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Difference between Recruitment and Selection with Comparison Chart

Updated Jan 07, 2020

In the current competitive job scenario, it is quite challenging to find the right job for eligible candidates. In the same way, employers are finding it cumbersome to fill up their job vacancies with suitable candidates. With the workforce supply increasing with each passing day, the issues concerned with recruiting all potential candidates and hiring only the right ones is gaining a lot of significance. This is where two essential activities related to human resource management (HRM) – recruitment and selection – come to the rescue of candidates and companies alike.

What is recruitment and selection? Who is a recruit? Is there any difference between recruitment and selection? How do organizations go about the process of recruitment and selection to reap maximum benefits? These and other related questions related to selection and recruitment are addressed in this article. Read on to get an in-depth idea of these oft-used terms in current job markets.

Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment refers to the acts related to searching for potential applicants and encouraging them to file in their application (if the job opening is of interest to them). Selection refers to the entire process of selecting and hiring employees after screening the shortlisted candidates. The most eligible candidate in the list is awarded the appointment letter for the vacancy under consideration.

Given below is a comparison chart depicting the difference between recruitment and selection.

Basis Recruitment Selection
Meaning Recruitment defines the activity of establishing contact between applicants and employers. It includes all activities involving the search of candidates and helping them apply for the job on offer. Selection deals with the process related to the picking up of the most competent, efficient, and suitable employees with the intent of offering them the job on offer.
Objective The objective of a recruitment process is to encourage a large number of interested candidates for any given job. These candidates may or may not be suited to fill up the vacant job offers. The objective of the selection process lies in the attempt to filter and reject all unsuitable candidates. The selected candidates are the ones who fit the job profile in entirety.
Process The overall process of recruitment is simple and less cumbersome. All facets of selection form an overall complicated process.
Hurdles The interested candidates do not have to cross through many obstacles to reach the companies of their interest. Plenty of hurdles in the form of different levels of selection, dependent on varying criteria, have to be crossed before a candidate is considered selected by the recruiting organization.
Approach Recruitment is considered as a positive approach. It encourages all prospective people to put in their job applications. Selection serves to be a negative approach. It involves the rejection of unsuitable candidates.
Sequence Recruitment processes proceed with the stage of selection. Various selection processes follow the process of recruitment.
Economy Recruitment of candidates is a comparatively more economical method. Selection serves to be an expensive method for the company hiring eligible candidates.
Time Consuming Recruitment processes are comparatively fast and not as time consuming as selection procedures. More time is needed to start and complete the entire selection process.
Key Factor Advertising of the job offers available for interested candidates. The hiring of the most suitable candidates for the job on offer.
Process Firms notify the job vacancies via various sources. The job application forms are made available to all interested candidates. Firms with job openings make the interested applicants pass through different levels of selection, such as filling up and submitting forms, written tests, interviews, medical tests, etc. The appointment letter is presented to the most eligible selected candidates only.
Contractual Relation Recruitment merely implies that the job openings are communicated to interested candidates. There is no contractual relation that gets established in the recruitment process. Selection leads to the creation of a contractual relationship that is established between the employer and the selected employee.
Specifies A recruitment policy appropriately specifies all the objectives of recruitment. It provides a comprehensive structuring of the rules and regulations of the various steps and implementation of the full recruitment program. The selection policy is comprehensively designed and comprises the different methods, steps, or stages of evaluation of interested candidates at every level of selection.
Involves The recruitment process comprises of two essential aspects. These are:
1. To decipher and address the number of vacancies that have to be notified to interested candidates.
2. To approach the most potential candidates and encourage them to apply for the jobs relevant to them.
The selection process incorporates various steps of filtration and evaluation, along with mutual decision making. At every step, the organization decides if it is okay to take the candidate to the next stage of selection or not. The job offer is made to the most suitable candidate after the last step of selection. It is up to the candidate to take the job offer or not at the end.
Action Recruitment serves to be a linkage activity that brings together jobs as well as the candidates who are seeking employment. The selection incorporates the comparison of attitudes, behaviors, and the performances of various candidates.
Usefulness For a recruitment process to bring good results and be effective, the organizational needs have to fall in line with the requirements of the applicants. The selection of the right personnel serves to be helpful for the management as it can get its work done effectively by hiring the most suitable employees.

