Career Advice

Typical Recruitment Cycle: The 6 Stages

Finding the finest individuals to fill vacant positions is a critical procedure for many firms that uses a full life cycle recruiting or recruitment cycle. In order to get the best results, an organization may use whole life cycle recruitment tactics when looking for individuals who will work with it on a long-term basis. Knowing the details of this procedure could be helpful if you work in human resources and assist a firm with staffing issues. In this post, we look at what complete life cycle recruitment is, what stages it entails, and what benefits and drawbacks it might offer.

What Exactly Is A Recruitment Cycle?

A recruitment cycle, often known as full life cycle recruitment, refers to the complete recruitment or hiring process for new personnel. A whole life cycle recruitment process consists of six stages: preparation, sourcing, screening, choosing, hiring, and onboarding. Recruitment managers and HR specialists support the recruitment of applicants for open positions, shortlisting the top applicants for interviews, choosing the best individuals based on performance, and assisting with the training and onboarding processes. The communication between hiring managers and potential employees is improved when full life cycle recruiting techniques are used.

A recruitment cycle, also known as the recruitment process or hiring process, refers to the series of steps and activities involved in sourcing, attracting, evaluating, and selecting candidates for job positions within an organization. It encompasses all the stages from identifying the need to fill a position to onboarding the selected candidate. The recruitment cycle typically involves the following key stages:

  • Job Requisition: This is the initial step where a need for a new employee is identified within the organization. It involves defining the job requirements, responsibilities, and qualifications for the position.
  • Sourcing and Attracting Candidates: The organization uses various methods to attract potential candidates, including job postings, online job boards, social media, networking, employee referrals, and recruitment agencies. This stage focuses on reaching out to a wide pool of candidates who may be a good fit for the position.
  • Screening and Selection: In this stage, resumes and applications received from candidates are screened to shortlist those who meet the initial qualifications and requirements. Screening may involve reviewing resumes, conducting phone screenings, or administering online assessments. Shortlisted candidates are then selected for further evaluation.
  • Interviews: Qualified candidates are invited for interviews, which can be conducted in various formats, such as phone interviews, video interviews, or in-person interviews. These interviews aim to assess the candidates’ skills, and qualifications, and fit with the company culture and job requirements.
  • Assessment and Evaluation: Depending on the position, candidates may be subjected to additional assessments or evaluations, such as technical tests, personality assessments, or work samples. These assessments provide a deeper understanding of the candidates’ capabilities and suitability for the role.
  • Reference and Background Checks: The organization may conduct reference checks to verify the candidate’s employment history, qualifications, and character. Background checks may also be performed to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Decision-Making and Offer: Based on the evaluation and assessments, the hiring team or decision-makers determine the most suitable candidate for the position. A job offer is extended, including details of compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions.
  • Onboarding: Once the candidate accepts the job offer, the onboarding process begins. This involves welcoming new employees, providing necessary paperwork, introducing them to the organization’s policies and procedures, and facilitating their integration into the workplace.

It’s important to note that the recruitment cycle can vary in duration and complexity depending on the organization, the level of the position, and the number of applicants. Each stage of the cycle plays a critical role in ensuring the right candidates are selected and onboarded effectively to contribute to the organization’s success.

Businesses, recruiters, and job seekers can all benefit from full life cycle recruiting. In a small company, hiring new staff may be done by the manager or the department head. In mid-sized businesses, human resources specialists frequently take the helm of such projects. The HR departments of major businesses with extensive operations could have different teams handling every phase of the hiring process.

Recruitment Cycle Stages

There are six key steps in a normal recruitment cycle. It is frequently necessary to finish each of these procedures in order to locate the best applicant for a position. The six stages of a typical hiring process are as follows:

1. Job Requisition

The first step in the process is to set the criteria for recruiting the best candidate. HR experts must develop a thorough job description and applicant profile in order for the recruitment cycle to be effective. During this stage, you might outline the characteristics you are looking for in the prospective worker.

Think about the demands of the organization and the qualifications needed for the vacant position. Describe the person who would be most suited for this job and list any regular responsibilities they might have. Once you’ve identified these components, you can utilize the knowledge to create an interesting job description that will draw in qualified applicants.

