Full-Cycle Recruitment Is the Answer to the War for Talent

Full-cycle recruiting, also known as end-to-end recruiting, is the entire talent acquisition process from start to finish. It begins when the need to fill a new role is identified and ends with onboarding the new employee.recruitment

A full-cycle recruiter is an experienced talent acquisition specialist who manages every stage of the hiring process on his or her own. Full-cycle recruiting is the norm in small and midsize companies, where recruitment is a responsibility handled by HR. But large corporations can also benefit from this efficient hiring process.

When Is Full-Cycle Recruitment Beneficial?

End-to-end recruiters are highly skilled in the business of sourcing and placing the best talent. They know their stuff and can be of great value to hiring managers because they provide support and guidance. Many agency recruiters manage the whole recruitment life cycle, but in-house recruiters often adopt the same role.

In large corporations, the recruitment process is usually spread among junior, intermediate, and senior staff, each playing a specific role in the recruitment cycle. However, when a vacancy comes up with skills that are hard to find, a top recruiter can be tasked with full life-cycle recruiting. The benefit is that this person will focus only on filling that particular role as quickly as possible with the best-possible candidate.

Dedicated and focused attention always yields the best results and the shortest time to hire.

“We’re not in a war for talent anymore, we’re in a war for time and attention. Great talent has choice, so your ability to cut through the noise is massively important”—”Google” Dave Hazlehurst, Partner of Ph. Creative

What Is the Full-Cycle Recruiting Process?

As mentioned above, full-cycle recruiting starts when a new vacancy comes up. Whether it’s a new or an existing role, the hiring manager has to work alongside the recruiter to ensure the job requirements and the ideal candidate are clearly defined. Together, they draw up a full-cycle recruiting process map that will include timelines, deadlines, and the ideal time to fill.

In general, eight stages comprise the core of full-cycle recruiting. You may need to add one or two more, depending on the type of position and your industry.

1. Defining the role. Knowing the purpose of the job is essential to the success of your business. Vague ideas and ambiguous definitions won’t get you the right talent. It’s vital that the hiring manager take some time to clearly define what skills and experience are required, as well as to establish where the role fits in.

If it’s an existing role that’s open because of a resignation or retirement, don’t fall into the trap of using the previous employee’s job description, especially if the employee held that job for some time. Technology and processes evolve, as do people and team dynamics. You could find that the job requirements have changed substantially.

2. Defining the ideal candidate. Once you know the job requirements, you can start working on the skills, experience, and characteristics that will best fit the role. Soft skills are just as critical as hard skills. The new employee must fit not only the job but also the team, department, and company. A person can have the best cover letter with all the skills and experience you need and more, but if that person doesn’t fit the environment, he or she will inevitably leave.

Obviously you understand your company culture, but you must consider the team dynamics and personalities that will surround the new employee. People who feel comfortable and emotionally safe in their direct working environment make happy employees, who, in turn, make your business more successful. Happy employees are also engaged and productive, and they tend to stay.

3. Writing the job description. Now that you’ve defined the requirements of the job and the ideal candidate to fit the role, you can get down to writing the job description. Job description templates are convenient, but if you are going to use one, make sure to tailor it to fit the exact requirements of the role.

The job description should be eye-catching and attractive so people want to read on and apply. Include all the essential information, as well as a bit about your company culture, and promote your employer branding effectively. Tell people why they should want to work for your organization and why you’re better than your competition.

4. Sourcing candidates. You might already have identified potential passive candidates and want to approach them directly; this is commonly called headhunting. Or, you may prefer to source passive candidates via social media and by mining your talent pool. This is certainly worthwhile because according to a LinkedIn survey, 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive candidates.

Posting to job boards also takes careful consideration, especially for specialized vacancies. Your aim is to get your post in front of the right candidates as quickly as possible, so be sure to choose platforms that attract people who’ll fit your ideal candidate. You’re looking for quality applicants, not quantity.

5. Screening applications. This is the most time-consuming stage of full-cycle recruiting. As a solo recruiter, it can be hectic going through loads of applications to come up with a short list. This is when automation becomes your closest ally. An applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you automate the mundane tasks like responding to unsuccessful applicants. A chatbot is excellent for answering FAQs. Be innovative, and harness HR tech as much as you can.

Many job portals also allow you to include screening questions, and they post directly to social media, as well. Some portals like Indeed allow you to send applicants online assessments and skills tests to make drawing up a short list easier.

6. Interviewing and selecting. After screening the best candidates, it’s time to make direct contact with them. Brief telephone or video screening interviews are best, especially if you have quite a few candidates on your short list. Having a list of fewer than five prepared interview questions at this stage allows you to make fair and transparent decisions.

When you know who you want to meet for face-to-face interviews, set up appointments, and confirm dates and times with individual candidates and the hiring team. Before interviews commence, compile a more comprehensive list of interview questions in conjunction with the hiring team.

7. Making an offer. It’s essential that everyone on the hiring team agree up front on the salary package, benefits, and any other perks that are on offer. Also, don’t regret any of the other candidates on your short list until your best candidate has accepted.

When you make an offer, always do it verbally first. Give the candidate a call, and tell him or her that you’re about to send an offer through and you look forward to his or her feedback. If you just send an e-mail, the candidate might overlook it and lose interest or accept another job.

Depending on the job, either the recruiter or the hiring manager can make the call. If you anticipate some tight negotiations, get the hiring manager involved from the start. Negotiations can be the most sensitive stage of full-cycle recruiting and the stage when you can easily lose your best candidate. Once the candidate accepts, send him or her a formal job offer letter detailing the job responsibilities, compensation package, benefits, start date, working hours, etc.

8. Onboarding. The full-cycle recruiting process doesn’t end once the candidate has accepted the offer. It’s vital to keep in regular contact with the new employee from the time he or she accepts the offer to the day before he or she starts. That way, you ensure the new employee is definitely going to start and let him or her know that you and the team are eagerly awaiting his or her arrival.

Draw up a new employee checklist to ensure you take care of every aspect of employee onboarding. Your checklist must include everything from preparing mandatory and statutory documentation to setting up the workstation and deciding who will meet and greet the new hire upon arrival. Leave no stone unturned to make it a great candidate experience.

End-to-End Recruitment Isn’t for the Faint-Hearted

As you can see, full-cycle recruiting is a focused hiring process that will land you the best talent. In a competitive business world of tight deadlines, skills shortages, and a raging talent war, full-cycle recruiting can keep your business at the forefront of attracting the best candidates.

Don’t forget to get back to candidates who weren’t successful and ask if you can add them to your talent pool. It’s all about the candidate experience, and they could be ideal for a new job that could pop up tomorrow.

No end-to-end recruiter can survive without technology. An ATS, chatbots, automation, and HR tech are all there to help you succeed. Be sure to use them whenever you can.

Perry Oostdam is the cofounder of Recruitee, one of Europe’s fastest-growing HR tech software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies. Oostdam started Recruitee with the belief that recruitment should be made as simple as possible for those on the lookout for talent. He is passionate about collaborative recruitment and ensuring people can successfully recruit the talent they need to be successful.