What Role Does HR vs. Recruitment Play When Hiring Talent?

When a company is looking to bring on fresh talent, both the human resources (HR) and recruitment teams are involved in the decision-making process. These departments are vital to the success of any organization, and their duties do overlap at times. For example, both departments are involved in acquiring and managing talent.

However, the two functions do have some key differences. Each department has its responsibilities and strategies, and one is not more important than the other. Understanding the differences and synergies between human resources and recruitment can help businesses allocate their resources efficiently and ensure that the right people are handling each task.

HR vs. recruitment: the main difference

Let’s compare HR vs. recruitment. While human resources and recruiting are related and share some common goals, they’re not the same thing.

Human resources departments are focused on handling a broad spectrum of aspects related to managing people within an organization. On the other hand, recruiting departments are focused on attracting, selecting, and hiring candidates for open positions within the organization.

We can think of recruiting as a part of human resources, and human resources as the broader department. Let’s explore the roles and responsibilities of each team a bit deeper.

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The responsibilities and goals of a human resources team

Human resources teams are dedicated to more than just hiring. Their responsibilities play a role in the entire employee lifecycle from recruitment to offboarding. A human resources team’s responsibilities usually include:

Employee relations

Human resources teams are there to help manage any conflicts or concerns that may arise for their employees. In fact, 47 percent of HR leaders report employee experience as a priority for 2023. Ultimately, their goal is to cultivate a positive working environment for employees.

Compensation and benefits

Human resources manages employee compensation and payroll alongside the finance team. They work to ensure fair compensation and handle items like employee health insurance and benefits enrollment.

Training and development

In many organizations, there is a learning and development team that sits within the human resources function. This team is responsible for implementing training programs that help employees develop their professional skills and grow within the organization.

Performance management

Human resources teams also play an important role in evaluating employee performance and conducting performance reviews. They’ll be involved if any adverse action needs to be taken when an employee is underperforming.


Human resources ensures that the organization is compliant with all labor laws and regulations. They help to mitigate legal risk by ensuring compliance.

Employee engagement and culture

Human resources works to create a positive, inclusive working environment. This is important because companies with highly engaged employees are 21 percent more profitable.

Human resources often head up diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and employee resource groups (ERGs.) Their goal is to drive initiatives that improve employee engagement and satisfaction. Many organizations opt to measure employee satisfaction with employee engagement surveys, and HR is usually behind administering these surveys and collecting and analyzing the feedback.

The responsibilities and goals of a recruitment team

Recruitment teams are dedicated to hiring employees for open roles who align with the company’s requirements and values. This can involve posting open roles on the organization’s website and various job boards, sourcing candidates, screening resumes, organizing and conducting interviews, and helping to select the right candidates. A recruitment team’s responsibilities usually include:


Recruiters typically use various tools and job boards to post open positions and source interested and qualified candidates. These can include the company career page, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. Often, recruiters spend some time searching for the ideal candidate on sites like LinkedIn and reach out to them directly. Recruiters may also attend networking events to find qualified candidates.

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Once a role is posted and potential candidates begin to submit their applications, it’s up to the recruiting team to do the initial screening of resumes. They’ll shortlist candidates who appear to be a potential fit for the open role and will often conduct the initial phone screen to learn more about the candidates’ backgrounds and confirm whether they’re suited to move forward in the interview process.


If a candidate passes the initial phone screen, they’ll be passed through to the next stage of the interview process, which is often a meeting with the hiring manager. The recruitment team is responsible for coordinating calendars and scheduling the interviews throughout the process. Sometimes, this admin work is handled by a recruiting coordinator.

Throughout the interview process, the recruitment team is the potential candidate’s main point of contact if they have any questions or concerns. The recruiter will often spend some time preparing the potential candidate before they go into their interviews.

Selecting candidates

After the candidates have completed each stage of the interview process, the recruiters and hiring managers collaborate to review feedback and determine who is the best candidate to fill the open role or roles. This decision is made based on feedback that’s been collected throughout the interview process and is typically determined by the potential candidate’s skill set as well as their alignment with the organization’s values.

Offering and onboarding

Most often, the recruitment team will deliver the news of job offers or rejections to potential candidates. They also work to ensure that the candidate has a smooth transition into their new position.

RELATED: Here Are 11 Recruiting Statistics You Need To Know in 2023

Do you need both human resources and recruitment?

Despite each having their own roles and responsibilities, human resources and recruitment teams work hand in hand to achieve common strategic goals. But do you really need both?

It depends on the size and complexity of your organization. Small companies or startups may need to combine both functions under one department at first to save costs and streamline operations.

Keep in mind that this approach does come with a risk of stretching resources too thin. This could mean that your team experiences burnout quickly, or certain functions could be overlooked. The candidate’s experience may suffer as well.

A large, complex organization will benefit from having both human resources and recruitment functions with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Having dedicated teams ensures that nothing slips through the cracks.

Final thoughts

To sum it up, while recruitment teams focus on attracting and hiring talent, human resources teams concentrate on the entire employee lifecycle. Both departments need to collaborate effectively to create a positive employee experience and foster a great organizational culture.

Talent acquisition and management are fundamental for the success of any organization, and both recruitment and human resources play vital roles.

However, not every organization has the luxury of maintaining a dedicated in-house recruiting team. In such cases, partnering with a staffing company like Insight Global can be a game-changer. We step in to fill the void, offering our expertise and resources to streamline the hiring process.

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