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When it comes to business, an employee’s journey within an organization is as important as the business’s core operations. This journey, often encapsulated in the concept of the employee lifecycle, is a comprehensive framework that describes the stages an employee navigates during their tenure with a company.

From the time a potential candidate becomes aware of your company to the time they leave, each stage of the employee lifecycle holds distinct opportunities and challenges for both the employee and the employer.

In this article, we’ll explain what employee life cycle management (ELM) is, the seven stages, and its importance.

employees in an office

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Importance for Employees

Improved Onboarding Experience

A structured and comprehensive onboarding process helps new hires feel welcomed and integrated into the company culture from day one. It sets the stage for their success, reduces anxiety, and improves their ability to contribute effectively and quickly.

Career Development Opportunities

ELM emphasizes continuous development and growth opportunities for employees. This includes access to training, education, mentorship, and career advancement paths. Employees feel valued and motivated when they see a clear path for progression and personal growth within the company.

Job Satisfaction and Engagement

Effective lifecycle management ensures employees are engaged and satisfied with their work and the workplace. This includes recognizing and rewarding their contributions, providing meaningful work, and fostering a positive work environment.

Open Communication Channels

ELM encourages open and transparent communication between employees and management. This includes regular feedback loops, performance reviews, and discussions about career aspirations and development.

Support and Well-being

Employees benefit from a focus on their well-being and support throughout their tenure at the company. This includes not just physical health benefits but also mental health resources, work-life balance initiatives, and a supportive work environment.

When employees feel supported holistically, they are more likely to be loyal and committed to the organization.

Smooth Transition Processes

Whether transitioning to new roles within the company or exiting the organization, a well-managed employee lifecycle ensures smooth and respectful transitions.

For those exiting, a positive separation experience can turn former employees into brand ambassadors outside the company.

Importance for Companies

Attracts Top Talent

A well-defined and attractive employee lifecycle helps attract top talent. A strong employer brand that showcases growth opportunities, a positive work culture, and employee success stories can make the company a preferred employer for high-quality candidates.

Improves Retention Rates

Effective ELM strategies address key factors that influence employee satisfaction and engagement, which are critical for retaining top talent. By focusing on creating a positive work environment, offering career development opportunities, and recognizing employee contributions, companies can significantly reduce turnover rates, saving costs related to hiring process and training new employees.

Enhances Employee Performance

Through continuous development and support, ELM helps existing employees reach their full potential. Training and development opportunities, along with regular honest feedback, ensure that employees are well-equipped to meet their job requirements.

Fosters a Strong Company Culture

ELM emphasizes the importance of a positive and inclusive company culture. By ensuring that each stage of the employee’s journey is aligned with the company’s values and goals, organizations can cultivate a strong sense of belonging and loyalty among employees, which is essential for long-term success.

Facilitates Knowledge Management and Succession Planning

By managing the employee lifecycle effectively, companies can ensure a seamless transition of knowledge and leadership. This includes identifying potential leaders early and preparing them for future roles, thus minimizing disruptions due to unexpected departures or retirements.

Improves Employer Branding

A well-managed employee lifecycle enhances the company’s reputation both internally and externally. Positive experiences shared by current and former employees can strengthen the employer’s brand.

Cost Efficiency

Effective ELM reduces turnover, enhances employee performance, and improves productivity, contributing to the organization’s overall cost efficiency. Lower recruitment costs, along with higher productivity levels, translate into better financial performance.

Compliance and Risk Management

Proper management of the employee lifecycle helps ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations throughout the employment period. This reduces the risk of legal issues and protects the company’s reputation.

Adaptability and Resilience

Companies with robust ELM processes are better equipped to adapt to changes and challenges. By having a committed and engaged workforce, organizations can navigate economic downturns, technological changes, and other disruptions more effectively.

7 Stages of Employee Lifecycle Management

1. Attraction

The Attraction stage is the initial phase in Employee Lifecycle Management. It focuses on drawing potential candidates’ attention and interest to the organization before they even apply for a position.

This stage is significant because it can create a talent pool, which is fundamental for the continuous inflow of skilled and compatible candidates. A strong start in the employee lifecycle can lead to higher employee engagement, better job satisfaction, and lower turnover rates in the long run.


  • Promote a positive image of the company culture, values, and benefits.
  • Use social media, company websites, and job fairs to showcase the organization as an attractive place to work.
  • Create job postings that accurately reflect the role and the company culture to attract suitable candidates.

Key metrics:

  • Measure the brand strengths through surveys, social media engagement, and brand perception analysis.
  • Assess the initial performance and the cultural fit of new hires.
  • Track the number of applications received for job postings, indicating the attractiveness of the company to potential candidates.

