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What are the seven stages of the employee lifecycle?

How does HR manage the employee lifecycle?

What is employee lifecycle

The employee lifecycle describes the stages that an individual goes through during their time with an organization, from initial recruitment and onboarding to their eventual departure from the organization. 

The employee lifecycle model (ELM) identifies and makes the most of each stage within an employee’s tenure with an organization. Understanding the lifecycle and the various stages of an employee’s journey benefits both the employee and the employer, from creating a first impression and refining the hiring process to the final departure. 

Designing and implementing an ELM helps employers retain top talent, improve brand reputation, and recruit new talent with ease. HR professionals who understand the employee lifecycle can better respond to an employee’s needs and manage their development. 

What are the seven stages of the employee lifecycle?

The employee lifecycle is typically broken down into six distinctive stages, but we’ve added an additional stage for optimal results. 

1. Attracting top talent

Attraction occurs when a potential candidate is first exposed to the company brand. By effectively managing the employer brand, companies can impact how candidates feel about the organization and enhance the desirability to work with the team. It’s important to understand how brand awareness, company culture, and knowledge of company perks or benefits play a role in attracting top talent.

2. Recruiting talent

The recruitment process involves job postings, applications, selecting candidates, and negotiating a job offer. The recruitment plan should focus on offering an optimal candidate experience while streamlining the process. Consider asking for employee referrals, using different recruitment platforms, being specific with job postings, and familiarizing the hiring team with compliance requirements (especially when hiring globally).

3. Onboarding new hires

Once a candidate has accepted your job offer, the hiring team brings them on as part of the company via employee orientation from their first day. Drafting a clear job description, discussing the company’s values, outlining expectations, and making sure that the employee has everything that they need to be effective in their job are all parts of the onboarding stage. Receiving honest feedback from an onboarding survey is beneficial for improving the future onboarding process.

4. Retaining employees

Prioritizing employee engagement is an important step in improving employee retention and reducing employee turnover. As one of the longest parts of the employee lifecycle, employee retention demands constant effort on behalf of human resources. By constantly engaging with employees, it's possible to build a stable and productive workforce. Key considerations to improve retention rates include the cultural environment, the physical workspace, and the digital experience (which has become increasingly more relevant since the pandemic and the rise of remote work).

5. Promoting career development

Employee development is closely linked with the employee retention stage. Promoting career development is a two-fold process. On the one hand, it's important to help employees get the most out of their current roles by promoting their strengths and filling gaps in their skill sets. On the other hand, it’s beneficial to conduct regular check-ins with employees to learn more about their career goals and provide professional development opportunities. 

6. Parting ways

There comes a time in all employee lifecycles when the employee moves on from the organization, either to retire, find a new job or relocate, among other reasons. Streamlining the employee offboarding process provides the organization with an opportunity to leave a positive final impression. An exit interview also enriches the organization with employee feedback that can be applied to the different stages of the employee lifecycle.

7. Advocacy

One of the additional stages of the employee life cycle model is advocacy, which ensures that departing employees have a final positive experience with the company. When former employees leave on good terms, they are more likely to speak highly of their experience. This contributes to an improved ability to recruit top talent, maintain team morale, and prevent damage to the employer brand.

How does HR manage the employee lifecycle?

If you want to boost the employee experience for new employees and current employees alike, then consider the following tips for employee lifecycle management.

Set goals for the employee lifecycle strategy

Goals provide a clear direction and purpose for the employee lifecycle, enabling HR teams to align their efforts with the overall business objectives. By setting specific and measurable goals for each stage of the employee lifecycle, organizations can evaluate their progress, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to optimize their performance.

Team up with other departments

By working together, departments can share their expertise and resources to optimize the employee lifecycle and create a seamless employee experience. Teaming up with other departments allows organizations to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to employee lifecycle management.

Review and improve the strategy

Through frequent reviews, organizations can identify areas of the employee lifecycle that need improvement and make necessary adjustments to optimize performance. Consider feedback from employees, managers, and other team members, as well as data and analytics on predetermined metrics. 

Get feedback from employees

Employees' insights and opinions can provide valuable information about their experiences and perceptions throughout their time with the company.  Organizations can use various methods to gather employee feedback, such as surveys, performance reviews, focus groups, and one-on-one conversations. Make sure to implement feedback once received!

Take advantage of HR technologies

HR technologies help to automate and streamline many aspects of talent management, helping to make HR processes more efficient, accurate, and transparent. These technologies assist throughout the employee lifecycle — from recruitment and employee onboarding to employee development and learning.

Deel offers a way to streamline HR admin, including onboarding, payroll, and compliance. Hire, pay, and manage your global team with Deel, and free up your time to focus on business growth and strategic tasks, while tracking your HR metrics through our customizable reporting feature.

Request a demo to see Deel in action.

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