The 6 Stages of the Employee Life cycle

The relationship between the employee and the employer starts with the candidate trying to secure a job offer from the company. The relationship continues during their employment and should go on even after employees decide to leave the organisation.


The employee life cycle is a model that depicts how an employee engages with the company at various stages of their employment. The six stages of the employee life cycle are, attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and offboarding.


Why is the Employee Life cycle Important?

The employee life cycle has distinct stages that help the organisation to identify the weak spots and analyse them. To ensure that the candidate gets a positive experience with your organisation, it is vital to understand each step in the employee life cycle.

Employees are your organisation’s backbone. Catering to their needs should be the top priority to ensure that they are happy and satisfied. This will help motivate them to be more productive. Understanding their life cycle is important to make their lives better and keep the organisation running.

1. Attraction

The first step of the employee life cycle is the employee attraction stage. Your organisation’s reputation and employer branding play a huge role in bringing in new candidates to your company.

The attraction stage comes even before the advertising of job vacancies. The candidates should feel that your company is an excellent place to work for them to consider applying for an open position and looking for the opportunity to switch over to your organisation.

Building a robust social presence and offering the public a peek into your work culture helps promote the employer branding you’ve cultivated. Even your previous employees and their experience working with your organisation will impact your attraction phase.


2. Recruitment

After the attraction stage, it is time to hire and start converting potential candidates into employees. An organisation expands their team for new incoming projects or a vacancy for a specific job role. Regardless of the reasons for the hire, the recruitment process is competitive.

Hiring the top talent for the organisation will be the top priority. The attraction stage of the employee life cycle only goes so far as bringing in new candidates.

Once the candidates apply for a vacant role, it is the recruiter’s role to provide them with a positive candidate experience and conduct the recruitment process to select a suitable candidate for the job.

Recruiting candidates can take many forms. You can go for the traditional job adverts and job postings, try social media recruitment, or use referrals from your organisation. The sources for your candidates might be plenty but picking out a suitable candidate from them while still offering all the candidates a positive experience is a daunting task.


3. Onboarding

After the recruitment process ends with the suitable candidate, the next stage is bringing the selected candidate up to speed on your organisation. This stage is important for the new employee to get used to your organisation’s management style and inner workings.

Giving all the tasks to the new employee and loading them with work can make them feel overwhelmed and force them to quit shortly after joining the organisation. A smooth transition is needed for the employee to adjust to their duties and responsibilities.

The employee might have a skill gap that they mentioned in their resume or something the recruiter discovered during the recruitment process. It is essential to fill that gap during the onboarding process.

The company should allocate resources and assets to that employee and have some accounts made for the employee. Such a transfer process can also take place during the onboarding stage.


4. Development

The development stage is vital for the growth of the employee and the company. After completing the onboarding process, the employee would soon adapt to the working environment. The company will constantly encourage employees to push further and sharpen their skills so that the company can benefit from their skills and the employee could reap the rewards and have career growth.

Offer employees time and resources to learn new skills that will help them advance their careers within the organisation. An excellent way to motivate them is by rewarding milestones with career growth. Constantly assessing their knowledge and analysing their growth is a perfect way to keep track of their development.


5. Retention

The employee may switch organisations if they feel a lack of challenge in their current role or feel unappreciated for their contribution to the company. To put it simply, employees will entertain the idea of leaving a company if they feel unhappy.

Retention is when the top performers in your organisation are focused and kept with your organisation by ensuring that their needs are met. A high employee turnover would mean that your company lacks in retaining employees. It might be because of an alarming work environment or a lack of good company culture.

Recruitment is a resource-intensive process and, without good retention, the employer must spend time and money hiring recruits to replace every employee who leaves the organisation.


6. Offboarding

Even after going through the retention stage, some employees may have different reasons for leaving the organisation. It is crucial to handle the offboarding process just as smoothly as the onboarding process. Employees will likely return the company’s assets during the offboarding stage.

To get the maximum out of your offboarding process, use the exit interviews to learn the reason your employee is leaving and try to learn about their experience in the company. This would offer insights on areas that need improvement and help reduce employee turnover.

Even after the employee leaves your organisation, you can still try to have a good relationship with them. It goes a long way and helps you improve your employer branding. This can, once again, help attract new candidates.



The employee life cycle model is an easy way to visualise and analyse the stages of an employee. Each step requires a different approach to track them and find areas for improvement. Improving the stages of an employee life cycle can help you attract more candidates and strengthen your brand.


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