Staffing vs Recruiting: What Are the Differences?


Published in Business Articles

With recruitment trends changing all the time, it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on in the professional world. The entire process can be a challenge. In fact, did you know that 76% of recruiters say that their biggest challenge is attracting quality candidates?

The terms “staffing” and “recruiting” are often used interchangeably in day-to-day conversation, but there are some significant differences.

When you have an open position, the last thing you want to be thinking about is the difference between staffing and recruiting, but staffing vs recruiting is a battle that any hiring manager has to undergo. What if you don’t know the difference?

Let’s dive into why they’re different and what each one can do for you. Stay till the end to see which process will suit your business best.

What Is Staffing?

Staffing has a significant focus on filling temporary positions or for roles that have fixed terms. You may need someone for a particular project, like a convention or event, or you need someone to see something through for a few months.

One of the most common pools of candidates that staffing works in is active candidates, since they’re actively looking for work. It’s unlikely someone will leave a confirmed role for a temporary position. On top of that, staffing companies typically operate on a tighter budget.

This isn’t always the case, but the positions they’re filling are rarely for highly qualified professionals. Most of the time, staffing is the technique businesses will employ to complete many low-level tasks.

Some workers you’ll find in staffing agencies are:

  • Temporary employees
  • Unskilled laborers
  • Short-term workers
  • Part-time workers

Occasionally, they may work with freelancers or independent contractors, but this is more uncommon.

A good staffing company will develop its own applicant pool for a range of positions. Plenty of candidates will fill several positions with the agency in their time with them, which helps them stay employed and helps the agency maintain a continuous flow of work.

Best Staffing Tips

Use a staffing firm that specializes in your industry or the kind of abilities you need for the role to get the greatest outcomes. This means you’ll have access to a vast pool of qualified applicants. The only exception is if you’re hiring someone for unskilled work. A generic staffing company will typically be enough in these situations.

Keep in mind that the best staffing firms stay in touch with applicants and are constantly informed of their availability. Because the agency is working with them regularly, they get to know their applicants well. They know their strengths and their weaknesses and you can stand to gain a great deal from this.

Finally, think about whether you want to keep this temporary employee in your company. Though most staffing isn’t long term, plenty of businesses decide they would benefit from that person’s permanent help.

Your Staffing Guide

There are a few important steps involved in working through the staffing process. As with all things in business and bringing new people into the fold, it isn’t always a straightforward process.

These are the steps you’ll need to take when considering staffing:

  • Estimating the required workforce
  • Motivating people to choose your business over others
  • Choosing from the pool of candidates offered
  • Placement and orientation of the applicants
  • Appraising their work
  • Potentially hiring them on to remain permanently

Of course, there isn’t always the expectation that you’ll hire someone permanently, but it is something to consider if you want to make your position look more lucrative. Mention that there is the possibility of it becoming permanent for the right candidate and you’re likely to get more interested parties.

What Is Recruitment?

Recruiting is more frequently used for full-time, permanent roles. Remember, the recruitment process often takes longer because you need to ensure you’re choosing the right candidate.

Many companies use recruiting firms, so you delegate the process of finding people for the role to someone else. This will include:

  • Writing a job description
  • Reviewing applicants
  • Conducting interviews
  • Generating a shortlist of candidates

The recruiter may also handle all the contract negotiations and onboarding processes for you.

Although the emphasis is on passive candidates, recruitment agencies often consider active candidates and those who are already working. This is because when professionals reach a certain point in their careers, they rarely leave their jobs. Rather, they’re looking for new opportunities and further growth.

Best Recruiting Tips

In order to best take advantage of the recruiting process, you must remain flexible. When a strong candidate becomes available, it’s entirely possible that you will need to create a new role, rather than fill an old one.

Making the right choice here is critical since the person you choose could be in charge of important corporate decisions. You likely still want to focus on industry-specific recruiters, like supply chain recruiters, for example.

Another thing to keep in mind is that attracting exceptional talent may require more than just good pay and excellent benefits. Candidates are frequently drawn to a position because of elements like the corporate culture, your mission and core values, and the opportunity for professional growth.

The recruitment agency should have an understanding of this so it makes it easier for them to sell those advantages to their prospective candidates.

Your Recruiting Guide

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine how many employees you need and the kind of skill-level you’re looking for. Once you’ve nailed this down, you can either choose to hire internally or contract an external recruiter. Internal recruiting means looking for the skills (or training) of an existing employee.

External recruiting is not necessarily more common, as companies do often like to hire and promote from within. However, there is always the need for fresh blood.

These are the steps you would take if this is what you’ve decided:

  • Identifying the need for hiring
  • Building a complete job description
  • Deciding on communication channels to post the vacancy
  • HR searches through the applications and chooses a few options
  • These chosen few go through screening and interviews
  • We offer the best candidate employment
  • The candidate is hired and undergoes the onboarding process

While this process is more lengthy, it’s an important part of the journey as you need to ensure you’re getting the perfect person for the role. Interviews may span two or three sessions, and the screening process could include assessments, competency tests, and portfolio viewings.

The field you’re in will largely determine the level of intensity at which you interview. However, remember that an external recruiting agency can do a lot of the legwork for you here.

Key Differences in Staffing vs Recruiting

There are a few significant differences between staffing and recruitment. While recruiting is done for long-term personnel, we generally do staffing for temporary employment. You’ll use a staffing agency to find active individuals and a recruitment company to weed out possible passive candidates.

To sum up, these are the key differences:

  • Definition
  • Scope
  • Function
  • Duration
  • Stage of employment

You can’t choose the best agency for your company’s needs if you aren’t aware of the distinctions between the two categories. So, we’re at a position now where we know the difference, but how do you know when to choose one over the other?

Which Process Should You Use?

So which of these two should you use then? As you might expect, both could be the right solution. In fact, they may work well together, rather than separately. That being said, each has its own advantages.

Consider staffing if:

  • You have a lot of roles
  • You need those roles filled quickly
  • You have a lot of temporary roles
  • You need to expand temporary projects
  • You have roles that don’t require extensive training

Consider recruiting if:

  • You need a full-time, permanent employee
  • There is no sense of urgency
  • You’re searching for higher-level positions

While there is no hard and fast rule for which to use, you should be able to make an informed decision that benefits your company’s processes and growth. Choose an option that best suits your needs, as well as compliments the tools and resources you have at your disposal.

Doing What’s Best for Your Business

Employees are the primary factor in determining an organization’s success. Every employee must be a capable, dedicated, and skilled person. You don’t want the deliberation between staffing vs recruiting to get in the way of that.

In order to ensure this, it’s crucial for agencies or the HR department to follow a concise and effective hiring method. Finding what works for you may be a process of trial and error, but once you’ve found the right solution for your business, you’ll be good to go.

If you enjoyed reading this, be sure to check out our other business-related articles.




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