Hiring Success Glossary

Table of Contents

What is recruitment?

Recruitment refers to the process of identifying, attracting, interviewing, selecting, hiring and onboarding employees. In other words, it involves everything from the identification of a staffing need to filling it.

Depending on the size of an organization, recruitment is the responsibility of a range of workers. Larger organizations may have entire teams of recruiters, while others only a single recruiter. In small outfits, the hiring manager may be responsible for recruiting. In addition, many organizations outsource recruiting to outside firms. Companies almost always recruit candidates for new positions via advertisements, job boards, social media sites, and others. Many companies utilize recruiting software to more effectively and efficiently source top candidates. Regardless, recruitment typically works in conjunction with, or as a part of Human Resources.

What is recruiting in HRM?

Human Resource Management, otherwise known as HRM or HR for short, is the function of people management within an organization. HR is responsible for facilitating the overall goals of the organization through effective administration of human capital — focusing on employees as the company's most important asset.

Recruitment is the first step in building an organization's human capital. At a high level, the goals are to locate and hire the best candidates, on time, and on budget.

What does recruitment involve?

While the recruitment process is unique to each organization, there are 15 essential steps of the hiring process. We’ve listed them here, but for a detailed exploration of these steps, check out our page on Hiring Process Steps:

Types of recruiting

There are several types of recruiting. Here’s an overview:

Internal Recruiting: internal recruiting involves filling vacancies with existing employees from within an organization.

Retained Recruiting: When organization hire a recruiting firm, there are several ways to do so; retained recruiting is a common one. When an organization retains a recruiting firm to fill a vacancy, they pay an upfront fee to fill the position. The firm is responsible for finding candidates until the position is filled. The organization also agrees to work exclusively with the firm. Companies cannot, in other words, hire multiple recruiting firms to fill the same position.

Contingency Recruiting: like retained recruiting, contingency recruiting requires an outside firm. Unlike retained recruiting, there is no upfront fee with contingency. Instead, the recruitment company receives payment only when the clients they represent are hired by an organization.

Staffing Recruiting: staffing recruiters work for staffing agencies. Staffing recruiting matches qualified applicants with qualified job openings. Moreover, staffing agencies typically focus on short-term or temporary employment positions.

Outplacement Recruiting: outplacement is typically an employer-sponsored benefit which helps former employees transition into new jobs. Outplacement recruiting is designed to provide displaced employees with the resources to find new positions or careers.

Reverse Recruiting: refers to the process whereby an employee is encouraged to seek employment with a different organization that offers a better fit for their skill set. We offer Reverse Recruiting Days to help workers with this process. At our Reverse Recruiting Days we review resumes, conduct mock interviews, and offer deep dives into specific job roles. Click here for more information.

Tips for effective recruiting

Recruitment is a nuanced process that requires extensive research, thorough procedures, and finesse in order to produce high-quality hires with regularity. With that in mind, here are out top-three tips for effective recruitment:

  • Look internally before externally: there’s a good chance the best candidate for your position is already working for your organization. Internal candidates are already familiar with and contributing to your corporate culture and goals. Given their past success within your organization, it is reasonable to expect they will continue to excel in a new position.
  • Reach out to “passive” candidates: there is a good chance your ideal candidate is not actively looking for a new job and will not respond to your job board ad. Why? Because they’re likely already employed elsewhere. After all, why wouldn’t your competitors also want to employ your ideal candidate? Therefore, effective recruiting requires you to look outside of your applicant pool for top talent. Encouraging your staff to attend industry conferences and participate in professional organizations; developing relationships with local university business schools (or other relevant departments); searching social media sites (i.e. LinkedIn) for strong resumes from candidates who might not be actively looking for a new job; and encouraging your employees to refer people they know or are connected to are all important mechanisms through which to expand your recruitment network.
  • Hire the sure thing: according to two authors and experts, you should hire the person who is already excelling doing the exact job in your industry. Past success, in other words, is the best indicator of future success.


At its core, recruiting is a rather simple concept--it encompasses identifying candidates and hiring them to fill open positions. However, effective recruiting combines a bit of art with science. It requires implementing repeatable processes that will lead to reliable results, on the one hand. On the other, it requires sophistication to think outside the box in order to find your ideal candidate.

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