Staffing & Recruitment

The recruitment and selection process, from start to finish, entails several stages, which are collectively referred to as the recruitment life cycle. The recruitment life cycle ensures your organization attracts the best possible talent and seals the employment relationship deal with an onboarding process that welcomes new additions to your staff.

The Recruitment Process Life Cycle


Determining why you need to fill the vacancy, the skills and qualifications the job requires and how the position factors into the organization’s staffing plan is the beginning phase. When an in-house recruiter receives notice of a job that needs to be filled, the recruiter and the department supervisor or manager discuss the specific qualifications and talent the department needs. This is the phase where collaboration between operations and human resources is a fundamental step in finding a suitable candidate.


Recruiters use a number of methods to source candidates. Sourcing candidates means exploring resources that lead recruiters to a pool of qualified candidates. The sourcing process can include posting job vacancy announcements, perusing social networking sites for job seekers’ profiles and creating alliances with members of professional associations. Sourcing involves reaching out to both active and passive job seekers in hopes of finding several candidates from whom recruiters choose for the next step — preliminary screening.


Preliminary screening begins with reviewing resumes and employment applications to determine which applicants have the requisite skills and qualifications for the job vacancy. This phase usually ends with a telephone or informational interview where recruiters verify the work history and continued interest of applicants. Applicants who are successful in the preliminary stage generally are invited to a face-to-face interview to give recruiters and hiring managers an opportunity to learn more about the applicants’ qualifications.


In the recruitment life cycle, the actual selection stage begins once the recruiter determines the applicant has the basic qualifications the company needs. The selection process consists of a number of activities recruiters and hiring managers use to learn what candidates have to offer the company. Panel interviews, behavioral and situational interview questions, auditions and portfolio reviews are all part of the selection process. The last step in the selection phase is extending an employment offer or negotiating an employment contract. The decision is final to hire the company’s next employee.


The recruitment life cycle doesn’t end just because the employee accepted an employment offer. The last phase of the cycle is onboarding, and it’s especially important in welcoming the new employee to the organization. Onboarding is the best way to combine orientation, training and introductions for getting the employee off to a great start with your organization. As the onboarding phase wraps up, the employee should be in an ideal position to move forward with a rewarding career.

Strategic staffing processes, also known as workforce planning, provide you with a strategy to make certain that you have an appropriate number of people with the right skill sets for your current and future business goals. As you grow your business, using one or more of the four staffing processes can help your business run more efficiently.


As a small business owner, analyzing your current staffing levels will help you determine the appropriateness of your current staffing size. Use your payroll records to assess whether you are paying overtime on a regular basis as consistently paying overtime often indicates an under-staffing issue in specific areas. Analyze the work necessary to perform each current position by computing the time required to perform each job function. If you find that a current full-time employee’s job function requires more than 40 hours each week, increase your staff by adding a part- or full-time employee, depending on your analysis.


Staffing requirements often change seasonally, as your company grows, with changes in technology or during times of decreased revenues. Match the competencies, or skills, of each employee to your company’s needs by performing a detailed job analysis. Determine whether each employee requires further training in management techniques or technological skills. You can use your payroll records and monthly income statements to project whether you need to budget for temporary or permanent help during seasonal increases in sales.


If your small business is in a growth mode, include additional staff and training dollars in your future budgeting process. Adequate staffing levels can reduce work-related injuries, improve employee morale and increase the level of customer satisfaction. Use your one- five- and 10-year strategic plan to project how many employees you expect to hire in the future. Analyze your strategic plan, and determine whether you anticipate promoting current employees into future positions or whether you will need to recruit employees from outside your firm. The average cost to bring a highly skilled or managerial level employee into your small business ranges from 50 to more than 100 percent of his salary, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.


Effective, well-trained employees help your business stay competitive, increase your employee’s job satisfaction and reduce turnover. Retaining valuable employees by offering training and upward promotion opportunities saves you money and increases the employee’s feeling of loyalty to your company. Use your job descriptions and job analysis to plan possible employee advancement tracks that align with your company’s strategic plan. Offer in-house or external training opportunities to prepare employees for future business changes, thus eliminating or reducing the need to hire external candidates who may not be loyal to your business or may not fit well within your small business operations.