What is Recruitment?

Recruitment refers to the procedure of finding out about prospective candidates for any job opening and encouraging them to get in touch with the company along with applying for the vacancy. In human resource management, the term “recruitment” refers to the tasks involved in searching for and hiring the most eligible and qualified candidate for given job openings, in a cost-effective and timely manner.

The first step of recruitment relates to the analysis of job requirements. The entire process of recruitment culminates with the appointment of new employees. Overall, recruitment is a whole singular process that has a full life cycle. It starts with the organizational identification requirements and completed with the introduction of the hired employee to the organization.

Significant Activities involved in Employee Recruitment are:

  1. Analyzing of vacant seats and job requirements within a company.
  2. Advertising about the vacancy through various channels like newspapers, media, periodicals, etc. Sometimes, the recruitment process is outsourced, wherein third-party companies advertise the job openings through their channels of preference.
  3. They are attracting interested candidates to fill in their applications for the jobs on offer.
  4. You are managing the response of interested candidates.
  5. Scrutiny of filed applications.
  6. Shortlisting of candidates.

The recruitment processes are generally carried out by Human Resource managers in-house or externally. The different sources of in-house recruitment are transfers, retrenched employees, promotion, through contacts or references, retired employees, ex-employees, etc. On the other hand, the various sources of recruitment carried out externally are via campus recruitment, through advertisements, with the help of employment exchanges, internet recruiting, hiring with the aid of third parties like recruitment agencies, unsolicited applicants, etc.

The primary reason for carrying out the recruitment process involves the search for the best-qualified person for any open job position. The good recruit is one who is capable of steering a firm to attain its long and short-term organizational goals.

Main reasons for carrying out a well-designed recruitment process are as follows:

  1. Through recruitment, firms ensure that the skill sets of the staff or workforce remain aligned to their laid down initiatives and goals.
  2. The recruitment process ensures that the person selected has all the required skills, qualifications, and talents to perform the job on offer.
  3. Efficient recruiting ensures that the entire process has been conducted without any losses being incurred on the part of the organization.
  4. There are many rules, laws, regulations, and compliances that organizations have to adhere to in context to human resources management. Non-discrimination and equal opportunities in hiring are some of them. In case a sound recruitment process is followed, the probability of organizations violating essential policies will below.

Some important factors that influence the recruitment process of an organization are the size and nature of the company, salary structure prevailing in the organization, the current employment scenario in the economy, the growth rate of the company, the working conditions present within the organization, etc.

What is Selection?

Selection refers to a set of activities in which an organization chooses a fixed number of applicants from among the various applicants who may have applied for the job openings. The process of selection incorporates the final appointment of new employees to fill up the seats of the enterprise. In other words, the term selection refers to the placement of suitable personnel at the most suitable job. As a large number of people are known to apply for every single job opening, the entire process of recruitment stands to be one in which recruiters have to perform the magnum task of deciding upon the best candidate who is capable of performing a job to perfection. In a nutshell, the entire process of screening, interviewing, and evaluating applicants for any specific task and finalizing an individual for the job on hand, based on specific criteria, is known as selection. The processes involved with the selection of employees would depend on the nature of the position and the hiring policies of the firm.

Process of selection also comprises of a set of activities that are:

  1. Screening of the candidates who have applied for the job vacancy.
  2. Elimination of the most unsuitable candidates from all those who have filed their applications.
  3. We are conducting different screening tests and examinations such as intelligence tests, aptitude tests, personality tests, performance tests, etc.
  4. They are conducting interviews.
  5. Checking references of the shortlisted candidates after the necessary examinations and interview rounds.
  6. They check for medical tests and health checks.