2. Sourcing and Attracting Candidates

After creating a job description, you may begin the sourcing stage. During this stage, job boards will be used to advertise the opening and find potential candidates. There are numerous methods for finding job candidates. Several popular channels are:

  • The Internet: Web-based sourcing uses the Internet to search through a huge number of online profiles in order to locate suitable candidates for available positions. When you search for qualified individuals online, you can get in touch with them right away, answer any questions they might have, and persuade them to apply.
  • Social media channels: This method entails advertising job openings and searching for qualified applicants on social media platforms.
  • Internal recruiting: Many times, companies discover that their present staff are ideal candidates for a new job. In these circumstances, internal recruiting may serve as a tactic to encourage career advancement within an organization.
  • Employee recommendations: This method of finding candidates entails soliciting recommendations from current workers. Current staff members may be aware of people in their circle who would be excellent candidates for a position that is open and may be prepared to introduce their employer to these people.

3. Screening

The screening process is conducted by hiring managers to find qualified candidates. For many organizations that typically receive a significant number of employment applications in response to each job posting, this stage could take a while. You may review applications as a recruiting manager, which typically contain a resume, mission statement, cover letter, and portfolio. Companies can automate their screening procedures by using applicant tracking systems (ATS). When you have a list of applicants who satisfy a certain criterion, think about doing brief phone interviews with them before asking them for an in-person interview.

4. Selecting

Each qualified candidate must undergo a thorough interview as part of the selection process, which is the fourth phase. You might have a shortlist of eligible candidates who are prepared for interviews and are aware of the precise position requirements after passing the first three phases. Interview candidates who move on to the selection process in person to learn more about their educational history, professional experience, and skill set.

5. Recruiting

Hiring managers further narrow down a group of applicants after an interview session, whether for selection or for further examinations or interviews. Once you’ve made the decision to choose a candidate for a certain position, as the hiring manager, get in touch with them right away and extend a formal job offer. Review the employment conditions with each candidate you choose, taking into account pay, working conditions, and incentives.

If a chosen candidate does not immediately accept the offer, businesses typically negotiate the specifics of the employment offer with them. Be prepared to explain in detail what the company can offer in terms of compensation, benefits, and professional advancement before approaching a chosen applicant. Then, you may be confident that you are able to negotiate successfully to protect the interests of the company and the candidate.

6. Onboarding

Onboarding new hires is the last step in the recruiting process. In order to help a new hire understand the workplace culture and the expectations of the position, it is important to introduce them to the departments they might work with and schedule the proper orientation and training sessions. Thank new hires for joining the company and working to foster a sense of community. Consider offering to help them with any questions they might have while they get used to their new responsibilities.

Features of A Full Life Cycle Recruitment Process

A full life cycle recruitment process, also known as end-to-end recruitment, encompasses all stages of the hiring process from start to finish. It involves various features and activities to ensure a comprehensive and effective recruitment process. Some key features of a full life cycle recruitment process include:


When an individual is in charge of overseeing the entire recruiting process, the possibility of unneeded delays is minimal. If the person in charge can effectively organize their processes, work areas, resources, and information, this type of recruiting procedure may be successful. The hiring manager takes responsibility for the outcomes of the recruiting process and the compatibility of a chosen applicant in a full life cycle recruitment process where they address every stage of the process for an applicant.

Applicant background

Candidates benefit from having one point of contact for the duration of the hiring process. Candidates can stay in touch with an expert who can guide them through each step of the procedure while addressing their questions and concerns. This might reassure prospective employees throughout a trying job search situation. Additionally, by being there throughout the entire procedure, recruiters have the chance to establish trusting working connections with each applicant. Recruiters might be able to interact with candidates more personally and improve their experience.


When a hiring manager is involved in every stage of the hiring process, there are restrictions on the number of candidates they can work with. When a recruiting manager handles a huge number of applications at the same time, the applicant experience including time-to-hire metrics may suffer. Small businesses or positions requiring a high degree of specialization are the best candidates for full life cycle recruiting.

Diverse skill requirements

People having specialized knowledge of a certain step of the recruitment procedure are frequently employed by larger companies. The hiring manager may oversee a hiring team that consists of an applicant source, a recruiting assistant, numerous recruiters, and a group of interviewers, according to the size of the organization. This is due to the fact that each step of the hiring process has certain expertise and abilities requirements.

