Recruitment Cycles – Types, Stages, and Advantages

recruitment cycles - types, stages, and advantages

Recruitment cycles refer to organisations’ regular or cyclical patterns for recruiting and hiring new employees. These cycles may be related to the organisation’s business or operational needs or may be influenced by external factors such as the job market or economic conditions. Understanding recruitment cycles can help organisations anticipate when they may need to hire new employees, plan accordingly, and identify opportunities to streamline and improve their recruitment processes. It can also help job seekers understand when certain industries or organisations may be more likely to have job openings and tailor their job search accordingly.

LinkedIn chief economist Karen Kimbrough says, “(During the decreased hiring phase too, recruiters should) Continue to understand the skills your employees have, and the skills your company needs. That understanding will help you weather economic highs and lows, and labour-market volatility.”


Types of Recruitment Cycles

​There are several types of recruitment cycles, and the specific type of cycle that an organisation follows may vary depending on its size, industry, location, and other factors.

Here are a few common types of recruitment cycles:

Seasonal recruitment cycles

Many organisations experience fluctuating workforce needs due to changes in demand for their products or services. For example, a retail store may need to hire more employees during the holiday season, while a beach resort may need more staff in the summer.

Project-based recruitment cycles

Some organisations hire employees on a project-by-project basis rather than for ongoing positions. These organisations may have recruitment cycles corresponding to each project’s start and end.

Replacement recruitment cycles

Organisations may need to hire new employees to replace workers who have left or been promoted.

Expansion recruitment cycles

As organisations grow and expand, they may need additional employees to support this growth.

Cyclical recruitment cycles

Some industries, such as higher education or healthcare, may follow cyclical recruitment patterns due to the nature of their work or funding structures.

Contract recruitment cycles

Organisations may hire employees on a temporary or contract basis to meet specific needs or fill staffing gaps. These types of recruitment cycles may be shorter in duration than other types of cycles.

Understanding different types of recruitment cycles can help organisations plan and prepare for their recruitment needs. They can begin the recruitment process earlier to ensure enough time to find and hire the right candidates.For example, if an organisation hires employees on a project-by-project basis, it can plan its recruitment efforts around the timing of each project to ensure that it has the right staff in place when needed.

Recruitment Stages of a Recruitment Cycle

​As the phrase suggests, the recruitment cycle is a set of different stages. Each stage is important for the recruiters. Understanding each stage of the recruitment cycle can help organisations improve their recruitment efforts by ensuring they follow a systematic and consistent process. It can also help organisations identify areas to streamline or optimise their recruitment efforts by using more efficient sourcing methods or implementing more effective screening criteria.


This is the first stage of the recruitment process and involves identifying the organisation’s specific needs. It may include determining the job requirements, qualifications, and desired characteristics of the candidates. It may also involve determining the budget and timeline for the recruitment process.


In this stage, the organisation uses various methods to locate and attract potential candidates. It may include posting job ads, reaching out to recruiters, or using social media to promote the job opening. This stage aims to generate a pool of qualified candidates to consider for the position.


This stage involves reviewing resumes and other application materials to determine which candidates meet the basic requirements for the job. It may involve conducting initial phone screens or online assessments to narrow the pool of candidates.


This stage involves evaluating the qualifications and fit of the candidates through one or more in-person or virtual interviews. Interviews may be conducted by the hiring manager, HR representatives, or a panel of individuals. This stage may also involve administering additional assessments, such as skills or personality tests, to further evaluate the candidates.


This stage involves choosing the most qualified candidate for the job based on the results of the interviews and other assessments. The selection process may involve conducting a reference checks or verifying the candidates’ qualifications.


This stage involves introducing the new hire to the organisation and providing them with the necessary training and support to succeed in their role. Employee onboarding includes orientation sessions, training programs, and assigning a mentor or supervisor to provide guidance and support.

By learning about an organisation’s recruitment cycle stages and involving in each stage, recruiters can help organisations better manage their expectations and timeline for filling open positions. They can help reduce the risk of prolonged vacancies or missed business opportunities.


Advantage of Learning About Recruitment Cycles

​Knowing the recruitment cycles can help organisations gain a competitive advantage in several ways:

Anticipating hiring needs

Organisations can anticipate when they may need to hire new employees and plan accordingly. It can help them avoid delays or gaps in staffing that could negatively impact their operations or customer service.

Attracting top talent

By understanding the recruitment cycles of other organisations in their industry or location, organisations can plan and optimise their own recruitment cycles. For example, suppose an organisation knows that its competitors typically ramp up their hiring efforts in the spring. In that case, it may be able to attract top candidates by starting its recruitment process earlier in the year.

Optimising recruitment processes

Organisations can identify opportunities to optimise their recruitment processes. For example, suppose an organisation experiences a high volume of job openings during certain times of the year. In that case, it may reduce recruitment time and cost by implementing more efficient sourcing or screening processes.

Improving retention rates

Understanding recruitment cycles can also help organisations identify trends in employee turnover and develop strategies to improve retention rates. For example, if an organisation experiences a high employee turnover rate during certain times of the year, it may improve retention by offering competitive benefits or training programs ahead of those periods.

Understanding recruitment cycles can give organisations a competitive edge in hiring by helping them anticipate and respond to their staffing needs, streamline and optimise their recruitment processes, and attract top talent.

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