Recruitment Life Cycle – Different Stages of Recruitment

The recruitment life cycle refers to the complete process of recruitment from start to end. Hence it is also known as a 360-degree recruitment process or end-to-end recruitment process. From scratch till the end, that is the final recruitment, the process of requirement employs several stages. This entire cycle is known as a recruitment life-cycle.

Recruitment is an integral part of Human Resource Management. Recruitment is a hiring process where firstly the staffing and organizational needs of the company are identified. After that, a potential pool of candidates for the required staffing is attracted. The pool of candidates is generated by firstly identifying these candidates. These can be done by both internal and external sources. Next, the recruiter should attract these candidates to apply for the job. This can be done by extensive advertising in job sites, campus drives, reaching out to potential candidates from the company database, etc.

Recruitment is such an important process because it serves as a pre-math for selection. Recruitment is a deciding factor on the correct candidates being chosen in the selection process. Hence, attracting a better pool of candidates in the recruitment process proves to be extremely beneficial.

The process of recruitment largely varies due to the size of the organization. A small or medium-sized firm may have only one person as a recruiter or a hiring manager. However, a larger company is most likely to have a whole dedicated team of recruiters to carry on the process effectively. A well-framed recruitment process helps both the company and the applicants. The company gets to generate a potential pool of candidates, whereas the candidates get potential employment opportunities.

However, in every organizational setting and every differential organizational need, the recruitment life-cycle large remains the same. There are namely 6 major steps in the recruitment life cycle:

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

Recruitment Life Cycle Stages

Recruitment Life Cycle - Different Stages of Recruitment

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1. Preparing

Preparation is an essential component for the success of any process. The recruitment process also has a comprehensive preparation process which serves as a foundation for the proper functioning of the later stages in the life-cycle. 

The first step to preparation is creating a candidate persona. This means that the recruiter has to define the traits or skills or experience that a candidate has to have to be eligible for the recruitment process. Drafting an appropriate candidate persona increases the possibility of an appropriate hire.

The second step to preparation is drafting a job description. The job description is responsible for attracting potential candidates in the recruitment process. Hence, an unattractive job description will be a thumbs-down to the process. However, an employer cannot publish wrong or misleading information. The job description has to be accurate and state the responsibilities that it entails. It should most importantly include the salary, perks, and other benefits provided by the company.

2. Sourcing

The second stage is establishing the sourcing for the candidates. This means creating awareness about the job in various sources and hence generating potential candidates from those sources. Professional recruiters choose to do the recruitment on multiple sources to achieve maximum results. The different sources of recruitment are listed below:

Internal Source: Internal sources of recruitment can be not only effective but also economical. It is cost-effective for the company, and an ad also economizes on a lot of time. Internal sources of recruitment mainly include promotions and transfers of employees intra-organization. In addition to that, intra-organization employee referrals also largely contribute to the internal sources of recruitment. Utilizing the company’s database to recruit former employees and candidates can also be a good choice.

External Source: A company can recruit through external sources via employment agencies. This is the common and surest source of recruiting eligible pool of candidates. The company can also conduct campus drives in various schools, colleges, and universities, thereby facilitating recruitment. Apart from that, the recruitment procedure can be advertised in multiple media sources to have a greater reach and therefore attract a greater pool. Utilizing various labor unions in the recruitment process is also something that the company can do.

E-sources: The e-sources of recruitment are gaining quick popularity in today’s times. Recruitment ads can be posted on agency websites. Also, online job boards can be used for the recruitment process. However, the chance of attracting a large number of unqualified candidates works as the biggest disadvantage in this case. Its easy availability and much higher reach still make it a popular option. 

3. Screening

The third step is screening all the applications that have been generated from all the sources. Sourcing attracts a large number of candidates, and not all of them have the required skills and traits needed for the vacant job. Hence screening is important to list out the ineligible candidates based on their resumes, portfolios, etc., and take the eligible candidates to the next round of screening which is generally a telephonic interview process. Candidates who pass the telephonic interview round are chosen for the face-to-face interview.

4. Selection

This is the most critical stage of recruitment life-cycle. This is because, in this stage, the final selection of the candidates is made for the said job. The resumes and cover letters, in most cases, seem a lot more eligible than the candidate himself/herself. Hence face to face interviews or tests should be well-drafted to test the candidate on all aspects and then make an informed and educated decision.

Even though in most cases, the stage of selection is defined by an interview process, in some instances, different forms of test can also be employed. These can be personality assessments and written ability tests, to name a few. These can also go hand-in-hand with the interview process to finally select the candidate or candidates for the job.

Interviews can also be of various types depending upon the discretion of the employer/recruiter. These can be unstructured interviews where different candidates are asked different questions and judged. These can also be structured interviews where a standardized set of questions is asked to every candidate, and then they are judged. Interviews can also be behavioral interviews or stress interviews to test how a candidate reacts or behaves under stress.

Under any circumstance, before the final selection is made, a background or reference check must be done on the candidate.

5. Hiring

After the selection is made, it is time to hire the candidate, that notifies him/her about his/her selection. The hiring stage of the recruitment life-cycle generally consists of two parts.

The first part is notifying the candidate about the job that is making the final job offer. An offer letter must be sent to the candidate. An offer letter must be accurate and consist of all the necessary information regarding the job. It should contain the working hours, the benefits, the compensation as well as the starting date of the job. If the job is contractual, the details of the contract must be mentioned. 

The second part of the hiring process is negotiation. After a candidate receives an offer letter, he/she has to accept it. However, not all selected candidates will select the offer letter right away. They might want to negotiate with the HR on various terms. The most common terms of negotiation are the working hours and salary. Negotiation is important so that a mutually acceptable employment contract can be reached between the candidate and the employer.

6. Onboarding

The recruitment process does not end with hiring the candidate. Onboarding is an important part of the recruitment life-cycle because it plays a great role to determine if the candidate can fit in the company culture and hence work productively. A proper onboarding procedure includes steps like introduction, orientation, and training of the employee. Henceforth the recruitment life-cycle ends, and the employment starts.

From layman’s eyes, recruitment might seem like a very simple process of just hiring candidates. But in reality, it is complex and comprehensive and is very much responsible for the productivity and success of the company. Hence trained professionals carry out the process with a minute focus on each stage so that the most eligible candidates are finally onboarded for the job.

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