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What is the Difference Between Recruiting and Human Resources?

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​The landscape of corporate functions is vast and varied, with each role and department playing a critical part in the success and smooth operation of a business. Among these, two crucial functions that often get confused or used interchangeably are Recruiting and Human Resources (HR). While both are integral to managing an organisaation's workforce, they serve distinct purposes and encompass different responsibilities. In this blog, Associate Director Jon Pearson outlines the differences between the two functions.

Human Resources: The Backbone of Employee Management

Human Resources is the broader umbrella under which various employee-related functions fall, including but not limited to, recruitment. HR is fundamentally concerned with the management, development, and well-being of the company's employees throughout their lifecycle in the organisation. This includes a wide array of responsibilities such as:

  • Employee Relations: HR professionals work on building a strong employer-employee relationship by addressing job satisfaction, conflict resolution, and ensuring workplace harmony.

  • Compensation and Benefits: They design and manage compensation structures and benefits packages that attract and retain talent while maintaining fairness and equity.

  • Training and Development: HR is responsible for identifying skill gaps and organising training programs to enhance employee skills and career progression.

  • Compliance: They ensure that the company adheres to labor laws and employment standards, which involves maintaining records, preparing reports, and implementing policies that comply with legal requirements.

  • Performance Management: HR oversees performance appraisal systems, helping managers evaluate employee performance and set objectives aligned with the organisation's goals.

Recruiting: The Art and Science of Talent Acquisition

Recruiting, on the other hand, is specifically focused on the process of attracting, selecting, and onboarding new employees. It is the initial phase of the employee lifecycle, where the foundation of a successful HR strategy is laid. Key responsibilities in recruiting include:

  • Talent Sourcing: Recruiters use various channels to find potential candidates, such as job boards, social media, networking events, and employee referrals.

  • Candidate Screening: This involves reviewing resumes, conducting initial interviews, and assessing candidates' qualifications to ensure they meet the job requirements.

  • Interviewing: Recruiters coordinate the interview process, which may involve multiple rounds with different team members, to evaluate candidates' skills, experience, and cultural fit.

  • Offer Management: Once a candidate is selected, recruiters handle job offers, negotiate terms, and address any queries the candidate might have about the role or the company.

  • Onboarding: Although primarily an HR function, recruiters often play a significant role in the onboarding process, ensuring a smooth transition for new hires into their roles.

Synergy and Collaboration

While HR and recruiting are distinct functions, they are not siloed. Collaboration between the two is essential for organisational success. For example, HR policies on diversity and inclusion directly impact recruitment strategies. Similarly, the effectiveness of training programs organised by HR can influence recruitment by enhancing the company's reputation as an employer that invests in employee development.

Recruiters and HR professionals often work together to ensure that the transition from candidate to employee is seamless and that the workforce is aligned with the organisation's strategic goals. This partnership is crucial in creating a positive workplace culture and maintaining a competitive edge in the talent market.


In conclusion, while both recruiting and human resources play pivotal roles in the management and development of an organisation's workforce, they focus on different stages of the employment lifecycle. Recruiting is about bringing the right talent into the organization, while HR is concerned with nurturing, developing, and retaining that talent. Understanding the distinction between these two functions can help organisations allocate resources more effectively and build a more cohesive and strategic approach to workforce management.

James Andrews are a specialist nationwide recruitment agency, covering roles across multiple sectors including Human Resources. For more information about working with us to fill a vacancy or to find a new role, contact us via this form. You can also view all our live jobshere.