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How to Manage the Employee Lifecycle

employee lifecycle

Employees are the essential worker bees of an organization; no one else can make the golden honey! To keep your team happily buzzing along, skillful management throughout each stage of the employee lifecycle is essential.


The employee lifecycle is used to identify and express the various and most important stages that an employee goes through as they engage with their company. As the name implies, the cycle is not a one-time event but a continuous process of achieving goals. The cycle aims to produce satisfied and productive employees who contribute positively to the organization.


The employee lifecycle is more than just hiring and retaining employees; it consists of the following six stages: 


  1. Attraction 
  2. Recruitment
  3. Onboarding
  4. Development  
  5. Retention
  6. Offboarding

"With a comprehensive understanding of the employee lifecycle, organizations can create meaningful policies and procedures that support the growth and development of their most valuable asset—their people."

Linda Shaffer, Chief People Operations Officer at Checkr


Before recruiting talent, review the benefits and programs you can offer that will attract the talent your company requires. A comprehensive total rewards package strengthens your employer brand, which sets your company apart and appeals to the values of potential candidates.


Reputation and employer branding are vital to attracting the best talent in today's work environment. According to Glassdoor statistical reference guide, a strong employer brand can reduce the cost per hire by as much as 50%. A positive employer brand is the type of business identity employees embrace. 


Recruitment is the process and experience of how a person transitions from candidate to employee. To start the recruitment process, conduct a job analysis to determine duties and responsibilities to include in the job description. Next, write an effective job posting including detailed job functions, a clear list of requirements containing experience level and education, and the particulars of your total rewards package. 


When selecting a candidate, evaluate each person fairly by setting clear and objective selection criteria. Additionally, be transparent with candidates about compensation, benefits, and how long the recruitment process may take.


The cycle's next phase, employee onboarding, helps integrate your newest team members into the company. An effective onboarding process can take months, laying the foundation for the employer-employee relationship. 


Key components of the onboarding process are: 

  • Preboarding: Connecting new hires with the organization
  • Orientation: Introduction, paperwork, and mandatory training
  • Foundation building and induction: Communicating the company's culture, mission, employee value proposition and brand as well as ensuring employees are aware of how to operate successfully within the organization. 


Development opportunities keep employees engaged and motivated, increasing retention rates. To attain the most significant benefit from developmental training, you should assess both team-specific and organizational needs. Then determine which of the lacking skills will help your employees improve productivity and develop professionally. According to a McKinsey report, a lack of career development and advancement is one of the top reasons people quit their jobs post-pandemic. 


Happy and fulfilled employees are more likely to remain loyal to an organization. Jacob Morgan, a leading authority on leadership, says there is an equation for creating a work environment where people want to show up:


culture + technology + physical space = employee experience


Companies that focus on improving all three of these areas in a way that supports the whole team will create a positive employee experience. 


Attracting and retaining top talent creates a stable and productive workforce, saving time and money otherwise spent on recruiting new talent. Keeping the lines of communication open between managers and employees builds trust and strong relationships. Retention is an ongoing stage of the employee lifecycle that requires continuously giving your team reasons to stay.


A well-organized offboarding strategy is crucial in safeguarding your company's reputation and avoiding intellectual property theft, data breaches, and legal risks. 


The following steps are integral to the offboarding process:

  • Conduct an exit interview
  • ​​Ensure appropriate documentation
  • Communicate with the team
  • Maintain positive interactions


Employee separation is inevitable; people retire, start their own companies, and are lured away by rival organizations. When executed thoughtfully, employee separation can produce honest feedback the organization can use to create an improved employee experience. 

Outsourced HR to Manage the Employee Lifecycle

Cultivating the skills and knowledge of your workforce enhances performance at both the employee and business level. Cura helps our partners identify and implement opportunities to level up your team's talent. We work with the most widely used and reputable people assessment tools, offer extensive employee training, and facilitate effective team-building and development programs.


We'd love to learn about your business and how we can leverage best-in-class HR practices to help you manage your entire employee lifecycle.

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