Job Analysis and Planning

The process begins with a thorough analysis of the job requirements, responsibilities, and qualifications. This helps in creating accurate job descriptions, defining desired candidate profiles, and setting recruitment goals and timelines.

Sourcing and Attracting Candidates

To attract a diverse pool of candidates, various sourcing strategies are employed, such as job postings, online job boards, social media platforms, networking, and recruitment agencies. Active and passive candidate sourcing methods are used to reach out to potential candidates.

Screening and Application Review

Resumes, applications, and other candidate submissions are reviewed and screened to identify those who meet the initial qualifications and requirements. This stage may involve automated applicant tracking systems, initial phone screenings, or video interviews.

Interviews and Assessments

Qualified candidates are invited for interviews, which can be conducted in different formats, such as phone interviews, video interviews, panel interviews, or one-on-one interviews. Assessments such as technical tests, behavioral assessments, or work simulations may be included to evaluate candidates’ skills, competencies, and fit for the role.

Selection and Decision-Making

Based on the evaluations and assessments, the hiring team or decision-makers identify the most suitable candidates for the position. They assess each candidate’s qualifications, interview performance, references, and other relevant factors to make informed decisions.

Offer and Negotiation

A job offer is extended to the selected candidate, including details of compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions. This stage may also involve negotiation with the candidate to reach mutually agreed-upon terms.

Onboarding and Integration

Once the candidate accepts the job offer, the onboarding process begins. This includes completing the necessary paperwork, introducing the new employee to the organization’s policies and culture, and facilitating their smooth integration into the team and work environment.

Talent Pipeline Management

Throughout the recruitment process, a talent pipeline is developed and managed. This involves maintaining relationships with potential candidates who were not selected for the current position but may be suitable for future opportunities. Building and nurturing a talent pipeline helps streamline future recruitment efforts.

Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

The full life cycle recruitment process involves analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of the recruitment efforts. Feedback from hiring managers, candidates, and other stakeholders is gathered to identify areas of improvement and implement changes for future recruitment cycles.

By incorporating these features, a full life cycle recruitment process ensures a systematic and comprehensive approach to attracting, evaluating, and selecting the best candidates for job positions, leading to successful and sustainable hiring outcomes.


In conclusion, the recruitment cycle encompasses all the stages and activities involved in sourcing, attracting, evaluating, and selecting candidates for job positions within an organization. It is a structured and systematic process that begins with identifying the need for a new employee and concludes with onboarding the selected candidate. The recruitment cycle involves various features such as job analysis, candidate sourcing, screening, interviews, assessments, decision-making, and onboarding. Each stage plays a vital role in identifying and securing the most qualified candidates for the organization’s needs. By following a well-defined recruitment cycle, organizations can streamline their hiring process, ensure fairness and consistency, and ultimately make informed decisions that lead to successful hires.

Frequently Asked Questions about the recruitment cycle

  • What is the purpose of the recruitment cycle?

The recruitment cycle serves the purpose of attracting, evaluating, and selecting qualified candidates to fill job positions within an organization. It ensures that the right talent is identified and brought into the organization to meet its staffing needs and contribute to its success.

  • How long does the recruitment cycle typically take?

The duration of the recruitment cycle can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the position, the number of applicants, and the organization’s internal processes. It can range from a few weeks to several months. However, organizations often strive to minimize the time taken to avoid delays and secure top talent efficiently.

  • What are the key stages involved in the recruitment cycle?

The key stages in the recruitment cycle typically include job analysis and planning, candidate sourcing, screening and application review, interviews and assessments, selection and decision-making, and finally, onboarding and integration of the selected candidate.

  • What are some common recruitment methods used in the recruitment cycle?

Common recruitment methods include job postings on job boards and company websites, employee referrals, social media recruiting, recruitment agencies, campus recruitment, and networking events. The specific methods employed may vary depending on the organization, position, and target candidate pool.

  • How can organizations ensure a successful recruitment cycle?

To ensure a successful recruitment cycle, organizations should establish clear job requirements, effectively communicate their employer brand, use multiple sourcing channels, implement fair and objective selection processes, provide timely and constructive feedback to candidates, and continuously evaluate and improve their recruitment strategies based on feedback and data analysis.

It’s important to note that these questions are general in nature, and the specific questions asked about the recruitment cycle can vary based on the organization, the position, and the interviewer.

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