Career Talk 09.05.19

HR and recruitment: What’s the difference?

If you're looking to apply for a job in the realm of HR and recruitment, then it's crucial to know the key factors that differentiate them.
Kim Connor Streich
Kim Connor Streich

If you’re a people person, you’ve probably been told at some point or another that you’d do well working in either HR or recruitment. However young padawan, there are some crucial differences between these two roles – differences that you need to be aware of before you go whizzing out that CV or application.

You don’t want to be applying for something that isn’t what you’re expecting, which is why it’s vital to know the key elements of each role. So sit down, listen up and discover everything you need to know when it comes to HR and recruitment.

What Is HR?

Human resources (HR) comprises the department within a company responsible for sourcing, recruiting, assessing, and educating prospective employees, as well as overseeing staff benefit schemes.

In the contemporary business landscape, HR assumes a pivotal role in addressing the rapid transformations occurring in industries and the heightened need for top-tier talent.

Outlined below are the six essential human-centric functions HR must adeptly execute to contribute value to an organization:

  • Efficiently managing and leveraging human capital.
  • Aligning performance evaluations and remuneration with skill sets.
  • Cultivating skills that bolster individual and collective performance.
  • Fostering an environment conducive to innovation, creativity, and adaptability, essential for maintaining competitiveness.
  • Implementing novel methodologies in workflow design, succession planning, career advancement, and inter-organizational mobility.
  • Overseeing the incorporation and assimilation of technology by refining recruitment, training, and communication strategies with employees.

What Is Recruiting?

Recruiting is the process of identifying, attracting, and hiring qualified candidates for a specific job role. The main goal of recruiting is to fill the open positions in the organization with the best possible talent. The roles of recruiters include:

  1. Sourcing: Identifying potential candidates through diverse channels like job boards, social media, referrals, and networking.
  2. Screening: Assessing candidates’ resumes, skills, and qualifications against job requirements.
  3. Interviewing: Conducting interviews via phone, video, or in-person to gauge candidates’ suitability for the role and organizational culture.
  4. Offering: Negotiating salary, benefits, and employment terms with chosen candidates and extending an offer.
  5. Hiring: Finalizing the hiring process, including background and reference checks, paperwork completion, and warmly welcoming new hires to the organization.

Understanding the intricacies of recruiting is essential for organizations seeking to attract top talent and build a strong workforce.

The Difference Between HR and Recruiting

Understanding the distinction between Human Resources (HR) and the recruitment function is crucial for businesses striving to optimize their workforce management strategies. Let’s delve into the nuances that set these two integral components of organizational structure apart.

The clue is in the name

HR recruitment

They really are what they say on the tin. HR – AKA Human Resources – deals with the people of the company. They’ll be in charge of many aspects of employees day-to-day working life. Things like payroll, inductions, company benefits, the working culture and lending impartial advice where needed. Whilst HR professionals can be involved in the recruiting process, that’s not the only element of their job.

Recruiters on the other hand specialise in their namesake. They search out emerging talent that are best suited to a new role, liaising with both candidates and clients/employers alike, browsing CVs and being present throughout the job application process. This often means that the work is much more fast-paced, as it’s a consistent wave of searching for new employees as opposed to helping people throughout their role.

The people you work with

HR recruitment

Even though both types of work deal with people, there’s some major contrasts. In HR, you’ll spend a lot of time overseeing employees’ progress through the company. You’ll be trusted with keeping information confidential, and offering a professional opinion outside of someone else’s line manager.

Meanwhile recruiters have to balance relationships with both employers and candidates alike. For employers, it’s about finding the right talent for them and helping promote the company. For candidates, it’s about matching them to their dream job and helping them get on the career ladder. Depending on your role, you may also get in front of lots of different people at events like recruitment fairs etc.

Being in-house, agency life or flying solo?

HR recruitment

There are various opportunities in both strands when it comes to the type of company you work in, but some skew more than others. These are all things to take into consideration when thinking about your general working life. HR professionals usually work in-house for a company, working day-to-day alongside employees to help implement strategies there and then. Alternatively, they’ll be hired independently, especially by smaller companies.

Recruiters however can be either agency-based or in-house. Recruitment agencies will work with various employers on a day-to-day basis, matching people to all the roles that they have available. They are often known for their highly competitive, salesy environments with great bonus incentives. Bigger companies may have in-house teams dedicated to recruiting new talent, which means you’ll be a lot more involved in the job creation process, and have a more intense knowledge of the company’s values and day-to-day life.

Importance of Recruiting and HR

Recruiting and HR play indispensable roles in driving the growth and sustainability of an organization. Their symbiotic relationship ensures holistic talent management and operational excellence. Here’s why your company relies on both:

Recruiting enables the acquisition of top-tier talent, granting a competitive advantage in the market and facilitating the attainment of business objectives and goals.

HR fosters the retention and development of acquired talent, cultivating loyalty, engagement, and performance while mitigating the costs and risks associated with turnover and attrition.

Together, Recruiting and HR align candidates and employees with the organization’s culture, values, and vision, nurturing a sense of belonging and purpose within a positive and productive work environment.

Collaboratively, Recruiting and HR ensure compliance with labor laws, employment regulations, health and safety standards, and diversity and inclusion practices, safeguarding the organization against legal ramifications and reputational harm, while enhancing social responsibility and reputation.

Mutually supportive, Recruiting and HR refine and optimize processes and functions, bolstering efficiency, effectiveness, and overall organizational value.

To sum up

HR recruitment

Both roles will offer something exciting and a lot of variety, but really consider which path is best for you. Before sending off an application, we recommend you take a look at the job role and description in more-depth. What is it more geared towards? Are there any buzzwords or phrases to look out for?

Once you’ve identified that, make your expectations clear to your potential employer. If you’re applying to a HR role, be sure to discuss all the elements that this job encompasses – don’t just focus on hiring new candidates. Equally, if you’re going for a recruitment role, don’t discuss looking after employees throughout their working life, as that’s not what you’ll be doing!

Know your roles, and go in prepared. If you want to learn a bit more about the tangible skills you need for HR, check out our article here, and see more about recruitment roles in our Debut Live recap with Maxxima.

Go forth and conquer you chosen career path!

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