As an HR professional, you know how important the employee lifecycle is. You want to ensure your workforce is motivated, encouraged, trained, and happy – after all, a great team is the strength of your company’s success. However, we know that employees come and go over time, so how do you evaluate, measure, and optimize each phase in the employee lifecycle to ensure your team members stick around for a while? Let’s first define what we mean by employee lifecycle.

What Is Employee Lifecycle?

An employee lifecycle starts from the stage that a potential employee is attracted to your organization all the way through until they leave and advocate on behalf of your company. You’ve probably seen many employee lifecycle flowcharts with five to seven lifecycle phases, but we’re going to stretch it out to 11 phases. This allows for more opportunity for you to target behaviors more clearly in each phase in order to evaluate, measure, and optimize the employee experience. And why would you want to dig that deep into each phase? The insights you find can help your HR team and managers better understand the employee’s experience at each phase – whether positive or negative – and how those experiences affect your company.

For example, let’s say you’re attracting and recruiting some great candidates but once you start onboarding you find that new employees are acting frustrated and restless. You may start losing people within months of hiring them. When you evaluate and measure what’s going on in those first 90 days, you find that the training for new hires isn’t comprehensive enough and leaves them feeling lost in their new position. How do you optimize that stage? You work with the manager to improve the specific role training and pair up your new hire with a mentor to show them the ropes. This is just one example of why the employee lifecycle is important. What are some other ways it’s important?

How is Employee Lifecycle Important?

Employees are key to your organization’s success and when you evaluate, measure, and optimize the employee lifecycle phases, those efforts can help your business performance improve. And, they help your employees want to stay with your organization, which saves you money. Speaking of money…let’s consider for a moment the costs of hiring and retaining a new employee.

Costs of Hiring & Retaining Employees

In a recent SHRM report, they list 11 costs of hiring and retaining new employee:

  • The average cost to recruit a new employee is $4,425.
  • Pre-employment screenings range from $3 – $20 each for these commonly request background checks: criminal, motor vehicle, education, employment, professional license, and credit report.
  • On average, companies spend $1,075 and 47.6 hours per learner, per year.
  • Travel and relocation expenses can start at $2,500 for a new college graduate and go much higher for a senior manager role.
  • Of course, there’s a salary for the new employee, but after that, one of the most significant costs is payroll taxes, which includes 6.2% for FICA, 1.45% for Medicare, 6% for FUTA, and much more.
  • The top three benefits that employees value are health insurance, vacation, and retirement, which can run up to 30% of overall labor costs.
  • Nearly every state in the U.S. requires employers with one or more employees to carry workers compensation insurance. Rates vary based on location and types of positions, and they range from $0.75 in Texas to $2.74 in Alaska for every $100 in wages.
  • Many companies outsource their payroll processing which can range between $20 to $100 per month.
  • Granted, many organizations allow for remote work now. But based on the type of work they’ll perform, you may need to provide office space for your employee. Again, this ranges based on location, but an average is around $4,200 per person.
  • If your employees use software for their position, you’ll need to include the cost of adding a new user and/or device to your license. 
  • Don’t forget about employee perks. These can range from free coffee and snacks to on-site gyms and everything in between. 

Bringing this back into scope for this blog, it costs a lot of money to hire a new employee! So, you want to ensure that the employee experience throughout their time with your organization is worth their time and your expense. Let’s take a look into the 11 phases of the employee lifecycle.

11 Phases of Employee Lifecycle

Based on the size and complexity of your organization, the phases of the employee lifecycle may vary. This particular employee lifecycle is quite in-depth with 11 phases – Download our new infographic!

  1. Attracting. This is the phase where a potential candidate first starts hearing about your organization through friends, online in social posts, job postings, and reading through information on your website. In this phase you want to ensure that your company’s brand is perceived in a positive light by the public, customers, competitors, and your future employees. People read what you say and how you respond to comments in social – make sure you’re engaging and positive.
  2. Recruiting. In this phase, remember it’s not just up to you to interact with prospective employees. Get your workforce involved! Leverage your top employees to help your HR team in recruiting by networking in key industries and groups. You can also start an incentive program to encourage employees with rewards to suggest candidates for open positions.
  3. Interviewing. This phase is key because it provides the opportunity for you and the candidate to get to know each other face-to-face. And remember, it’s not just about the job fit. Candidates need to be a good fit for the culture and the team. So, discover how candidates approach work situations, what their work style is, and their behavior working through different real-life environments and scenarios. And, give the team an opportunity to interact with the candidates too.  
  4. Onboarding. Congratulations! You’ve found the right person for the role. Now, you need to welcome them to your company and help them get set up for success. This includes teaching the new hire about their day-to-day job duties and pairing them up with a mentor. A mentor will help the new hire quickly learn about the company’s cultural and social norms, and find their way around the environment.
  5. Engaging. This phase focuses on promoting your company’s culture and ensuring your employees are plugged in and engaging with their work and teams. Make sure you’re providing opportunities for involvement in decision-making and keep employees motivated through acknowledgement and purpose. 
  6. Developing. People want the opportunity to grow – both personally and professionally. Who wants to become stagnant? When you invest in improving employees’ skills and attributes that benefit them professionally, it’s more than likely going to benefit their team too. And, as employees grow emotionally and intellectually, they are more likely to be promoted and given more responsibilities and pay. 
  7. Retaining. Your company invests in its employees every day, and you’d like them to stay! In this phase you’re focusing on encouraging employees to continue working for the organization. Providing an environment that causes employees to be content – rather than restless or frustrated – increases job satisfaction. And ensuring you’re offering competitive pay, great benefits, comprehensive training, perks, and the ability to grow up the career ladder are great ways to retain your employees.
  8. Recognizing. Acknowledging your employee’s efforts in a timely manner on a regular basis helps them feel valued and respected. And when you motivate employees to meet goals through incentives, it often inspires others to succeed too.
  9. Offboarding. It happens in every organization. Employees leave. If an employee provides you with a notice of resignation, it’s a great opportunity to start transitioning their responsibilities to others so that it’s a smooth process. It’s also a great time to gather insights from them – what worked, what didn’t, do they have feedback about culture or leadership, and much more. Keep it a positive experience by treating the leaving employee with dignity and respect.
  10. Separating. This is the phase where the employee returns their company assets and goes through an exit interview. This is another opportunity for you to ask questions to understand their reasons for leaving and learn ways they think the company can improve. If possible, based on if the separation is voluntary or involuntary, you could also offer outplacement coaching that trains employees how to find a new fulfilling job, or even enjoy retirement.
  11. Advocating. When you’ve made an effort to create positive memories and maintain good relationships with your former employees, you’ve got a great opportunity to build a resource pool for contract work or referrals. Start an alumni community where former employees can keep plugged into what is going on with your organization. And, leverage that network for quality referrals and brand advocacy.

How can you take these employee lifecycle phases and ensure you can evaluate, measure, and optimize each appropriately? That’s where Employee Cycle’s HR Analytics Dashboard comes in.

Optimize the Employee Lifecycle

Now that you’ve seen the importance of the 11 employee lifecycle phases, and the benefits of each phase for your company, how do you ensure you’re providing the best employee experience? The right HR data and analytics should support you at each phase of the employee lifecycle. You may currently have disparate HR systems that give you different pieces of information, but how do you pull all that data together? The Employee Cycle HR Analytics Dashboard gathers all your employee data into one place and transforms that data into real-time insights and data stories to drive your initiative, programs, and decisions. Want to see it in action? Schedule your demo today