Full cycle recruiting is an approach that has advantages for both companies that are recruiting fresh talent and the candidates who apply – the end result is recruiters knowing they’ve found the right person for the job and candidates finding a role that allows them to truly flourish. This article will detail how a full cycle recruiting process can not only ensure simple and effective talent acquisition, it also enhances candidate experience and may lead to improved employee retention.
The process of full cycle (or “full lifecycle”) recruiting usually consists of six stages: preparing to hire, sourcing candidates, screening, selecting, hiring, and onboarding. By optimizing each step in the cycle, recruiters can attract and ultimately hire candidates who are likely to excel in their new jobs. And, since each step in the full cycle recruiting process is important, each of them is worth examining in greater detail.
The six stages of the full cycle recruiting process
Preparation is key to attracting the right applicants. This means considering much more than just job titles, skills requirements, and preferred levels of experience. It may also lead recruiters to reflect on the best fit for the team they’ll be working with, not to mention the wider organizational culture.
Managers and recruiters should review the formal job description for the post when preparing to hire – or, if it is a brand new role, create a full job specification document from scratch. This document will be used internally during the latter stages of the process and will ultimately be given to the successful candidate as a guide to what is expected of them.
Once the job description has been finalized, it is used to develop the job posting or advertisement. It will be crafted as an accurate summary of tasks and responsibilities and will highlight the most important qualities that recruiters are looking for.
What also mustn’t be overlooked is how the job advertisement must appeal to candidates. This goes beyond, for instance, containing certain keywords that job seekers may use when searching for a new post, to include efforts to minimize bias. For example, it has been reported that having too many requirements (especially those that are not strictly essential) may deter women from applying. Studies have shown that many women will only apply for a job when they meet 100% of all requirements (compared to only 60% for men). This is just one way in which job requirements can be more inclusive and appeal to a wider talent pool.
Now that they know what type of people they are looking for, it’s time for recruiters to source promising candidates. If they already have a database representing qualified job seekers who might fit the role, it’s a good place to start. However, extending the search to cover a variety of relevant platforms will attract even more suitable candidates, allowing companies to choose from a larger talent pool.
This can be very time-consuming if recruiters hope to be as thorough as possible. They must identify platforms that are likely to be used by the type of applicants they’re seeking. For example, healthcare recruiters can benefit from advertising on specialized sites that are monitored by people seeking healthcare-related work. And it isn’t a case of “set and forget.” Recruiters must monitor results such as the volume of relevant applications and drop-off rates to see how they can optimize their talent search still further. For instance, if they are not attracting enough applicants, they may need to include more job-specific keywords in their advertisements.
The most economical and effective way to approach this stage of the process is to use automation. Broadbean offers tools that allow recruiters to enter job parameters and use its software to automatically post advertisements to relevant platforms. It also provides all the metrics they need to improve the efficacy of their campaigns while they’re in progress.
If you’ve cast your net wide and you’re offering a lucrative job opportunity, you may end up with a mountain of resumes to sort through. Identifying and shortlisting the best candidates can seem like searching for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, there are ways to expedite the screening process without allowing talented candidates to slip through the cracks.
Resume screening is the first step in the screening process. Doing this the old-fashioned way is hard work, and leaves room for errors. More important, however, is making sure that you’re not falling victim to unconscious bias while sifting through resumes. The most prominent example of this is the well-recorded history of bias towards candidates with names that indicate that they are an ethnic minority.
Using well-programmed AI results in more diverse, better-qualified workforces because it eliminates gut feel and unconscious bias. At the same time, automating the early screening stages saves a great deal of time and effort. Broadbean’s applicant ranking system helps recruiters focus on top candidates whilst alleviating the administrative burden of traditional screening processes.
Phone or chatbot screening
With a leaner list of applicants, all of whom are qualified for the post, it’s time to make sure that everyone is on the same page. This means ensuring that communications are direct and transparent. After all, there are expectations to be met on both sides. For example, it’s time to talk about remuneration and benefits, starting dates and availability, and other points that should be agreed before taking the process further. Fortunately, many of these conversations can be streamlined using automation. Specialized AI chatbots like Phenom TXM reduce workloads and allow recruiters to narrow their focus to candidates who are genuinely interested in the post.
Preselection or shortlisting
Although the list of applicants has been slimmed down, it may still be too long. In most instances, recruiters hope to generate a shortlist with a maximum of ten candidates who qualify for interviews.
