< full glossary


definition, synonyms and explanation


Recruitment, Talent Acquisition, Talent Attraction, Sourcing, Placement, Executive search

What is Staffing

The meaning of staffing is very similar to recruitment, but where recruitment is broadly used to refer to any process related to finding and hiring the right candidates, staffing is primarily but exclusively used in the context of recruitment by specialized recruitment agencies.

Staffing explained

The term ‘staffing’ refers to the process of recruiting, selecting, and appointing employees to positions within an organization. The aim of staffing is to ensure that the organization has the right number and type of people in the right roles, and that these employees are able to contribute to the organization’s success.

Staffing is often used in the context of external recruitment done by staffing agencies or recruitment agencies. To ''staff'' literally means to fill one or multiple positions.

The staffing process begins with the identification of staffing needs. This involves assessing the organization’s current workforce, determining where there are gaps in skills and knowledge, and forecasting future staffing needs. Once the staffing needs have been identified, the organization can begin the process of recruiting employees.

Recruitment is the process of attracting and selecting candidates for employment. The aim of recruitment is to find individuals who have the skills and abilities needed to fill the vacant positions within the organization. To do this, organizations may use a variety of methods, such as advertising vacancies, conducting interviews, or using employee referral schemes.

Once a pool of candidates has been identified, the organization will then need to select the most suitable candidates for the roles. The selection process usually involves a series of interviews, aptitude tests, and/or assessment centers. The aim of selection is to identify which candidates have the skills and abilities needed to be successful in the role.

Once the successful candidates have been selected, they will be appointed to the vacant positions within the organization. This usually involves signing an employment contract and completing any necessary induction or training.

The staffing process is an important part of any organization as it ensures that the right people are in the right roles. By having a well-staffed workforce, organizations can improve their chances of achieving their business goals and objectives.

Staffing synonyms


Recruitment is a broad term referring to the strategy, process or skill of finding and hiring the best-qualified candidate for a job based on skills, experience and company fit. The term recruitment is used in a variety of contexts: internal and external recruitment, sourcing in recruitment and full cycle recruitment, recruiting executives and junior personnel, just to name a few examples.

Talent Acquisition

The meaning of talent acquisition is similar to staffing, but is a term popularized in recent decades that is focused on recruitment as an ongoing process of acquiring talent on the longer term as opposed to a more transactional approach to filling vacancies. Talent acquisition is also a commonly used term in job titles of recruitment professionals, examples are 'Talent Acquisition Specialist' and 'Talent Acquisition Manager'. Since talent acquisition is mostly used to describe an ongoing process of acquiring talent, it is mostly used to refer to internal recruitment processes and positions, but occasionally it's also used to refer to external recruitment activities like those of recruitment agencies.

Talent Attraction

The meaning of talent attraction is similar to staffing although it is more commonly used in the context of a marketing driven approach to hiring. Talent attraction strategies typically deploy marketing campaigns like content creation and job advertising to pull candidates in to the employer's brand, mission and open job positions (attract). This can be done through blogs, other content like videos and social media strategies to engage candidates.


The meaning of sourcing is used in a similar way to staffing but is mostly focussed on the initial part of the staffing process; the search and initial outreach to candidates. Mostly sourcing is used int he context of finding passive candidates who did not apply to jobs and generally are not actively looking for a job but you 'source' them to become interested in your company and job positions but can also be used in the context of job advertising and other recruitment techniques.


From all the listed synonyms, placement is most similar to the meaning of staffing in the sense that it's a more transactional perspective on recruitment and about placing individuals for particular open vacancies rather than a more holistic view to recruitment like talent acquisition and talent attraction. The term placement is primarily used by staffing agencies to refer to their services of helping to fill specific roles in the name of the hiring company.

Executive search

The meaning of placement is similar to staffing although executive search places the emphasis on finding and hiring more senior, executive, candidates. Executive search is focussed on roles like Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), other positions in the executive suite, Vice Presidents or directors. Executive search typically emphasizes a more relationships based approach to hiring.

Find and engage
1 billion candidates

One search engine to find and reach talent across the entire web

1 billion profiles
Contact info
Find candidates

Latest Articles