The Skinny on Research & Recruiting – Lingo Simply Defined

I love what I do and for those of you who know me do know that I like to work hard and play hard. My team for the most part lives by this as well. So when it comes to work, we give it our all and then some. So as we go thru our day, we are continuously fielding calls from current and future clients. Over the years we have learned to always ask new clients to tell us exactly what their needs are so we can offer the services that make sense to their immediate needs. What we continue to experience is the fact that there are a number of names used to describe research and recruiting services. So I recently wrote an article describing the two “R”’s. I hope you enjoy it.

The Skinny on Research & Recruiting – Lingo Simply Defined
I have been in the recruiting world since 1984 and have experienced many things along the way, but what continues to puzzle me is that our industry continues to use a number of different terms to describe the same services.

The terms I am referring to are research and recruiting, both of which are typically used as part of the entire recruiting process. Each service plays an important role in the successful completion of the process. With regards to descriptions and definitions of these two “R” words, standardization has not been achieved. I have discussed this topic with many of my peers, competitors, clients etc and we all seem to agree that each needs to be defined.

The Telephone Rings and we often hear…… “I need research, sourcing, candidate identification. We need your firm to help us with recruiting, pipeline development, profiling, candidate development, identifying passive candidates.” Usually we respond by saying, “yes, we can help but, define exactly what you need and we will provide you with the service that will offer you the results you are expecting.” As a service provider it is important to completely understand what the client needs, prior to accepting or declining the assignment. With more and more recruiting professionals leveraging outsourced resources and the ever-increasing number of research providers in the market place, it is time to make an attempt to standardize the meaning of the two “R” words. Let me also add that as we continue to offer these services, we need to educate the potential clients as to the definitions, similarities, and differences between the two “R’s”.

What is research? In our industry, it can best be described as the identification of unsolicited passive candidates from a target list of companies and/or competitors. It is typically delivered to the client in Excel, Word, or organizational chart formats. The deliverable is based upon the clients’ preference. What is typically delivered? Company name, contact name, exact title, corporate address, telephone number and if available, direct dials and emails. There are 2 main types of research; telephone verified and Internet gathered, (which needs to be telephone verified to be 100% accurate).

Other terms that may be used to describe research: Name generation, passive candidate sourcing, passive research, candidate identification, name identification, mapping, and telephone research.

Okay that was easy, now let’s discuss recruiting.

What is recruiting? It can be described as the process used to introduce an opportunity to unsolicited passive candidates, (generated by research), as well as “active ones” in which to generate interest. If interest is noted, the recruiter will qualify the potential candidate’s background to the clients’ needs, must & wants and determine if the candidate meets the client’s qualifications. The sourcing methods used to by recruiters to develop candidates are: cold calling, networking, use of subscription tools (Monster, Hot Jobs, SGA ExecutiveTracker, LinkedIn, etc) and use of networking communities on the net, which are usually free. Other terms that may be used to describe recruiting: Candidate sourcing, candidate development, candidate profiling, prescreening, candidate generation, passive candidate development and just the “R” word, recruiting.

Please comment here on the blog and let me know your thoughts. I can also be reached via email at

Comments are closed.