What is the Employee Lifecycle?

Last Updated: 

May 9, 2024

Managing the employee lifecycle is one of the most important functions of the HR department, but far too few teams prioritise its development. As a model designed to improve HR and employee communications, the employee lifecycle can be a valuable tool for identifying the needs of business teams at all stages of their progress. Put simply, the employee lifecycle is the description given to each stage of an employee's position within an organisational structure, and as such, can be broken down into six stages. Managing each stage more efficiently is a key role for HR. That means developing a deeper understanding not only of the employee lifecycle, but also HR's role at each stage.

Key Takeaways on What the Employee Lifecycle Is:

  • Company Attraction: The employee lifecycle begins with attracting potential employees. This involves enhancing employer brand awareness, promoting a positive brand culture, and offering desirable benefits to attract top candidates.
  • The Recruitment Stage: Effective recruitment strategies are crucial. This includes gathering referrals, using diverse recruitment platforms, providing specific job descriptions, and involving existing teams in defining role requirements.
  • Easier Onboarding: Onboarding should be straightforward, with clear company values, vision, and expectations. Regular check-ins with new employees are essential for a smooth transition.
  • Employee Development: Employee development is increasingly important. HR should encourage learning, discuss skill development, and identify employees who would benefit most from development opportunities.
  • Retention: Good management and corporate culture are key to employee retention. This involves hiring the right people, managing relationships, being transparent about goals, providing thorough feedback, and understanding motivational triggers.
  • The Offboarding Stage: Managing employee departures is as important as hiring. It's crucial to understand the reasons for separation and gather feedback from departing employees.

These takeaways emphasise the importance of each stage in the employee lifecycle, from attracting and recruiting talent to onboarding, development, retention, and offboarding, highlighting the critical role of HR in managing these processes effectively.

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Company Attraction

The employee lifecycle starts even before a prospective employee applies for an available position. This is known as the employee attraction stage, and it's a crucial component of business development. Being able to attract the best candidates for a role is essential, and that means working to improve the employer brand of an organisation. HR teams need to ensure:

Effective internal communication is vital throughout the employee lifecycle, from onboarding to retention. Hosting an internal communication event can significantly enhance team collaboration and ensure that all employees are aligned with company goals and values, thereby improving overall employee engagement and satisfaction.

The Recruitment Stage

Whether it's an open vacancy or a newly created position, the HR team needs to have a finely tuned recruitment strategy. When the wrong hire can cost a company money, getting the recruitment stage right is vital. HR can improve recruitment by:

  • Gathering referrals from existing employees
  • Using a wider range of recruitment platforms
  • More specificity in vacancy descriptions
  • Involving existing teams to guide the necessary requirements

Easier Onboarding

On day one of a new employee's time with your company, you want to ensure that you make the transition to a new position as straightforward as possible. As well as using cutting edge XCD HR software that can encourage more proactive employee lifecycle management, HR departments can also make onboarding easier by having:

  • Clear company values
  • A company vision
  • Expectations clearly laid out
  • Regular touching base sessions with the new employee

Employee Development

This is one of the fastest-growing demands of the job market, and employees are now just as likely to look at the possibility of career development as they are for a good salary. Your HR team is going to be critical in the development stage, as they are ideally placed to:

  • Encourage learning
  • Discuss existing skills and identify key areas for development in conversation with employees
  • Identify those employees who will benefit from the development

When a lack of development can be the main reason for resignations, employers need to have a clear structure of personal and professional development options.


The better a company manages its employees the longer it can be expected to keep those team members in place. Employee retention is important for every team leader and department head, but the overall corporate culture will also play an important role. To improve retention rates, businesses need to:

  • Ensure that they hire the right people
  • Better manage interpersonal relationships
  • Be more transparent about targets and goals
  • Establish thorough feedback sessions
  • Identify motivational triggers

As you navigate the complexities of the employee lifecycle, it's essential to have the right tools and resources at your disposal. For comprehensive solutions that can streamline this process and enhance your HR team's effectiveness, visit corexcel.com. Their expertise in employee development and training can provide valuable support in managing each stage of the lifecycle, ensuring a more productive and engaged workforce.

The Offboarding Stage

It is the HR team that will manage the process of an employee leaving the organisation. It's just as important to manage the separation stage as the hiring stage, because the departure of a valued team member can be incredibly disruptive. Make sure that you:

  • Fully understand the reasons for the separation
  • Get feedback from the departing employee

While the employee lifecycle involves the entire company, there are key stages where it is the HR team that must take over the brunt of managing and developing those employees. Have a firm plan in place for each stage of the employee lifecycle and your processes and your company will be significantly more secure.

Image by www_slon_pics from Pixabay

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