Many HR departments schedule large recruiting efforts according to a specific recruitment cycle. The recruitment cycle may be determined by factors such as seasonal needs, project-based resourcing, pre-determined growth periods, and even graduation cycles of local or prestigious post-secondary schools. So how do you determine your optimal recruitment cycle? Here’s how to plan when and how to hire employees.
Does Your Company Need a Recruitment Cycle?
Not all companies use formal recruitment cycles; many hire employees on an individual basis as positions become available. However, a large-scale recruitment cycle may be put in place by an HR department when an employer needs to fill a significant number of positions. A recruitment cycle can happen annually or seasonally or may be tied to a budget cycle or the presence of key decision makers.
For example, in the case of government hiring, a recruitment cycle may coincide with a fiscal budget or with a timeline for a large-scale project or initiative. In a corporate setting, a recruitment cycle might occur before key managers go away on vacation or upon their return from holidays.
Types of Recruitment Cycles
Annual Recruitment Cycles
In very large firms that require an annual influx of new talent, the recruitment cycle may be tied to the graduation dates of a local or targeted post-secondary school.
Hiring grads effectively generally involves months of work developing a presence on-campus to inform grads-to-be of the opportunities available for them at your company. An HR department may choose to participate in a school-based career fair to raise awareness among upcoming graduates or may set up pre-interviews on campus with select grads-to-be before the end of their school year.
Seasonal Recruitment Cycles
The months before and after holidays – namely fall and spring – are typically popular recruitment cycles for seasonal businesses like tourism and recreation, construction and retail, which often require a larger number of employees in December and in the warmer summer months. Large companies may hold their own recruitment fairs before very busy periods or may work with schools to recruit students looking for summer work.
Companies that operate lengthy projects requiring many human resources may have recruitment cycles based on project timelines or milestones. Technology, film and construction companies often require teams of people with specialized skills to work the full length of a project or for a specific period on a small piece of a larger project. Recruiting for these kinds of positions may be done by a recruitment firm that specializes in recruiting for a specific skill-set or it may simply be conducted in-house by the company’s HR department.
The recruitment cycle that works best for your company will ultimately depend on how many employees you need and how quickly you need them – and the resources at your disposal for the recruitment effort.
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