Workforce Strategies: Blending Recruitment and Staffing

A strong workforce strategy today usually involves a blend of recruitment and staffing solutions. If you find the difference between recruitment and staffing somewhat hazy—you’re not alone. This is a common area of confusion because there is overlap in the two hiring terms, and they are evolving rapidly alongside shifts in workforce best practices. Read on to understand the distinction between recruitment and staffing, and when each is the ideal choice for your company.

What is Recruitment?

The definition of recruitment has two parts—an umbrella definition and a more targeted definition. Let’s start with the first. Broadly, recruitment refers to the process of attracting and hiring the employees your company needs to grow and compete in a fast-moving, global economy. This encompasses long-term talent acquisition strategies, workforce planning, and employer branding.

For the purposes of day-to-day human resource management, however, recruitment usually refers to the process of hiring for specific roles that are crucial to your organization’s success. This includes hiring for single, mission-critical roles. For example, a company expanding into a new territory likely needs a stellar sales manager to lead the team and foster customer growth in the new region. The term recruitment is also often used to describe the process of hiring for high skills position, such as back-end web developers and IT managers, and executive positions, such as CEO and CFO.

The above examples are likely direct hires filling permanent positions within your company, but recruitment also includes the process of hiring people for key contingent roles. For example, a financial services company may need a user experience (UX) specialist to update their app in order to improve this important customer touchpoint. This employee would be a contingent worker brought on for the project, but wouldn’t need to remain for a permanent role.

What is Staffing?

Staffing describes the process of acquiring talent for multiple open roles, or contingent hiring for project-based or seasonal positions. These positions are often temporary—though not exclusively. For instance, staffing would include hiring skilled trades workers to construct a high rise building, such as masons, electricians, and carpenters. Once the specialized work in the building is finished, these workers are no longer required for the project. Another staffing example would be when a logistics company adds warehouse employees to manage the rapid uptick in order fulfillment during the holiday season.

Permanent, large-scale staffing would be when a tech business expands their team of customer service representatives to handle increased business. Permanent staffing is also often the solution for roles that suffer from high turnover rates, such as entry-level food service, hospitality, and retail positions.

The Blended Workforce: The Best of Staffing and Recruitment

Increasingly, the lines between part-time, temporary hires, and full-time employees are becoming blurred. By 2020, people working freelance full time or part time are expected to comprise more than 50 percent of the US workforce. Many of these people well trained, offering skills that are crucial to the businesses they work for, no matter the length of their tenure. Today companies are recognizing—and experiencing—the benefits of a blended workforce that combines the agility of contingent staffing with the recruitment of permanent hires who offer consistency and long-term commitment to your organization.

Both staffing and recruitment draw talent who can provide the skills and innovation companies need to grow along with their customer base. Here are the benefits of creating a blended workforce using a blended hiring strategy:

  • Greater agility – The global marketplace is volatile and competition is fierce. It’s more important than ever that organizations be able to expand and contract with customer demand, and to hire for emerging skills required to stay at the vanguard of your industry. Blending staffing and recruitment lets your organization do this, while staying lean enough to weather downturns in the economy and production demand.
  • Future ready – Combines recruitment and staffing, forces a long-term approach to your talent acquisition strategy rather than a reactive approach that too often leads to costly bad hires.
  • Improved productivity – Without the right talent in place when and where they are needed, productivity suffers. This can result when full-time employees don’t have the backup they need during busy seasons, which leads to burnout and lower morale. It can also happen when key roles are left open or filled slowly, and critical business objectives are delayed.

Just as candidates must stay agile and flexible in the rapidly evolving talent marketplace, so too must companies. As more employees opt into the contingent workforce, and as competition to attract and retain talent increases, companies with experience leveraging both staffing and recruitment approaches to talent management will be ahead of the curve.

Need help with recruitment and staffing for a blended workforce? Contact LINK.