Recruiters can use pre-selection tools based on the job’s requirements. For example, they may call for the completion of an aptitude test or ask for a sample of an applicant’s work. It’s also important to communicate well with applicants. For instance, if there are job requirements that some may find more appealing than others, these should be disclosed so candidates can decide whether the job is still the right fit for them.
By exercising diligence in the first three phases of full life cycle recruitment, by the time the selection process comes around, recruiters should now have a small group of candidates to choose from, all of whom are highly skilled and suitable for the post.
Now, recruiters must plan, schedule and confirm interviews with the candidates and the hiring manager or selection panel. And it may be tougher than it sounds, with plenty of back-and-forth before dates and times are finalized. Once again, tech comes to the recruiter’s rescue. Avature offers the tools they need to navigate this portion of the recruitment process.
It’s only fair to offer the same experience to all candidates, so preparing for this phase means developing an interview guide. This would have a very similar format to a meeting agenda. It provides the structure interviews will follow including introductions, interview questions, and how meetings will conclude. It is often recommended to adhere to a structured process for all candidates so there is an even playing field throughout the process.
We’re almost there. The organization has chosen their candidate and is ready to offer them the job. But before formalizing the working relationship, recruiters must carry out background and reference checks.
There’s a reason why these steps are only taken now. An interview may leave those responsible for the hiring decision with questions that only third-party follow-up can effectively answer. For example, if interviewers are concerned about how an applicant performs under certain circumstances, a former employer may have the answers they need.
Armed with these final pieces of information, the hiring manager is ready to confirm a decision on who to choose for the role – but the full cycle recruiter’s job isn’t complete yet.
Onboarding consists of two phases: pre-boarding and employee onboarding. Pre-boarding occurs after the contract has been signed and before the new employee’s first day at work. The recruiter’s task is to keep them informed and provide materials that will prepare them to commence work. This might mean providing an employee handbook, inviting them to join certain activities, and answering any questions they may have.
The final stage of employee onboarding consists of a specific program in which new employees are “shown the ropes” when they begin work. The responsibility for different parts of this program may be allocated to different people, but the recruiter still checks in, ensuring that the new hire is finding the onboarding process both informative and energizing.
What are the benefits of a full cycle approach to recruiting?
It’s generally agreed that the top benefit of full cycle recruiting is accountability. The recruiter is responsible for each phase of the recruitment process from its initiation through to onboarding the new hire. And, although the process may seem lengthy, it reduces time to hire, and results in a better candidate experience throughout.
Besides this, hiring managers and candidates have a single touchpoint when they need to consult someone during the hiring process. And, since candidates and recruiters develop a relationship along the way, it helps to boost applicant engagement.
Many of the other benefits of full life cycle recruiting can be extrapolated from the process itself. The recruiter attracts an extensive pool of highly qualified candidates and expectations are confirmed before interviews commence.
This leaves those responsible for the hiring decision with little to do but choose the applicant they think are best suited for the task. Meanwhile, applicants are well-informed and are likely to accept a hire if they’re selected.
Finally, the recruiter ensures that the new employee has all the information they need to be effective in their new role – and that’s good for both the organization and the people it recruits.
What are some of the challenges associated with full cycle recruitment?
If one were to attempt full-cycle hiring without the help of technology, it would be an extremely time-consuming process. Not all businesses would be willing to either invest in the time-saving tools that are needed or outsource recruitment to an outside agency.
Full-cycle recruiters must be skilled in navigating the process and utilizing the technologies that simplify it. However user-friendly interfaces can make this easier than it sounds, though it may take some trial and error at first. For example, if they are failing to attract the right type of applicants, they may need to rethink a job posting’s wording and the keywords it includes.
Finally, the recruiter must be able to handle the workload. If an organization is recruiting large volumes of staff at once, it may be difficult to keep up with the demands of full cycle recruitment.
Is there a standard length for the average recruitment cycle?
According to Business Insider, the average time to hire rate rose in 2023. On average, it took 44 days to find and hire candidates. For less-skilled positions, the average time needed for recruitment was 14 days, while finding and hiring people with rare skills averaged anything from two to three months.
However, this time can be reduced. Global accounting giant KPMG reports that it was able to reduce time to hire by 20% by using AI tools. It’s a field in which Broadbean has become a market leader, helping organizations of all sizes find the people they need faster and more efficiently by using its tools and data-driven insights.
Are you ready to find and hire the best people faster, more effectively and more efficiently? Integrate Broadbean into your recruitment process for a faster, better, and above all, more effective recruitment process.