Recruiting vs. Sourcing: What's the Difference?

Tyler S. Hatcher
10 Jun

With all the dialogue around building a better talent pipeline, you’ve probably heard the words “recruiting” and “sourcing,” but do you know the difference?


Recruiting is most commonly defined as the process of enlisting or enrolling an individual as a member or employee of an organization.


Sourcing means finding diverse candidates and knowing where to locate them.

Not quite the same, right?

When companies recruit, they tend to craft shiny creative campaigns to entice individuals towards enrolling in their company. These campaigns can consist of competitive salaries, healthcare packages, benefits, job perks and lots of snacks. The truth is candidate recruiting is just one big game of persuasion.

Recruiting might be the perfect way to get the talent you need, but it can be expensive, time-consuming and may not always work out. Don’t let it get you down. Have a conversation with those leading your organization and develop some new outreach efforts and ways to enhance your employer brand.

Now let’s get into sourcing.

The easiest way to describe sourcing is a game of hide-and-seek. Imagine the candidates are “hiding,” your company is “seeking,” and filling an open position is “home base!”

To find great talent there are all sorts of avenues companies can stroll to source candidates. These avenues often exist as job boards, job fairs, online communities, social media platforms, talent pools and so forth. If those don’t do the trick, consider hiring a consultant or a third-party organization that specializes in sourcing quality candidates.

With this newfound understanding of recruiting and sourcing you have everything you need to get out there yourself. Take your efforts to the next level the next time you source and recruit a round of talent.

Ready to accelerate your diversity recruiting efforts?

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