The overall process of selection happens to be a time-consuming one. This is because HR managers g through many interviews and assessments to evaluate the skill sets, attributes, behavior, and other characteristics, etc. of shortlisted candidates to identify their eligibility for the post. Along with these checks, the educational qualification, prior experience, background, age, etc. turn out to be some crucial factors that have to be taken into consideration for the tasks of selection. The process of conducting written examinations and interviews is time-consuming, cumbersome, and expensive.

Steps to carrying out effective employee selection include:

  1. Organization’s commitment to hiring the best possible talent - every time.
  2. A carefully designed and conducted employee selection procedure that is not influenced or rushed in any manner.
  3. Consistent partnership with all stakeholders.
  4. Usage of job benchmarks with valid pre-employment behavioral and personality assessment.
  5. Use of carefully coordinated and structured interviews.
  6. Usage of hiring scorecards to assign points based on key selection criteria being realized or not.

Key difference between Selection and Recruitment

  1. Recruitment defines the entire process of finding candidates who may be interested in specific job openings. It also involves the different acts of stimulating interested candidates for filing applications for the same. The selection process encompasses the actions of picking up the most eligible candidates from all those who may have filed in their application for a given job opening. The objective of the selection process lies in offering the appointment letter to the most suitable candidates only.
  2. As it is a process that encourages more and more interested applicants to apply for a given job, recruitment is considered as a positive process. On the other hand, selection serves to be a costly process in the sense that it leads to the filtering and rejection of all those candidates who are considered unfit for the job on offer.
  3. In terms of the quantity of applicants, the difference between selection and recruitment lies in more and more job applicants being invited to fill in applications for vacant jobs. Conversely, the number of applicants keeps reducing in the selection process, and only the most eligible candidates for a job opening remain in the end. The appointment letter is given to the candidate/candidates who is/are ready to accept the job on the terms and conditions as specified by the company.
  4. In comparison to the selection process, the activities related to recruitment are simple. This is because recruiters do not go through the processes connected with the scrutiny and assessment of the candidates in any way. Selection serves to be a complicated and well-designed activity comprising of different stages. This is because the companies making the selection have to assess and evaluate the details and skills of interested candidates at each stage. Thorough investigation and the various selection and interview modes have to be applied to freeze upon the most suitable candidates in the lot for filling up the job opening.
  5. The entire recruitment process consumes less time because it merely involves the identification of the needs of specific job openings. Additionally, it stimulates more and more candidates to file in their application for the same. On the other hand, selection incorporates a broader range of activities. The selection tasks begin with the shortlisting of the right candidates and culminate in appointing the most suitable of them all.
  6. In the case of recruitment, an organization notifies interested candidates about the vacancy via different sources like the internet, newspapers, periodicals, magazine, and so forth. The information about job openings is extended to all interested applicants so that they may easily apply. In contrast, the entire process of selection incorporates several steps undertaken by a firm to make sure that the most suitable candidates pass through different stages of selection. Generally, the various stages of selection include submission of forms, written examinations, interviews, medical assessments, etc.
  7. No contractual relationship is established between any parties in case of recruitment. However, in the selection process, both employee and employer sign a contract of employment and are bound by the same.
  8. Overall, recruitment serves to be an economical process. On the other hand, the selection is comparatively more expensive.


The success metrics of an organization depend upon the efficiency of its employees. The different processes of selection and recruitment help in deciding whether a specific person is well-suited for the job opening in a firm or not. In case the selected employee serves to be perfect for the vacancy, then along with the management, the entire organization benefits from the efficiency of the employee in question. This, in turn, leads to unbeatable success for the organization as a whole.

Through this article, we have attempted to explain the definition of recruitment, the definition of selection, the features of selection and recruitment, the meaning of recruit, etc. We want to receive your feedback, queries, and new inputs on the topics discussed above. In case you have any further data for recruitment and selection differences, then we would like to hear from you. Do leave your views in the Comments section below.