Full Cycle Recruiting For Beginners

full life cycle recruitment
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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

It’s important for small businesses to understand full cycle recruiting.

Are you in charge of the hiring process at your org? Or perhaps you’re in charge of one small slice of the process.

Whichever camp you fall into, understanding full cycle recruiting can help you improve hiring.

What Is Full 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 Circle Recruiting?

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

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. Miss the mark on the candidate persona and 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…

Certainly, 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.

All Companies Need a 360° 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 build 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 Can it Help My Business?

What are the goals of full life cycle recruitment?

  1. Fill each position with the perfect employee in a timely manner
  2. Build a workforce that is productive, engaged, and loyal
  3. Execute the business strategy and create ongoing value

How Do I Design a Full Cycle Recruitment Process?

Following is the full life cycle recruiting process.

  1. Hiring Manager Submits Job Requisition
  2. Create the Candidate Persona
  3. Write the 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 the 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. Perform 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 Small Business Hiring

ApplicantStack is the hiring module in WorkforceHub Plus (Swipeclock’s unified small business Time and Labor solution). It is designed for the entire hiring process and 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 ATS, evaluate them from the standpoint of full life cycle recruiting. Successful recruiters and hiring managers use systems that simplify and automate 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.

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 cycle recruiting. Good luck!

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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