Recruitment Life Cycle : All You Need to Know

Nikita Agarwal

Senior Writer

Chief editor

Chief editor

Ultimate Guide to Full Cycle Recruitment Process

As a recruiter, you would agree that the whole process of hiring and onboarding a candidate is a long and costly affair. The last thing you want is an inefficient hiring process. 

Stuart Liroff, VP of talent acquisition at, says on Quora

My biggest problem is that nearly all candidates are actively pursuing multiple opportunities… Where I used to be able to work pretty much 1:1 with passive candidates, I no longer have that luxury.

One way to reduce the time per hire and streamline your recruitment process is by having a recruitment life cycle. 

Looking for Recruiting Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best recruiting software solutions.

The recruitment life cycle not only benefits the recruiter but the candidate and organization too. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of full life cycle recruiting and its main 6 stages. Let’s begin. 

What is Recruitment Life Cycle?

A full-cycle recruiting also referred to as an end-to-end recruitment life cycle or recruitment life cycle is a term used to describe the recruitment process whereby a single recruiter or agency manages the and diversifies entire hiring process from start to finish. 

A recruitment life cycle consists of several stages from posting job descriptions to preselection and eventually onboarding a new employee in the office. 

Again, being a full-cycle recruiter requires a diverse range of skills. Instead of focusing on a single aspect of the recruitment process, they need to handle all the tasks in the recruitment funnel. Some of these skills and traits include: 

  • Being organized and multi-tasker
  • Having efficient communication skills
  • Being tech-savvy to be able to use various recruitment tools such as talent management software or HR software, etc.

Pros and Cons of Full Cycle Recruitment Process

Let us look at how implementing a full-cycle recruitment process can help an organization. 


It’s safe to say that having the same person in charge of the entire recruiting process limits the chances of unnecessary delays and creates a great candidate experience. 

1. Decreased Time-to-hire

Time-to-hire measures the number of days that passed since a candidate entered your pipeline until the day you hire a new employee. When a single recruiter is involved, it can drastically reduce the time-to-hire as the entire process is streamlined. 

A time-to-hire of two weeks is considered an optimal time range. Top candidates stay available for only 10 days before they disappear and go to another company. It vastly affects candidate experience and shows how efficient your recruitment process is. 

2. Accountability

When many people are involved in the hiring process, it can be challenging to hold someone accountable for any specific tasks performed. Even though recruitment metrics and other expectations are clearly defined, it can be difficult to keep track of every activity. 

But in the case of the full cycle recruiting process, it becomes easy. Since only one person is involved, they can easily set up key performance indicators and keep track of the same. 

3. Candidate Experience

It’s crucial to have a single touchpoint throughout the entire hr recruitment cycle for enhancing the candidate experience. Instead of speaking to various employers simultaneously, they can just reach out to a single person for all their concerns. 

They will know who will be guiding them through each stage of the recruitment process. 

Besides, it gives a great opportunity for the recruiter to build a good relationship with the candidate. 


There are a few downsides to the hr recruitment cycle process as well. Let us have a look. 

1. Requires a Diverse Set of Skills

You would see large organizations often hire different people for different stages of the recruitment process. In other words, they have a full recruitment team responsible for various tasks, such as hiring manager, talent acquisition specialist, and a recruitment assistant, amongst others. 

Every stage of recruitment requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. For instance, sourcing a candidate is completely different from providing an excellent onboarding experience to the new candidate. 

Finding a recruiter who has mastered the skills of every stage can be another challenge for the company. 

2. Not Suitable for Every Organization

When only one person is involved in the full cycle recruitment process, it’s evident that they can handle only a certain number of candidates. 

If they are to handle more candidates than they could, it will affect the time-to-hire and candidate experience. That being said, a full-cycle recruitment process can only be effective for small organizations or for companies that have highly specialized roles. 

6 Stages of Recruitment Life Cycle

Here are the 6 stages of recruitment involved in a full life cycle recruiting.

Recruitment Life Cycle Step 1 – Preparation

The foremost step for the recruiter is to understand the hiring manager’s expectations for the opening role. 

The recruiter needs to conduct a meeting with the hiring manager and note the desired skills, personality traits, educational background, and experience for the open role. After the session, the recruiter needs to create an ideal candidate persona. 

One tip would be to gather as much information from the hiring manager. You can then use an efficient job description tool to write the ideal job description with the right keyword and detailed information. It will help attract a large pool of applicants for the position. 

Recruitment Life Cycle Step 2 – Sourcing

Once you have the job description ready, the next step is to source candidates. 

The recruitment strategy should include finding both active and passive candidates suitable for the role. You can source active candidates by posting jobs on various job boards, career websites, social media recruiting channels, and more. 

You can use applications like applicant tracking systems (ATS) or talent management systems to run a keyword search and find suitable candidates in previously created talent pools. 

Even during the sourcing phase, the recruiter stays in constant touch with the hiring manager to update them about the ongoing situation. 

Recruitment Life Cycle Step 3 – Screening

At this stage, the recruiter reviews all the applicants for the role and shortlists the most suitable one. 

With an ATS solution, you can quickly scan all the received resumes using keywords and filter out the less qualified candidates. The shortlisted candidate is moved to the next procedure of a face-to-face interview. It helps to align expectations between the candidate and the employer.

Recruitment Life Cycle Step 4 – Selecting

During the candidate selection process of full-cycle recruiting, the recruiter further conducts various skills assessment tests. Some of these include writing assignments, psychometric tests, and more. It involves making a decision about which candidate is right for the open position. 

Once a candidate is chosen, the next thing to do is run a background check. After which, an offer is extended to the selected candidate. 

Recruitment Life Cycle Step 5 – Hiring

The recruiter reaches out to the candidate and offers a letter of employment. This offer letter clearly defines the roles, benefits, and other important terms and conditions of employment. 

Recruiters work with the hiring manager to effectively negotiate the terms of the offer. Once the candidate agrees and signs the offer letter, the next thing to work on is their onboarding preparation. 

Recruitment Life Cycle Step 6 – Onboarding

Even after the candidate signs the contract, the recruiter still has got work to do. The recruiter is responsible for onboarding the new candidate and making it a great experience for the new employee. 

The onboarding process generally involves:

  • Completing all necessary paperwork;
  • Equipping the candidate with the tools and information;
  • Familiarizing them with the company’s various policies. 

Also Read: Step-by-Step Employee Onboarding Checklist for the HR Department 

Recruiters can use employee onboarding software to send documents to sign and collect all documents and forms online. A great onboarding process marks the successful completion of the full-cycle recruitment process. 

Wrap Up

The full cycle of recruiting stages can seem time-consuming. But they are not if a recruiter uses the right recruitment tools for different stages. There are many different tools for various stages. However, you can find an all-in-one hiring solution that encompasses all the required tools into one platform. 

If a company is not able to fill in a position for some time, it is considered an opportunity cost for the organization. Thus, recruitment is a crucial process for every business. 

If you need any assistance in choosing the best recruitment software for your full-cycle recruiting, you can contact us. 

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