In a changing labour market, status-quo recruitment processes may no longer attract high-quality candidates. Employers may need to update their hiring practices or seek new technology, resources, and workflows to help them compete for talent. One workflow that often proves successful is full-cycle recruitment.

What is full-cycle recruiting?

Full-cycle recruiting is the six stage approach to talent acquisition, also known as full life cycle recruiting or end-to-end recruiting. Depending on the organization's size, this responsibility may be fulfilled by one full cycle recruiter or a team.

6 steps of the full-cycle recruiting process

If any of the six stages of full cycle recruitment are overlooked or mismanaged, it can hurt an employer’s chances of acquiring top talent. Those who excel at each of the following steps may find it easier to weather labour market disruptions.

  1. Preparing

    A vacancy or the creation of a new position sparks the preparation phase of full-cycle recruiting. In this stage, the recruiter and hiring manger determine the company’s ideal candidate and the role’s compensation. This information is used to craft a job description or revise an existing one.  The job posting should include responsibilities of the role, salary range, benefits, and high level information about the company.

  2. Sourcing

    Once the job posting is complete, a recruiter must meet their target candidates where they’re most likely to be found. For instance, an entry-level candidate might search for a job differently than someone with extensive experience in a niche field. Some recruitment mediums to consider include:

    • Online networks – Posting an opportunity on career sites can reach a broad audience.
    • Staffing agencies – Employers seeking a highly specialized position or temporary employees might rely on a recruitment agency.
    • Career fairs – Meeting people in person can help recruiters determine if someone has a personality that fits the workplace culture.
    • Employee referrals – Employees may know high-quality candidates who they think can meet expectations.
  3. Screening

    Recruiters then narrow their list of candidates by reviewing applications and asking job-related, prescreening questions over the phone. When tailored to a specific role, such questions can help recruiters determine if someone has the minimum qualifications to perform the job. Candidates who excel during preliminary conversations may be invited to an in-person interview.

  4. Selecting

    Evaluating all applicants against the same requirements helps employers assess each of them fairly. To determine which candidate is the best fit, recruiters should consider their skills, experience, interview responses, and any other job-related information that may help with the final decision.

  5. Hiring

    Recruiters can now make a conditional offer that includes key employment details such as the job title, compensation, and start date. If the candidate accepts the offer and provides written authorization, employers may contact references or conduct background screenings.

  6. Onboarding

    Onboarding is more than just an administrative formality. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of new employees. Employers with an onboarding program that drives retention and productivity focus on the three “C’s” – connection, comfort, and culture. During this process, the following may take place:

    • All tools and materials needed for the employee to work are provided ahead of time.
    • New hires complete as much paperwork as possible before their first day.
    • Managers introduce new hires to the team and give a tour of the workplace.
    • Managers and employees discuss expectations, company culture and success factors.
    • Employees are assigned any required orientation or training courses.

Benefits of full-cycle recruiting

Full cycle recruiting is a great solution to achieve a better candidate experience and decrease time to hire. Employers who effectively deploy full-cycle recruiting will be able to:

  • Streamlined hiring process: With one person in full control of the process, there is opportunity to streamline.
  • Increased accountability: When multiple people are involved in the process, it’s hard to keep them accountable for certain tasks. With end-to-end recruiting. One person oversees the complete process.
  • Decreased time-to-hire: Lower chance of delays with one full cycle recruiter.
  • High quality hires: Full cycle recruiters use a through process of vetting candidates, better equipping employers to land a qualified hire.

Cons of full-cycle recruiting

Full cycle recruiting may not be suitable for every type of organization. When there is only one person in every stage of the process, they can only support a certain number of candidates at a time. This can become overwhelming. The recruiter may not have enough time to take care of all the candidates. Full cycle recruitment is well suited for highly specialized roles at a large organization or smaller organizations where there is not a large hiring volume.

The reason many large organizations have specialized roles for the recruitment process is because each step requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. Sourcing candidates is very different in comparison to negotiation offers. It is challenging for oner person to master these different skills.

Tips of Recruiting Successfully

Here are a few tips to improve your recruitment cycle:

  • Write an exceptional job description
  • Respond quickly to candidates
  • Keep in mind the significance of proper onboarding
  • Include current employees in the recruitment process

Frequently asked questions

Who is full-cycle recruiting applicable to?

Full-cycle recruiting applies to employers who follow the six talent acquisition stages – preparation, sourcing, screening, selection, hiring, and onboarding. This may be small to medium sizes businesses because HR departments may not be as siloed compared to larger companies.

What is a synonym for full cycle recruiting?

Full cycle recruiting is also known as end-to-end recruiting, full life cycle recruiting, or 360 recruiting.

How long is a recruiting cycle?

Many variables influence time-to-hire, including the industry, the nature of the position and the employer's needs. For example, a temporary employee for a seasonal business may be hired in a day, whereas finding a qualified candidate for a senior executive position could take weeks or months.

Is full-cycle recruiting hard?

Full-cycle recruiting, especially for a single HR professional, can be challenging because it requires many skills. The individual must know how to communicate and build relationships, use the latest HR technology, negotiate competitive compensation packages, create engaging onboarding programs and more.

What is the opposite of full cycle recruiting?

The opposite of full cycle recruiting is specialized recruiting in which each stage of the hiring process is managed by a different individual or team.

Learn More

With intuitive recruitment management software and best-practice guidance from ADP, you can identify, attract, and hire top talent. The best technology is only as good as the people and processes supporting it. That’s why ADP blends the right technology with the right people and focuses on the right process improvements to help you reach your business goals.

Talk to us about your recruiting and onboarding challenges, and we’ll walk you through the hiring and recruitment solutions we offer — including how companies like yours are using them. Call 866-622-8153 or start a quote to get started.

This article is intended to be used as a starting point in answering the questions: what is full life cycle recruiting and what does full-cycle recruiting mean? It is not a comprehensive resource of requirements. It offers practical information concerning the subject matter and is provided with the understanding that ADP is not rendering legal or tax advice or other professional services.