Full Cycle Recruiting: What Is It, And Is It Right For You?

by | Feb 23, 2023 | Hiring

If you’ve never partnered with a recruiting agency before, you may be unfamiliar with full cycle recruiting. You’ll likely hear this term when shopping around for recruitment agencies, so it’s good to have a firm handle on what it means. In this article, we’ll explain what full cycle recruiting is and how it can be helpful to your business.

What is full cycle recruiting?

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Full cycle recruiting is an arrangement between a company and a recruitment agency in which the agency handles every aspect of the recruitment process. Sometimes called end-to-end recruitment, this partnership sees the agency sourcing, vetting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding talent.

> 6 Best Tech Recruitment Agencies

This type of recruitment is especially helpful when trying to hire for tough-to-fill positions, usually in technical or highly specialized fields. Smaller recruitment agencies tend to specialize in acquiring certain kinds of talent, like tech, while larger agencies recruit for a wide variety of roles.

The full cycle process

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No two companies or recruitment agencies are the same, but in general, the process for full cycle recruiting looks something like this:

  1. The recruiter receives a job post or description from the client
  2. The recruiter posts the job opening to online job boards
  3. The recruiter gets to work on sourcing candidates for the opening
  4. Once the recruiter finds promising candidates, they set up an interview
  5. If the client likes the candidate and decides to move forward, the recruiter sends an offer letter to the candidate
  6. If the client accepts the offer, the recruiter sends overing hiring documents and proceeds with new hire onboarding

Throughout this process, the recruiter works closely with the client’s hiring manager to provide updates and request information or feedback for next steps. Open and clear communication is essential for a successful partnership with a recruiting agency, and good recruiters know this.

Full cycle recruiting for different employment arrangements

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Depending on the company and the type of employment in question, full cycle recruitment does not look the same in every case. Here are three examples of what this hiring process might look like by employment type.

Contract jobs

With contract roles, full cycle recruiters usually handle every step of the process outlined above. While the recruiter probably won’t conduct every interview, they may sit in on some or all of them, depending on the client’s preference.

At the very least, full cycle recruiters for contract jobs will:

  • Post the job
  • Source candidates
  • Arrange interviews
  • Conduct background checks
  • Send the offer letter
  • Onboard the new hire

Tip: Throughout the hiring process, it’s common for candidates—especially software developers and engineers—to go through multiple interview rounds and be asked to complete different skills assessments. The recruiter will likely only conduct the initial phone interview, but it’s a good idea to let them be a fly on the wall for additional interviews. Working with a recruiter is a partnership, and this helps them learn what’s important to you in a candidate so they can better serve you.

Permanent placement (direct hire)

Permanent placement roles are a bit different from contract roles. The process for these will look mostly the same as for contract, except the recruiter doesn’t handle onboarding.

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Since direct hires are not 1099 contractors but W-2 employees, most—if not all—client companies handle onboarding themselves with their internal HR departments. The recruiter may still send the offer letter or at least tell the candidate to expect an official offer letter from the client’s HR department, but onboarding is the step where the recruiter passes the new hire off to the client.

Staffing arrangements

If you partner with a staffing agency, the process works a bit differently. First of all, not all recruitment agencies are staffing agencies. Some agencies do both staffing and recruiting, while some only do one or the other. You might hear these words used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing.

With staffing, the recruiter handles every step of the process, and the new hire is employed directly by the staffing agency—not the client company. The new hire still works for the client, but on paper, they’re employed by the agency.

This is a sort of hybrid form of employment, a cross between direct hire and contract. Clients effectively get the benefits of hiring a 1099 contractor, while the new hire gets the benefits of being a W-2 employee.

Pros and cons of full cycle recruiting

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Everything has its pros and cons, and full cycle recruiting is no exception. Consider these points to help you decide whether this hiring strategy is right for you.

Pros Cons
Yes One person oversees the entire process, preventing bottlenecks and delays No Recruiters require more training and expertise
Yes Improved candidate experience, as the candidate has a dedicated point of contact working with them throughout the process No Poor communication between the hiring manager and the recruiter can make or break hiring efforts
Yes Reduced time to hire No Not always well-suited for companies with particularly complex hiring processes
Yes Streamlined process that makes it easier for the hiring manager to get updates

Partnering with the right recruiter makes all the difference

Finding success with full cycle recruiting ultimately boils down to who you partner with for recruiting. Do your research when selecting an agency, and don’t be afraid to shop around. The extra effort definitely pays off, especially when trying to fill more technical positions.

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About Forrest Brown
Forrest Brown is the Content Manager at NerdRabbit. An AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, he lives in Atlanta with his wife and two cats.

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