Recruitment Magnet attracts people. Recruiting new workers. Poaching employees to more favorable conditions. Search for specialists and professionals. Business team building. Hiring.

What Is the Difference Between Staffing and Recruitment?

By Trevor Sheffield

January 18, 2023

Recruitment and staffing are terms that go hand-in-hand. However, this leads some people to mistakenly believe that the words mean the same thing. This is false. Staffing and recruiting are actually two different parts of a process. As the owner of a staffing agency, the word choice you use may be causing you extra work. It’s important for you to know the differences so you can stay informed and educated. Here, we discuss the differences between these two words and why that matter to you and your staffing agency.


Staffing refers to the process of adding resources to a company in the form of new hires. Everything from the interview to the decision-making process, to filling out paperwork and training a new hire is encompassed in the term “staffing.” It’s important to remember: staffing involves working to hire those who found and applied to the open positions on their own. While they may have found job postings, these individuals won’t have been contacted personally by your human resources department. In a more direct sense, staffing is the process of keeping a company adequately staffed, or with the right amount of employees at all times. It involves filling multiple positions within the company, not just a single one.


So then what is recruiting? Recruiting involves searching for potential job candidates. It can be conducted internally, by looking within a company’s current staff for qualified individuals to promote, or externally, by attracting and encouraging applicants from other companies. Recruitment strategies can include posting on job boards, investing in advertising for an open position, or receiving referrals from employees. Essentially, recruiting means you’re trying to maximize the number of qualified candidates applying for a position.

Why the differences between staffing and recruitment matter

The main difference between the two terms involves who first sparked interest in an applicant. If the person was sought out by the company and encouraged to apply, then they were part of the recruiting process. If the candidate saw the job posting themselves and decided to apply without urging from the company, then they were part of the staffing process. 

Additionally, consider the different scope of work between the two. Recruiting is just a small part of the staffing process. Keeping an entire company staffed, however, is a far bigger role that includes a lot more work.

Recruiting often takes on a short time frame and is typically only for a single role within a company. On the other hand, staffing is a repetitive, unending process. It includes monitoring how much is being invested into each position and whether or not teams can afford extra hands on deck. And then interviewing and hiring. 


As the owner of a staffing agency, understanding the difference between these terms is vital, as you’ll participate in both. Recruiting and staffing are both necessary to the other’s success. They work in tandem to help any company run smoothly. Consider how staffing and recruiting intersect within your own staffing agency. Is recruiting helping your staffing process run more smoothly? Are there ways you can divide these tasks between employees so they remain separate while still working together? 

Want to read more about the differences between staffing and recruiting? Need more in-depth information about this topic? We’ve got just the blog post for you. Check out this post for ideas on finding new sources for staffing candidates.

Timerack offers time tracking software that can help with your staffing and recruiting needs.



Looking for our logo?

Download a zipped file with our logo in EPS, AI, SVG, JPG, PNG and PDF formats.