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What is the difference between HR and recruitment?

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​In the dynamic landscape of human resources (HR), there's often a misconception about the roles of HR and recruitment. While both are integral components of talent management within an organisation, they serve distinct purposes. In this blog, Director Stuart Montgomery delves into the differences between HR and recruitment to gain a clearer understanding of their respective roles and contributions.

Human Resources (HR)

The Backbone of Organisational Functioning:

HR serves as the backbone of an organisation's functioning, focusing on the holistic management of its workforce. Its primary objective is to create an environment conducive to employee productivity, engagement, and well-being.

Key Functions:

  1. Strategic Planning: HR is responsible for aligning human capital strategies with the organisation's overall goals and objectives. This involves forecasting workforce needs, succession planning, and talent development initiatives.

  2. Employee Relations: HR plays a crucial role in fostering positive employee relations by implementing policies and procedures that promote fairness, equity, and compliance with labour laws.

  3. Performance Management: HR oversees performance appraisal processes, providing feedback, coaching, and support to employees to enhance their performance and productivity.

  4. Training and Development: HR facilitates employee learning and development through training programs, workshops, and educational opportunities tailored to individual and organisational needs.

  5. Compensation and Benefits: HR manages compensation structures, including salary, bonuses, and benefits packages, ensuring they remain competitive and aligned with industry standards.

Overall Focus:

HR focuses on the broader aspects of managing human capital within an organisation, encompassing employee engagement, development, and retention strategies.


The Gateway to Talent Acquisition:

Recruitment is a subset of HR that specifically deals with the process of identifying, attracting, and selecting qualified candidates to fill vacant positions within an organisation.

Key Functions:

  1. Sourcing Candidates: Recruitment involves sourcing candidates through various channels such as job boards, social media platforms, networking events, and referrals.

  2. Screening and Selection: Recruiters screen resumes, conduct interviews, and assess candidates' qualifications, skills, and cultural fit to determine their suitability for specific roles.

  3. Offer Management: Once suitable candidates are identified, recruiters negotiate job offers, including compensation packages, benefits, and other terms of employment.

  4. Onboarding: While onboarding is primarily an HR function, recruiters often play a role in facilitating the transition of new hires into the organisation by providing necessary information and support during the initial stages of employment.

Overall Focus:

Recruitment is focused on the tactical aspects of talent acquisition, aiming to fill positions efficiently and effectively to meet the organization's immediate staffing needs.


In summary, while HR and recruitment are interconnected, they serve distinct purposes within an organisation. HR encompasses a broader spectrum of responsibilities related to managing and developing the workforce, while recruitment specifically focuses on the acquisition of talent to fulfill organisational staffing requirements. Understanding these differences is essential for organisations to optimise their talent management strategies and achieve their business objectives effectively.

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