Full Life Cycle Recruiting For Beginners

full life cycle recruitment

Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Hiring and Applicant Tracking

Are you in charge of the entire recruiting process? Are you in charge of one small slice of the process? Are you a beginner?

Whichever camp you fall into, you need to understand full life cycle recruiting.

What Is Full Life Cycle Recruiting?

Full life cycle recruiting goes by many names: 360 recruitment, full circle recruiting, end-to-end recruiting, and full cycle staffing.

Regardless of the name, this term defines the entire recruiting process from job requisition to onboarding.

Why Is It Important To Understand Full Life Cycle Recruiting?

You can’t execute a process successfully unless you understand it from a high level. Recruiting is more complicated than it may appear at first glance.

The steps in the hiring process are inter-dependent. They build on each other sequentially.

If you don’t understand the hiring manager’s needs, the candidate persona won’t be right. If you mess up the candidate persona, your job description will be off-target. If your job description is off-target, your applicant pool won’t contain suitable applicants. And so on…

Any process with a lot of moving parts can get off track.

An HR director who understands the recruitment life cycle from a holistic perspective will be more successful. I will go even further regarding that assertion: an HR director who doesn’t understand full life cycle recruitment cannot be successful.

Regardless of which step you are in charge of, you need to understand the entire process so you know where your task fits.

All Companies Need A Full Life Cycle Recruitment Approach

A common misconception among small business owners is the idea that business management theory only applies to large companies.

Many small business owners are too busy just trying to keep the lights on.

This begs the question: ‘How do small businesses become big businesses?’

One predictor of growth is whether the business is able to establish and follow effective processes. Life cycle recruitment is one of those processes. One could argue that it’s the most important process because the people you hire create and execute all the other processes!

How Does Full Life Cycle Recruitment Help My Business?

What are the ultimate goals of full life cycle recruitment?

  1. To fill each position with the perfect employee in a timely manner
  2. Employees are productive, engaged, and loyal
  3. Employees execute the business strategy and create ongoing value

How Do I Design A Full Life Cycle Recruitment Process?

Following is the full life cycle recruiting process.

  1. Hiring Manager Submits Job Requisition
  2. Create The Candidate Persona
  3. Create Job Description
  4. Source Job Applicants
  5. Screen And Filter Candidates
  6. Interview Selected Candidates
  7. Perform Background And Reference Checks
  8. Extend The Job Offer
  9. Onboard The Employee

Let’s break it down.

1. Hiring Manager Submits Job Requisition

  • Verify company job requisition policy is followed
  • Identify and understand the job requirements

2. Create The Candidate Persona

  • Understand and interpret the hiring manager’s needs
  • Create a fictitious candidate persona(s) based on the hiring manager’s needs

3. Create Job Description

Job descriptions aren’t a simple laundry list of qualifications. They need to describe both the job and the company culture. They must articulate what the candidate needs to bring to the table as well as what the company will bring to the table.

A successful job placement meets the candidate’s as well as the company’s needs. Recruiters who fail to appreciate the competing interests and employer-employee relationship will fail.

4. Source Job Applicants

  • The candidate persona and job description help you choose the sourcing channels
  • Use different techniques for sourcing active and passive candidates

For example, your company social media sites are a good place to attract passive candidates.

If you have a highly-specialized position, proactive sourcing on LinkedIn might work well.

Posting the job to the job boards and other online sites is a critical part of the sourcing step.

5. Screen and Filter Candidates

You don’t have control over who applies for your job. If your job description was spot on and you advertised on multiple forums, you will build a pool of good candidates.

There is an art and science to candidate screening. When and how you screen makes a big difference.

Reading resumes is tedious and time consuming. Each resume is formatted differently. It’s not always obvious whether or not the candidate has the necessary skills and experience.

Creating a custom questionnaire in a good applicant tracking system is the best way to do first-pass filtering. Instead of scrutinizing all the resumes first, filter out poor-fit candidates with a questionnaire crafted for the job description.

This will narrow your candidate pool considerably. You will be left with a smaller group of top applicants—each of which has the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience. Now you can start reading resumes to distinguish the applicants from one another.

Your time is better spent reading resumes for a small group of candidates. An applicant tracking system (ATS) with custom screening questionnaires automates first-level screening. When the ATS has eliminated many of your applicants, you perform the critical thinking that software can’t do.

6. Interview Selected Candidates

Effective interviewing is another learned skill. And preparation is just as important as the actual interviews. Structured interviewing scripts are an accepted best practice.

Structured interviews reduce unconscious bias, protect you legally, and help you find the best applicant for the position. ATSs with structured interviewing tools are invaluable.

7. Background and Reference Checks

This process is fairly straightforward. You can’t extend a job offer until you’ve thoroughly vetted your candidate. This workflow is also simplified brilliantly with hiring software.

8. Extend The Job Offer

When you’ve made your choice, you can’t complete the cycle unless the candidate accepts your job offer. If they decline because they accepted another offer, you’ve got to back up and repeat the last two steps with your second choice.

9. Onboard The Employee

When the new hire arrives for their first day, you’ve invested a lot of resources to get to this point. You can’t drop the ball with onboarding. The stakes are too high. You need to nurture the new employee with a structured, carefully-designed onboarding process.

That’s it in a nutshell. Whether you are in charge of the entire process or one component, understanding the whys and hows of each step is key to success.

ApplicantStack For Full Life Cycle Recruiting

ApplicantStack is designed for the entire hiring process. It was created by recruiting veterans who understand the mechanics and theory of full life cycle recruiting. That’s why it has tools for each critical operation in the recruiting process.

If you are researching ATSs, evaluate them from the standpoint of full life cycle recruiting. Successful recruiters and hiring managers use systems like ApplicantStack that simplify each step in the cycle. With ApplicantStack hiring software, the solution is greater than the sum of its parts.

In our How To Hire Your Next Employee Series, we explain how to use ApplicantStack for full life cycle recruiting.

ApplicantStack Recruit handles job descriptions through hiring. ApplicantStack Onboard takes over once the employee is hired. The products are integrated so you won’t have to re-enter any information.

Recruit and Onboard help each member of your hiring team perform their tasks in the full life cycle process.

Here is how one of our clients described how ApplicantStack has transformed their life cycle recruiting:

‘Excellent hiring software. The ability to follow and track an applicant from the initial inquiry through the entire hiring process. ApplicantStack not only sends our job ads out to the most prominent sites, but allows us a stellar tracking process all the way to hire.’

Full Life Cycle Recruiting For Beginners

Let’s go back to where we started. This post is directed to beginners. Because ApplicantStack was designed for the entire process, you won’t be a beginner for long. There is no quicker way to become a pro at full life cycle recruiting.

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

speed up construction hiring

Speed Up Construction Hiring: 5 Ways To Beat The Labor Shortage

March 30, 2022
Posted in

Construction hiring continues to be challenging. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), there were 415,000 open construction jobs in March 2022. It’s no secret that many construction employers are struggling to find workers. Construction lost 600,000 jobs during the downturn. Many had been held by boomers who either retired or left the industry.…

Read More
new employee welcome

Solve Small Business Hiring With an Applicant Tracking System

March 28, 2022
Posted in

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? An applicant tracking system is a type of HR software that automates the hiring and onboarding process. Small businesses that rely on manual hiring processes will struggle in today’s competitive talent market. Regardless of your hiring needs or type of business, an ATS will make hiring easier and…

Read More

WorkforceHub takes care of business.

We’ll show you how.

Request a Demo

Looking for log-in help? Please reach out to your HR or payroll manager.

brand - dots