min read

Steps in the 360 recruitment cycle

The 360 recruitment cycle covers all the phases in recruitment including sourcing, interviewing, selecting and hiring.

September 29, 2020
Yuma Heymans
September 7, 2022

What is the 360 recruitment cycle

The recruitment cycle, also known as the 360 recruitment cycle or the recruitment life cycle, is the complete process of recruiting talent with all the phases including sourcing, interviewing, selecting and hiring. 

Depending on the organisation of the recruiting company, recruiters are responsible for the entire recruitment cycle which is also referred to as 360 recruitment cycle or full cycle recruitment, or different parts of the cycle are assigned to separate roles in or outside the organization.

Some organizations for example choose to have a dedicated sourcing team.

Steps in the recruitment cycle

1. Sourcing

The recruitment process starts with the sourcing process. The goal of sourcing is to find candidates who qualify for a certain set of job criteria.


The search is the part where sourcers or recruiters search for the best candidates. This can be online or through referrals. The online search for talent is a search through several platforms including search operators to target the search and get the right results.


Attracting candidates is about getting candidates to your employer brand and job post. You do this by positioning your employer brand so it resonates with the talent pool and by posting job posts that are distributed across different channels like LinkedIn, niche job boards and other relevant platforms.

Reach out

Reaching out is key to getting qualified candidates to show any further interest in the job. Some recruiters choose to use standardized and automated messages but a hyper personalized message is usually the most effective.

2. Interviewing

Interviewing is the part of the recruitment cycle where candidates are invited for a conversation in which the candidate and the recruiting company get to know each other better.


The first step is to schedule the interview. Many recruiters overlook how important this part is, badly communicated and scheduled interviews in many cases add up to a negative candidate experience. Luckily there are many tools that make scheduling easy. 


The actual conversation is where the candidate learns more about the company, the job and the team and where the recruiting team can further learn if the candidate is the right person for the job. In many cases there are several conversations before a job is offered. 

Follow up

Following up after a conversation is key to keep candidates engaged, share more information and communicate any decisions about next steps. 

3. Selecting

Selecting is about making the right decision on who to hire from the candidates in the process based on any additional information the recruiting team is gathering about the candidate.


Assessments are there to test personality, knowledge and skills of the candidates. Some companies choose to do a very extensive assessment covering the most important domain knowledge or soft and hard skills for the job. Other companies don’t do any structured assessments and rely on free format conversations.


Based on all the conversations with the candidates and any additional information gathered from for example assessments the decision is made by the recruiting team on who to offer the job. This decision is typically made by the hiring manager and informed by the recruiters. 


The decision has to be communicated to all the candidates in the process. Also when the decision is not to proceed with a candidate this should be clearly communicated. Providing feedback is an essential part of communicating your decision, especially when candidates invest a lot of time in the recruitment process.

4. Hiring

Hiring is about arranging all the necessary things to turn the selected candidate into an employee. 


Offering is about offering the right employment terms and suggesting the title and function to the selected candidate. The offer usually includes a proposal on salary, benefits, work location, general employment terms and in some cases company equity and incentive schemes.


Negotiating is about getting the interests of the candidate and the recruiting company at a level where both parties are satisfied. Every proposal can be negotiated and especially senior candidates are likely to negotiate the proposed contract. Salary is the most negotiated item in the contract.


When all parties agree with the proposed contract they sign the contract and prepare for onboarding the new employee.

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