Talent Is King: Employee Lifecycle Tips To Help You Rule The Market

Employee Lifecycle Tips To Help You Rule The Market

A substantial majority (71%) of CEOs believe that a company's talent pool is more valuable than even its products, branding, and customer relationships.

This is among the conclusions of The Value of Training [1], an IBM study that involved over 4,000 business leaders in 70 countries across more than 20 industries. Forward-looking businesses translate this insight into strategic action, driving organizational growth, and a competitive advantage by adopting smart employee lifecycle management approaches and solutions.

After all, if the people behind your business represent your most valuable asset, then managing the entire process—from recruitment to retirement—spells the difference between a sustainable business and one that fizzles out sooner than later.

Hire, develop, and retain the best talent in your niche, and you’ll wield not only the overwhelming advantage of a robust workforce but also the potential to lead innovation and disrupt the market.

But for small or mid-level companies with modest budgets for talent development, a more sustainable approach is needed.

The first step is to truly understand the journey, the experience, and the critical stages that make up the employee lifecycle. By providing excellent employee experiences across these stages, you will compel competent professionals to seek out, stay, and grow with your company.

Employee Lifecycle Basics

Also called the talent management cycle, "employee lifecycle" refers to the critical stages of an employee’s full stay with an organization. It also covers the critical role HR departments, and their policies play in each step.

Companies adopt different employee lifecycle models to match industry practice, reflect corporate culture, or align with business operations. Most frameworks have 5 to 8 stages of progression, which range from employee attraction and recruitment to exit and succession.

To ensure workforce development positively impacts the organization, HR managers should map the critical employee lifecycle stages not only through the lens of worker experience but also concerning organizational goals and improvement opportunities.

More complete roadmaps may include talent management frameworks and technology-driven tools, such as applicant tracking and Learning Management Systems.

Mapping Your Employee Stages

From both employer and worker perspective, the employee’s lifecycle starts with brand awareness/discovery in the job market.

At the other end, the final stage concerns the employee’s separation from the company and the company’s strategy for filling the vacated role. Between these 2 points, there are steps through which the value generated by the employee matures.

These are some of the most common stages recognized by HR departments and talent managers:

1. Recruitment

This stage covers brand awareness and discovery, attraction, job application, negotiation, and talent selection. Brand awareness can go both ways: Companies are actively headhunting for talent, while job seekers are checking out a company’s reputation as an employer.

When both parties agree to engage, negotiation ensues, ending with talent acquisition if moving forward proves mutually beneficial.

2. Onboarding

When the applicant and the company sign employment or contractual agreement, employee onboarding follows. This usually involves orientation for the new hire, covering company culture, the specific team they will work with, and the duties they will perform.

During the onboarding process, the new hire builds relationships with peers, subordinates, and managers, while becoming more familiar with their responsibilities as an employee.

3. Training And Development

Training and development should provide clarity and purpose to every employee’s career path and functional development.

Keeping your team’s skills updated helps your company remain competitive and relevant. In many advanced organizations, an active training and development program encourages innovation, maintains staff competencies, and improves overall productivity.

4. Retention And Performance Management

Companies will always want to retain top talent. To do this, though, organizations should first establish—through assessment and performance management [2]—whether an employee meets the requisite competencies for a given role and its standards for excellence.

Employers should create an appealing culture and show a strong commitment to employee satisfaction, motivation, and morale. This may include adopting a smart recognition and compensation program.

5. Succession

Top organizations make sure their talent pool supports long-term, sustainable growth—which requires fostering an environment in which the workforce can meet changing market and organizational needs. You need to be able to avoid institutional memory loss when key employees leave.

Staff naturally come and go (due to retirement, termination, or attrition), and companies should have a smooth succession policy in place, especially for line managers. This may be linked to a rewards/promotion program that helps keep the company’s leadership pipeline humming.

6. Exit

Employees and employers will inevitably part ways. HR managers can derive value from this stage by making the transition as smooth, painless, and hopeful as possible.

Exit interviews, fair severance packages, and generous referrals/recommendations help convey goodwill and sweeten the separation. Through these and other approaches, many great companies succeed in maintaining productive relationships with former employees.

Connect The Dots

Employee satisfaction leads to bottom-line growth.

There’s such a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and bottom-line growth that the business case for making your staff happy is beyond compelling—many of America’s most profitable companies also rank high in the list of the most admired employers [3].

Or, as one article on Forbes puts it, it pays to invest in your people [4]. Actively support your staff as they transition through all stages of the employee lifecycle. Progressive HR policies help, and so does the adoption of experience-enhancing technologies such as those for recruitment and training.

In fact, Millennials consider training and development as the most valuable job benefit, surpassing even cash bonuses and flexible working hours, according to Bersin by Deloitte [5].


For a busy manager, it can be hard to find effective employee training methods drive engagement and growth. Doing your homework and researching the employee training software that is right for your employees will go a long way toward narrowing the field so that you can find the system that fits your department, engages your employees and—most importantly—helps them learn.

For example, if you already use a platform like BambooHR, you can use an app like Northpass that integrates directly with BambooHR to train your employees seamlessly.

Otherwise, see The Complete LMS Buying Guide For SMBs to find the right LMS for you.


  1. The Value of Training
  2. The Value of Performance Management
  3. A Great Place To Work For All
  4. Happy Employees = Hefty Profits
  5. Training is key to Millennial
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