7 tips that will help HRs optimise their employee lifecycle

Understand the basics of an employee lifecycle model - what is an employee lifecycle, phases of an employee lifecycle and tips to implement them effectively.

The value that an employee can bring to an organization depends on a successful employer-employee relationship. But what are the factors that define a successful employee-employer relationship? While recruiting the right candidate is the first thing that comes to mind, the employee's success in the organization depends on how effectively and smoothly you manage their lifecycle. 

Employee lifecycle is largely understood as the stages that an employee goes through, from the time they are recruited to the time when they part from the company. Some might say it begins even earlier, right from the time that you actually put out a hiring call. The employee lifecycle model comprises attraction & outreach, recruitment, onboarding, training & development, retention, and offboarding. Knowing how to optimize every employee lifecycle phase can improve employee experience, and by extension, customer experience. Let’s start from the basics and understand what employee life cycle is.

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Exploring each employee lifecycle phase in detail, we will highlight ways to optimise and measure the employee experience in your organisation.

1.     Attraction and outreach 

Outreach – i.e, attracting the right talent, is the first stage in the employee lifecycle. Before you start rolling your eyes at us, we know that it’s easier said than done. Of course, there are the non-negotiables – things you can’t change much about the job on offer (like compensation, the actual role, etc). But are there things you can change? Think job titles. “Growth ninja” might have a better ring to it than the old categories of “marketer.” Some studies actually show that 70% of employees might even prefer a job with the right/more appealing job title to a better salary – proving just how important job titles can be.

Now that your job title is in place, how do you reach out to potential candidates? LinkedIn and headhunting agencies are important, but don’t forget the reach that social media has – especially Instagram and Twitter. Newer sites like AngelList or Indeed can also sometimes prove to be goldmines.

Pro-tip: Request your current employees to leave feedback on Glassdoor, anonymously, of course. Nothing attracts good talent more than an impeccable Glassdoor rating.

2.     Recruitment

A recruitment thumb rule: Don’t put your employee through an excruciating hiring process that you wouldn't like to put through. We’re not talking about the difficulty or complexity of the interview, but the more administrative and bureaucratic procedures. If your application needs your employee to run through a million hoops, your chance of attracting the right talent drops. Make sure your website is up-to-date, the job description is accurate, and more importantly, make sure that sending an application doesn’t involve more than two browser tabs.

Do you have a plan for the number of applicants you want to shortlist, the kind of questions you want to ask, and the number of times you need them to interview? Make a plan and stick to it. This will not only make your task easier but make the entire process smoother for the candidate as well. 

Pro-tip: Make sure the eligibility criteria, interview rounds and steps are transparent (and if possible, the salary range), and are communicated to the candidate when they apply. Do you offer amazing perks and benefits? Ensure that the applicant knows it.

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3.     Onboarding 

You have found “The Candidate” and they have accepted your offer. It’s now time to onboard your new employee! Believe it or not, the employee’s first week on the job can make or break the deal, and is the most important of all employee lifecycle phases.

While document submissions and other run-of-the-mill tasks are to be expected, make sure the process is fun for the employee. Give them an office tour! If you’re the cooler, remote-working kind, gather the team for a fun e-greeting and orientation. 

Pro-tip: Fun trivia quizzes and games can make for a fantastic ice-breaking session (check out Ricotta Games and Trivia on Slack). You’ll get to know your employee better, and they’ll be able to put a personality to the names and the faces.


4.     Training and development

Understanding your company’s vision (learn how to write one), understanding work dynamics, and brushing up on old skills (or learning new ones) are all part of employee training and development. You could sign up the employee for a dynamic online course that’s relevant to their current and future roles. For a more efficient and cost-effective skilling plan, implement a peer learning program – it not only ensures that development goals are met, but also builds interpersonal relationships among employees. 

Alternatively, check-in with your employee a few times to understand their short-term and long-term goals. Plan a learning schedule with them, and help them meet it! Remember that an effective training program always takes into account the goals of the employee.

Pro-tip: Job-rotation is a good way to ensure that a team learns new skills. Plus, this way someone in the team will be able to cover for another’s leaves and absences such that business-as-usual is not affected. Win-win!


5.     Retention

In September 2021 alone, 4.4 million people in the US left their jobs. How do you retain an employee? It depends on multiple things – the work culture, the employee’s relationship with their manager, compensation, growth prospects and the opportunity to learn new skills. They can all be boiled down to one singular aspect – a health work environment. This is exactly why it’s important to invest in not just your employee’s growth but also their job satisfaction.

Build a two-way feedback process that’s both honest and transparent. Are your managers available for questions and clarifications? An open-office is a great idea, but it’s not all that useful if your work culture does not reflect the philosophy behind an open-office. Encourage collaborations, easy conversations, and a non-hierarchical approach. 

Pro-tip: Yours may not be a typical 9-5 job, but that doesn’t mean your workplace cannot have a healthy work-life balance. Invest in your employee’s personal lives – who doesn’t like library and gym memberships or vacation vouchers!


6.     Offboarding

As much as may dread this step, offboarding is an inevitability. Sooner or late, the employee will decide to part ways, and this transition is difficult for everyone. But it need not be impossible! Accept the resignation, and request for an exit interview. Understand the employee’s motivation and reasons for leaving, ask for feedback, and learn what went well and what did not. More often than not, exit interviews can be highly insightful – this information is crucial for any organization and its future. Part ways with grace and amicability, appreciating the value that the employee has added to the organization.

Pro-tip: Offer to write recommendations for future endeavors, and make it a point to stay in touch. They might be an ex-employee soon, but alumni engagement goes a long way in building your organization in the business world.


A strong team is important for the success of any company, for which optimizing your employee’s lifecycle is key. Navigating every stage of the lifecycle is challenging. But with team-building activities, honest & transparent communication, and effective conflict resolution, it can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching process for the health of the organisation.

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  1. What is employee lifecycle?

Simply put, employee lifecycle is the directional model of various stages of an employee’s life in the company - starting from when you look for the suitable candidate and hiring them till the time they are off-boarded. 

Employee lifecycle, similar to a consumer buying lifecycle, is an HR model that identifies the stages an employee goes through in an organisation. It starts even before the employee begins the journey in the organisation. Having an ELM process in place helps HRs to explore new and different ways of keeping the employees happy and engaged, leading to higher employee retention as well as productivity levels.

  1. What are the stages of the employee lifecycle?

While recruitment and offboarding are the most obvious ones, the employee lifecycle model also includes the stages of onboarding, training, and steps taken to retain the employee. Putting these phases of employee lifecycle in practice is important for an employee’s wellbeing and retention.

  1. Why is the employee lifecycle important?

The success of your company – and by extension, the experience of the customer - depends on employee satisfaction. By ensuring that every stage of the employee lifecycle is paid attention to, you can increase employee retention, and also continue to share a positive and mutually beneficial relationship even after their tenure in the company has ended.

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