Sourcing and recruiting are both essential components of the hiring process, and while they may seem very similar, they’re far from the same. 

Comparing sourcing and recruiting is like comparing apples and oranges. While they both are fruits, they have a distinct taste of their own!

But what makes them so distinct? Dive into this article to find out.

What is sourcing?

Sourcing is an incredibly important part of the recruiting process. It’s the very first stage and involves the sourcer tapping into many platforms and areas where candidates hang out, acquiring their resumes, and attracting them to apply for various open jobs. 

The sourcer performs a pre-screening of the candidate by interacting with them through these platforms. This interaction results in getting them engaged with the company.

Today, there are numerous platforms such as social media, public and private networking events, job boards, search engines, and more that enable sourcers to excel at spotting the best talent out there and filling roles with the brightest.

Major responsibilities of a sourcer:

  • Researching their clients’ company needs, market data, and the open positions they need to fill to figure out how and what to look for in candidates when they go out to hunt for top talent.
  • Determining the best applicants for available roles, engaging with them for initial screening, and ultimately building a robust talent pipeline for future hiring needs.
  • Staying up-to-date with the freshest sourcing and staffing techniques, trends, and technology.

What is recruiting?

Sourcing vs recruiting

Recruiting is the name of the whole game. It comprises the entire process of sourcing, screening, and selecting suitable candidates to fill job openings in a particular recruitment cycle.

Once the sourcer is done locating great candidates and creating a solid pipeline of talent to pick from, the recruiter hops in to take charge of the rest of the stages of the hiring process.

They thoroughly evaluate the sourced group of individuals in the company’s best interest. 

Recruiters also ensure that the qualified candidate meets the specific job requirements of the organization. If the applicant checks all the boxes, they finally roll out the job offer letters to them.

While a sourcer is only involved in finding and attracting potential talent, a recruiter can also take the responsibility of sourcing into their own hands, along with the other processes.

Major responsibilities of a recruiter:

  • Developing detailed job descriptions and ads and coordinating and managing the entire hiring process.
  • Advertising jobs and attracting candidates through various channels, such as job portals, social media platforms, and university placement drives. 
  • Screening, interviewing, and providing feedback to the sourced applicants.
  • Assessing the candidate’s skills and qualifications as well as conducting reference and background checks to find the perfect fit.

Sourcing vs recruiting: How are they different?

Sourcing vs recruiting

The primary difference between sourcing and recruiting is that the former focuses only on identifying and attracting potential talent, while the latter focuses on this and screening, selecting, and hiring candidates. 

In a nutshell, sourcing is one of the stages of the entire recruiting process.

Let’s look at the differences between the two processes in some more detail:

1. Timeline

Sourcing typically takes place before recruiting, and it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to identify potential candidates.

Recruiting, on the other hand, is a longer process since it consists of multiple stages and can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the position and the availability of qualified candidates. 

2. Primary goals

The primary goal of sourcing is to create a pool of ideal candidates that can be dipped into whenever positions need to be filled, while the main objective of recruiting is to find the right candidate for the job and the company culture.

3. Candidate interactions

Sourcers typically have more initial interactions with potential candidates while they reach out to them via email, job postings on LinkedIn, etc. 

In contrast, recruiters have more in-depth interactions with job applicants through phone conversations and in-person interviews. But both are vital to the overall candidate experience.

4. Client interactions

Recruiters typically interact more with hiring managers and other organizational stakeholders, while sourcers may have fewer interactions with these individuals.

5. Combining sourcing & recruiting

Sourcing vs recruiting

Combining sourcing and recruiting can lead to a more efficient and effective talent acquisition process. 

By building a pipeline of qualified candidates through sourcing, recruiters can save time and resources in the recruiting process by having a pool of the best candidates to draw from easily.

Sourcing and recruiting go hand in hand, but they share a ton of differences too. Understanding these distinctions can help you hire better AND faster! 

We hope this article helped you grasp the differences as well as the similarities the two processes share better.

Did we miss something? Please drop a comment below and let us know!

P.S. If you’re looking for an AI-powered ATS + CRM solution, then check out Recruit CRM. Book a demo now to see it in action!

Frequently asked questions

1. Which is better, sourcing or recruiting?

Both sourcing and recruiting are essential in the hiring process, and it’s tough to label one as better than the other. Sourcing focuses on identifying and engaging potential candidates, while recruiting involves evaluating, interviewing, and hiring the best talent. 

The two go hand-in-hand, creating a dynamic duo that helps companies find and secure top-notch candidates.

2. Is a sourcer higher than a recruiter?

In the hiring hierarchy, sourcers and recruiters typically work together as a team, rather than one being higher than the other. Sourcers specialize in identifying and attracting talent, while recruiters manage the overall selection and hiring process. 

Each role has its unique set of skills and responsibilities, contributing to the success of the talent acquisition process.

3. What does sourcing mean in recruiting?

Sourcing in recruiting refers to the proactive process of discovering, attracting, and engaging potential candidates for open positions. 

It often involves searching through various channels, such as social media, job boards, and professional networks, to find candidates who match the desired skills and qualifications. 

Sourcing is a vital first step in the recruiting process, ensuring a steady pipeline of qualified candidates for recruiters to evaluate and hire.