The terms ‘sourcing’ and ‘recruiting’ are frequently mistaken for meaning the same thing; they are somewhat interchangeable in how they are used but in fact possess their own unique definitions. For many, a grey line exists between the two that is further compounded by their habitual misuse and a lack of understanding surrounding what they actually mean.
Sourcing can be defined as ‘a proactive search for individuals who possess specific job-related qualifications for current or soon-to-be open positions of employment.’ Ultimately, sourcing differs from recruitment in the sense that the candidates are somewhat more passive and are not identified through more typical means such as job boards and other similar websites. In addition to this, sourcing can sometimes promote and include the use of referrals when identifying candidates for a job opening.
Recruiting on the other hand is defined as ‘the reactive reviewing of CVs and applications in response to a job opportunity.’ A major difference between recruiting and sourcing is the fact that recruiters often handle a lot of the administration work that is typically associated with job applications (i.e. posting opportunities on job boards, reviewing applications, contacting respondents and preparing them for interviews). Although a lot of these tasks overlap with those of sourcing, the 2 roles are still very much different. Where sourcing is more proactive in the sense that it is ongoing, recruitment is defined and often regarded as being more reactive.