· 3 min read

Sourcing vs. Recruiting

What’s the difference between sourcing and recruiting?

You’ve probably heard the terms “sourcing” and “recruiting” used interchangeably. But they’re not synonymous. In fact, they play very different roles in the hiring process. So what’s the difference between sourcing and recruiting? And why should you care? In this post, we’ll explain all of that (and more!) so that you can make sure your team is utilizing both processes effectively at all times.

Sourcing vs. recruiting: what’s the difference?

While sourcing and recruiting share similarities, they differ in important ways. Sourcing involves searching for potential candidates interested in a currently open role or a future one. Sourcers hand off their lists of potential candidates to recruiting teams, who vet and hire top talent.

Recruiters are responsible for vetting and hiring top talent. They check references and verify information on resumes. Recruiters may also take part in the interview process or oversee the entire hiring process.

In other words, a sourcer discovers talent, and a recruiter evaluates that talent to be sure that person has what it takes to succeed in your organization’s culture.

What is sourcing?

Sourcing is the process of finding excellent potential candidates. It can be done online or offline.

Sourcers look for candidates on social media, like LinkedIn or Github, and develop relationships with them over time. Sourcers may also attend industry events or career fairs to locate top talent. Whenever a new role opens that the candidate is a fit for, they can send them to recruiters for review.

What is recruiting?

Recruiters review applicants’ qualifications and decide whether or not to move forward with them. They may ask for the candidate’s resume, cover letter, or portfolio before scheduling an interview. After a few interviews, recruiters help hiring managers make a decision about whether or not to hire them.

If the candidate moves forward, recruiters will draft and send an offer letter — a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of their employment. The candidate will then accept or decline the position.

The benefits of sourcing and recruiting

When you’re sourcing, you’re looking for candidates with specific skills and experience. You might be looking for someone who has worked in a particular industry or role before. This can be done as part of a broader recruitment strategy—for example, if you’re trying to fill senior roles within your organization or specific types of engineers.

Recruiting is a more holistic activity.

Recruiters manage the candidate experience, hosting candidate screening calls, sending candidate assessments, and scheduling interviews. Recruiters are also responsible for checking in on candidates to gauge how they are feeling and explain what to expect.

They also work with interviewers and the selection committee to whittle down the candidate pool and ultimately decide which candidates move on to the final stages of the hiring funnel. Finally, recruiters liaise with the hiring manager and candidate during salary negotiation and eventually extend the final offer.

Sourcing and recruiting are just two parts of the hiring process, but they’re not the same thing.

Sourcing and recruiting are just two parts of the hiring process, but they’re not the same thing. Sourcing is about finding candidates for a position. Recruiting involves reviewing those candidates and hiring the best talent for a position.

It’s important to understand the difference between sourcing and recruiting because they are two parts of a larger process that can make or break a company’s ability to hire top talent. If you want to attract the best employees, then it’s time for you to start thinking about how you can use these tools more effectively in your company.