Here at Talmundo, employee onboarding is what we do - it’s our bread & butter. But as important as good onboarding is, it’s only one part of an employee’s journey with your organization.
Every new hire you bring on-board makes their way through a total of 6 stages throughout their employment - from the very early stages of talent attraction, until their final days on the job.
Today we’re going to explore the six stages of the employee lifecycle, paying close attention to the purpose & practice behind each stage, and taking a look at some resources that can help you along the way.
Let’s get going!
|What are the 6 stages of the employee lifecycle?
The 6 stages of the employee lifecycle represent the different phases of an employee’s time with your organization - every interaction from the first job application to the last pay cheque.
The stages have changed and developed over time, but today, they are known as Attraction, Recruitment, Onboarding, Talent Management, Retention, and Offboarding.
|Stage 1: Attraction
The first stage of the employee lifecycle, the attraction stage, (often referred to as ‘proactive recruitment’ or ‘employer branding’) takes many of its cues from modern inbound marketing strategies.
The name-of-the-game is to have your dream candidates come to you (whether you have an open vacancy or not) because they’ve heard such good things about the kind of working environment and opportunities your organization offers.
The main aspects of good talent attraction are
Building a positive company culture.
Establishing who (and where) your ideal candidates are.
Broadcasting your message to those candidates.
You may know the old adage, “you can’t build a house on a bad foundation”. Well, the same is true here. You can do a great job identifying and connecting with the kind of candidates you want, but without a good company culture to back you up, your talent attraction strategy will fall on its face.
iRecommend is a tool for creating a fun and inspiring referral culture within your organization that will save time, money, result in better recruitments and strengthen your employer brand through positive ambassadorship.
|Stage 2: Recruitment
The second of our six stages is the one people are most familiar with; Recruitment.
Essentially, a modern-day recruitment program can be sorted into three phases:
The work done prior to posting an advertisement for a vacant position.
The process of interviewing & shortlisting candidates.
The final hurdle of choosing the right candidate for the role.
Rather than breaking down the recruitment process, which has been done often (and more extensively) by others - let’s look at two of the most interesting modern-day recruitment challenges - and how they are being solved!
Providing a memorable
The recruitment game has changed over the last few years, shifting the balance of power from employers to candidates. Organizations need to convince candidates that their organization is worth their time - they need to woo them.
COVID-19 has impacted this shift to some extent, but the rhetoric remains the same: How can we create a memorable recruitment experience for candidates?
|The solution? Go digital!
One of the biggest barriers to a good candidate experience is time. Recruiters are often too busy to invest in the personal touch-points that make for a good experience.
Many organizations recognize this and are investing in digital recruitment tools that work to automate much of the tedious admin work involved in the recruitment stage - freeing up time for recruiters to personalize and improve the experience for candidates.
It has become clear that, historically, many recruitment processes have been rife with discrimination, unconscious or otherwise, from skin color to gender, age, sexual orientation, and more.
The question is, how can HR level the playing field and create processes that help eliminate the opportunity for bias and discrimination to occur.
|The solution? Blind recruitment!
Bias and discrimination are institutional and take time, commitment, and strong leadership to dismantle - something all organizations should be working towards.
In the meantime, blind recruitment (the process of removing all identifying details from candidates' resumes and applications) can be a great interim solution that removes the opportunity for bias and discrimination to dictate decision-making in early recruitment rounds.
|Stage 3: Onboarding
As we said earlier, onboarding is what we do here at Talmundo, and if you’re familiar with our work, you’re probably something of an onboarding expert by now! But for those of you who aren’t, here’s the basics of the third stage of the employee lifecycle…
Defined as “the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs”, onboarding is essentially the link between recruitment and employment.
Good, or “best-in-class” onboarding starts well before day 1. It is an umbrella that spans the entire new-hire experience. From signing the contract, and landing on Day 1 (preboarding), during their first days and weeks on the job (induction/orientation), through until your new hire is fully settled in their role—whether that’s 3 weeks, 3 months, or even a year (integration).
What’s the point?
Done well, onboarding can have big business outcomes for your organization including improved new hire time-to-productivity, increased employee engagement, and better short & long term retention.
If onboarding is a new concept for you, take a look at our best-practice onboarding guide for practical examples at each stage of a new hires’ onboarding journey.
|Stage 4: Talent Management
The fourth stage of the employee lifecycle is Talent Management. Talent management is the ongoing process of developing your employees, ensuring they reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully to your organization.
Talent management comprises everything from identifying & developing your people’s competencies to administering & maintaining training programs, coordinating reviews & appraisals, and employee data management.
Done well, a good talent management program supports the development of more satisfied, productive employees and is vital for any organization looking to achieve its long-term business goals.
Talent Management comprises 3 key elements: Data & Document Management, Appraisals, and Competency Management. Read all about them in this short guide.
|Stage 5: Retention
OK, we’re on the home stretch! The fifth lifecycle stage is referred to as the ‘Retention’ stage.
Retention, as you can probably guess, is concerned with retaining your hard-won hires long-term, and whilst retaining your employees is not the exclusive realm of the 5th lifecycle stage (both Onboarding and Talent Management support a good employee retention strategy) here is where you can create some very specific policy and procedure around retention.
The basics of the Retention stage can be summed up in three central pillars:
What motivates your employees? A good retention strategy seeks to define this and help support employees to reach their personal goals within your organization.
Are your employees connected with your organization? Do they know what’s on the horizon and how they contribute? A good retention strategy ensures employees are a part of company communication, not just an end recipient.
What do your employees think? HR and managers can’t make good business decisions without knowing the lay of the land. A good retention strategy supports continuous feedback - both to and from employees.
Weekli is a digital feedback tool that lets your employees say what they think, every week, completely anonymously - empowering managers to act on facts instead of assumptions.
|Stage 6: Offboarding
We made it! The 6th and final stage of the employee lifecycle - Offboarding.
The basic definition of offboarding (otherwise known as employee exit management), is “a process that comes before the formal separation of an employer and their employee, whether voluntarily or otherwise”.
To be a bit more specific, a good offboarding process should smoothly transition the employee out of the business and facilitate the transfer of knowledge to other employees - ticking compliance & privacy boxes along the way.
Offboarding can also help protect an organization's employer brand and give HR departments insight into the company's problem areas.
Offboarding is probably the most underdeveloped of the 6 employee lifecycle stages with more than 60% of surveyed HR professionals admitting they only had a ‘basic process’ in place.
From knowledge protection to recruitment gains, the business outcomes of good offboarding are extensive and can have a big impact on the perception and health of your organization.
HR is a many-sided puzzle, and it’s easy to get bogged down trying to meet every challenge. By breaking things down, you give yourself a place to start and a road map for future development.
So, if you’re not already, start looking at your existing processes. Do you have 6 employee lifecycle stages? Are they formalized? CAN you formalize them? Where is the low-hanging fruit? And where can you go digital for the best results?