exploring with a candidate during interviews, and conative values are assessed through the Kolbe RightFit to validate, grade, and compare candidate method of operation against the expectations of the role.
Hiring encompasses a broad range of human resources (HR) processes that focus on defining total employee experience.  Compensation and benefits, training and performance are designed for a new team member to succeed.  However, hiring is not exclusively an HR function, it involves candidate selection by direct supervisors, to determine the right person for the role.  Supervisors should refer to valid candidate data to guide the conversations and address potential challenges.  Supervisors can collaborate to solicit multidimensional input on candidates and additional perspectives about cultural and performance fit.
The combination of employee experience and role design with multidimensional candidate evaluations will enable you to select the right person for the role.

Do It Yourself Recruiting and Hiring

When your company has an open position, time is of the essence to find and onboard the right person for the role and to manage associated productivity lags.  You might begin by posting the position on job sites.  In the job listing, you can specify the requirements for the job, such as skills, education and experience.  Applicants who feel they meet the requirements may submit an application, which you can review to determine whether or not they are a potential good fit for your company.
Do it yourself recruiting and hiring is time consuming.  Candidate searches can include specific requirements for the open position, with visibility by everyone searching for jobs, making it difficult to attract only qualified candidates.  The internet has revolutionized how companies find candidates.  According to research conducted by LinkedIn, six in ten job seekers use the internet to search for open job positions.  If you’re looking to hire a new employee, you may post the opening on a job website to achieve the best exposure to candidates.  Hiring sites make it easier to manage applicants and invite candidates, but with varied results.  When you are doing your own recruiting, there can be a significant number of applicants to screen or there can be very little response.  Both of these scenarios will require your time to manage the outcome.

Two Critical Parts of the Same Process

Your company can experience a lower turnover rate with recruiting partners.  Research conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the average turnover rate among U.S. companies is 12% to 15% annually.  Employees who’ve been recruited are typically less likely to quit than their counterparts who were simply hired through other search methods.  Building long term business value requires strong teams with the right synergy for high performance.  As part of your growth plan, employee tenure provides cohesion needed to continuously build market value.
Hiring and recruiting are integral pats of employee attraction and retention, but they are different functions within the process.  Recruiting is a narrow search process in which you selectively target qualified candidates for a potential opportunity.  Hiring is a broad group of processes in which you internally vet qualified candidates, define the employee total compensation and benefits, and plan for employee onboarding and retention.
One does not replace the other.  By combining recruiting with hiring, you will be able to attract the best candidates and create the right employee experience.

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