What is full cycle recruiting?

July 30th, 2021
HireVue Team
Recruiting Teams
Women recruiting on laptop

Understanding full cycle recruiting

Any recruiter will tell you that hiring isn’t as simple as it seems; It can be hard, time-consuming and expensive. Hiring from start to finish is no small task, but that’s exactly what full cycle recruiting is.

Full cycle recruiting, also referred to as end-to-end recruiting or full lifecycle recruiting, is a term used to describe the holistic recruitment process, often handled by a single recruiter. This recruiter owns every stage of talent acquisition: from sourcing to screening to onboarding and is referred to as a “full cycle recruiter.”

In contrast to full cycle recruiting, many large hiring teams have recruiting or HR specialists who focus on one piece of the hiring process, such as a dedicated sourcer, expert scheduler and so on.

Full cycle recruiters are most common for small- to mid-size companies where there isn’t enough hiring volume to need siloed specialists. Instead, the full cycle recruiter is a jack-of-all-trades who is tasked with being the sole recruiter for an open requisition.

The benefit of full cycle recruiting is having someone in tune with the end-to-end process drives efficiency and can help create a consistent candidate experience. This is why large hiring teams in addition to specialists often have a team dedicated to optimizing and overseeing the 360 view.

Full cycle recruiting process

The full cycle recruiting process varies depending on the organization or position, but in general consists of these six steps:

  1. Preparing
  2. Sourcing
  3. Screening
  4. Selecting
  5. Hiring
  6. Onboarding

1. Preparing

Preparing refers to identifying a hiring need, working with the hiring manager to define the ideal candidate, and determining qualifications. During this stage, the full cycle recruiter is responsible for creating an inclusive job description and posting it to job boards, social media, and employee referral programs.

Communication with the hiring manager is vital, as the hiring manager is the final decision maker, so early alignment is key.

2. Sourcing

The sourcing step is focused on generating a strong list of applicants to evaluate. For hard-to-fill roles where there isn’t an abundance of applicants, this step requires recruiters to reach out to passive candidates, which are those who aren’t actively looking for employment. Typically, this involves utilizing sourcing tools or manually researching candidates with relevant skills and experience, then sending personalized communication inviting them to apply through LinkedIn, email, text, and other channels. It also commonly involves looking at past applicants or contacts in your talent pool to reengage those who may now be a strong fit.

A full cycle recruiter will also look at metrics to optimize the number of inbound applicants they receive. This includes making the application process effortless with resume parsing tools, adjusting where they put their ad spend, or adding new easy to apply channels such as text to apply.

3. Screening

The screening step is about progressing applicants who are a potential fit and dispositioning those who don’t meet the necessary qualifications. Traditionally, this is done with a resume review and phone screen.

Modern hiring teams are more frequently using chatbots to prescreen applicants for hard knock-out questions. Because phone screens last 15-30 minutes per candidate and require more scheduling considerations, on-demand interviews are increasingly replacing the manager phone screen to more efficiently prioritize candidates. On-demand interviews can be taken by the candidate anytime, anywhere and recruiters and hiring managers can quickly review multiple interviews side-by-side in one sitting.

For a full cycle recruiter, what technology they use during the screening step largely depends on applicant volume and how frequently they hire for the open position. With high volume hiring, the value of screening solutions increases exponentially.

4. Selecting

After top applicants are identified, the full cycle recruiter will set up interviews with the necessary decision-makers. During this process, a full cycle recruiter is also tasked with providing structure so hiring managers make decisions that are consistent, compliant, and based on factors predictive of future job performance. This is crucial, as it’s common for even well-trained interviewers to slip into ad hoc and inconsistent interview practices that often lead to biased decisions. Templates with recommended questions and evaluation rubrics are extremely helpful in keeping the conversation focused on job-relevant qualifications.

5. Hiring

After the interview, the full cycle recruiter will connect with the hiring manager to help inform a hiring decision. Once the top candidate is identified, they will extend an offer. From there, the recruiter will handle negotiations, background checks, reference checks, and setting a start date. Any and all paperwork and logistics are managed by the full cycle recruiter at this point. They serve as the liaison between the company and the candidate.

6. Onboarding

Once the paperwork is complete, the recruiter will continue to engage with the new hire during pre-boarding. The purpose of this is to prevent drop-off and get new hires to show for their first day and engage in onboarding activities. The full cycle recruiter typically welcomes them on their first day and continues to be the point of contact for any questions. With consistent communication and efficient onboarding, the new hire can quickly convert to a value-adding employee.

Full cycle recruiting technology

Since full cycle recruiters handle every step of talent acquisition, they need to pass some of these tasks off to their tech stack. Without the right technology in place, they won’t achieve the desired outcomes of efficient recruiting and positive candidate experience.

What does this look like?

Instead of having a scheduling specialist, they need automated scheduling software. Instead of a team dedicated to drafting inclusive job descriptions, they need gender decoder tools to review their job postings. Instead of an entire team devoted to prescreening, they need on-demand interviewing to collect interviews they can review more efficiently than phone screens.

Whether you are a recruiting specialist or full cycle recruiter, HireVue’s end-to-end hiring experience platform helps create a more efficient hiring process. To learn more, explore our platform.

Learn More