One red chair in line of white chairs
Hiring and recruiting are not the same thing. — Getty Images/LaylaBird

As your business expands, you’ll likely need to find and onboard employees to help you continue to grow. For most business owners, this involves two distinct but related processes: hiring and recruiting.

While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are crucial differences between the two. Hiring happens when you need to fill a role and consider candidates for employment. Recruiting is the process of attracting top talent to your organization. While recruiting can certainly help you find the right person to hire, it should be an ongoing process, even when you don’t have job openings.

To help you better understand how to recruit versus how to hire, we defined and outlined best practices for each.

Hiring versus recruiting: What's the difference?

The act of hiring involves soliciting and reviewing applications for an open position. You might post an ad on LinkedIn or other job posting sites, alerting the public that you’re looking for workers with specific criteria. Essentially, hiring is seeking and evaluating candidates when you need to fill a specific role at your company.

Recruiting, on the other hand, involves continuous research to find the best employees for your company. According to The Center for Sales Strategy, recruiting should happen on a regular basis, not just when you need to fill a position. It’s all about building awareness of your company among talented professionals, and convincing them that your organization is the right fit for their goals and skill set.

When you find someone you think would be a good fit, whether through networking, social media or a referral, you can reach out and talk about your company, its culture and the type of talent you typically seek. In essence, recruiting allows you to build a list of people who already know your brand and want to work for you, so you’re never scrambling when you need to fill a job.

Hiring happens when you need to fill a role. Recruiting is the process of attracting top talent to your organization

Best hiring practices for your business

When you need to find a talented candidate quickly, here are some best practices to follow based on current hiring trends:

  • Hire based on soft skills, not degrees. While you want to consider an applicant’s education, it shouldn’t be your deciding factor. Skills like communication, creativity and adaptability are crucial additions to the workplace, but cannot be easily taught.
  • Focus on your business’s reputation. Since you’re accepting applicants of any sort, you’ll want to perfect your business’s reputation so you attract a qualified pool of candidates. This means managing online reviews and addressing any negative feedback.
  • Be transparent about compensation. Most employers are up front about salary, and most applicants accept jobs based off pay. As a hiring manager, aim to be as transparent as possible about compensation.

Best recruiting practices for your business

Recruiting is a never-ending process that can bring the most qualified workers to your business. Here are some top recruiting practices:

  • Involve your team. Even if you outsource a recruiter, recruiting should be a collective effort. Ask for referrals or your current employees’ opinions when crafting job descriptions.
  • Promote your workplace culture. Today, company culture is everything. Prospective employees aren’t just interested in monetary compensation or lots of PTO; they want to feel like they’ll serve a purpose and will fit with the rest of the team.
  • Tempt, tap and retain. Not only do you want to tempt prospects with a hefty benefits package and an enticing company culture, you’ll also want to focus on retaining them long after hiring. Invest your time in on-boarding, training and developing your new employees; and be sure to make all employees feel like they’re irreplaceable.

Hiring and recruiting the right talent is crucial, and building and retaining a diverse and skilled team will help improve all areas of business. With these tips and techniques, you’ll ensure your business always has a pipeline of talented, qualified individuals ready to take your next job opening.

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