There has been a long standing debate on whether there is any “Difference between Sourcing and Recruiting”. People belonging to either of these categories or titles such as Recruitment, Recruitment Group, Talent Acquisition, Talent Acquisition Group, Executive Recruiters, Recruiter, Corporate Recruiters, Internet Recruiters, Sourcing Specialists, Talent Acquisition Specialist, etc. might have a similar confusion due to the ambiguity of the term usage.

This ambiguity is because of recent developments in the Recruitment Industry. I’m sure that even individuals in the industry have confused the terms. The confusion lies in the terms being loosely used when conversing with individuals within or outside the field.

Although some are of the opinion that there is no difference between the two and would rather focus on the responsibilities then give little thought to the Job Title. But in my opinion the two terms are different, here’s why?

Difference between Recruiting & Sourcing


Even though the two are connected they differ in meaning. Recruiting is defined as, “The process of finding and hiring the best-qualified candidate (from within or outside of an organization) for a job opening, in a timely and cost effective manner”(business dictionary). On the other hand Sourcing can be defined as the “process that includes the identification, assessment and engagement of skilled worker candidates utilising proactive recruiting techniques.” These are Professionals that specialize in sourcing and are commonly known primarily as Sourcers. Other titles include Internet Recruiters, Recruiting Researchers or Talent Scouts (wikipedia).


The Recruitment process includes ‘analysing the requirements of a job, attracting employees to that job, screening and selecting applicants, hiring and integrating the new employee to the organization’. On the other hand the Sourcing process comprises of ‘finding resumes for the desired profile with the help of a Talent Sourcing Certification which is only a part but an important one within the Recruitment process.’

Qualifications & Skills

When we talk about Recruiting it refers to individuals going out and actively meeting in person with potential Recruits aside from being seated at a desk. This obviously requires them to be Proactive. As far as Sourcing goes, these individuals need to possess technical skills and specialised knowledge. Both these aspects are required to search candidates via social media platforms. For instance – Boolean String Search, ATS’ and CRMs.

Task Completion

The task of a Recruiter begins with finding and hiring the best qualified candidate for a job opening after analysing the qualifications and is also required to attract potential candidates for the job, screening and selecting them and then integrating them as new employees to the organisation. But a Sourcer’s task is related to a Recruiter only in the initial stage of searching candidates. But once the selection is done a Sourcer’s task is complete. They majorly form a part of a company’s Recruiting strategy and is thus confusing.

Although the distinction between the two is clear, we are forgetting the basic commonalities that are there between the two, so let’s find out what are they?


The Recruiting process includes right from Sourcing Candidates to introducing the new employees to the organisation. The only similarity between the two processes is that they are both part of the big umbrella of the recruitment process but the Sourcer’s presence is only applicable as a strategy used to speed up the process of Recruitment alone.

Now that we have covered the most basic differences between the two Recruiting and Sourcing and their similarities, I hope this article clears any doubts that you must have had earlier. If you have any points to add, do let me know via the comments section.