2. Recruitment

The Recruitment stage involves a series of steps aimed at attracting, selecting, and appointing suitable candidates for employment. The key aspects of this process include:

  • Identify the job’s purpose, responsibilities, and the qualifications needed for the role.
  • To find potential candidates, use various channels such as job boards, social media, company websites, and recruitment agencies.
  • Review applications and resumes to find candidates who best meet the job requirements. This step often involves a mix of automated and manual processes to manage the volume of applicants efficiently.
  • Conduct interviews and evaluations to assess the candidates’ skills, experience, and cultural fit. This can include one-on-one interviews, panel interviews, skill assessments, and personality tests.

Key metrics:

  • Calculate the average time taken to fill open positions, indicating the efficiency of the recruitment process.
  • Determine the total cost involved in hiring a new employee, including advertising, recruiting tools, and recruiter fees.
  • Gather feedback from candidates on their experience during the recruitment process through surveys or interviews.

3. Onboarding

Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into an organization. It involves acquainting them with the organizational culture, structure, and their specific roles and responsibilities.

This process typically spans from the acceptance of the job offer to several months into the employment.


  • Provide orientation sessions to introduce the company’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Complete administrative tasks such as paperwork and setting up workstations.
  • Assign mentors or buddies for guidance and support.

Key metrics:

  • Measure the percentage of new hires who leave within the first year, indicating the effectiveness of the onboarding process.
  • Check how long it takes for the new hires to reach their full potential and productivity in their roles.
  • Survey new employees on their satisfaction with the onboarding process.

4. Development

Continuous professional development (CPD) in the workplace is important for both employees and the organization. This includes ongoing learning, skill enhancement, and everything else that ensures employees remain competent and productive in their roles.


  • Offer training programs to improve skills and knowledge.
  • Provide career development opportunities through internal promotions or lateral moves.
  • Conduct regular performance reviews and set personal employee development plans.

Key metrics:

  • Use surveys to assess how engaged and motivated employees feel at work.
  • Calculate the impact of training on performance and productivity.
  • Track the percentage of employees promoted within a certain period and the average time between promotions.

5. Retention

This stage means creating a positive work environment that encourages employees to remain with the company. Effective retention strategies can reduce turnover, preserve organizational knowledge, and save the costs associated with hiring and training new staff.


  • Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages.
  • Recognize and reward employees for their contributions.
  • Foster a positive and inclusive company culture.

Key metrics:

  • Calculate the percentage of employees who remain with the company over a specific period.
  • Measure the percentage of employees who leave the company in a given period.
  • Use surveys to gauge overall employee satisfaction with their work, environment, and management.

6. Separation

The separation stage, whether voluntary (such as resignation or retirement) or involuntary (like layoffs or terminations), is an integral part of the employee lifecycle.

Managing this stage with professionalism and respect is crucial for maintaining a positive employer reputation and ensuring a smooth transition for the employee and the organization.


  • Conduct exit interviews to understand the reasons behind the departure and to gather employee feedback.
  • Manage the offboarding process, including the return of company property and finalizing paperwork.
  • Analyze turnover data to identify trends and areas for improvement.

Key metrics:

  • Examine feedback from the exiting employees to identify common reasons for leaving and areas for improvement.
  • Differentiate between the rates of employees leaving by choice versus those being asked to leave.
  • Measure how satisfied employees are with the separation process.

7. Advocacy

Advocacy refers to the process where departing staff become ambassadors or advocates for the organization after their departure. Just because an employee leaves a company doesn’t mean they can’t continue to be its supporters.

Managing this phase effectively can turn a potentially negative situation (an employee leaving) into a positive outcome.


  • Create alumni networks through social media or dedicated platforms.
  • Share company news, job openings, and industry insights to keep former employees engaged.
  • Organize alumni events or meetups.

Key metrics:

  • Track the level of former employee engagement with the company through alumni events, social media groups, or newsletters.
  • Measure the percentage of employees who return to the company after leaving.
  • Track how often former employees refer candidates for open positions.

Better Employee Lifecycle Management with EzOnboard


ezOnboard can significantly enhance Employee Lifecycle Management (ELM) in several ways. 

Here’s how it contributes to each phase of ELM:

  • Recruitment and Onboarding

Instant Onboarding

By automating the creation, updating, and deactivation of accounts in Active Directory, ezOnboard ensures that new employees, contractors, and vendors have immediate access to necessary systems and resources from day one.

Enhanced First-Day Experience

With correct access from the start, new hires can quickly integrate into their roles, contributing to a positive employee experience and boosting early engagement and satisfaction.

  • Development and Retention

Improved Collaboration Tools

By keeping the Active Directory up to date, ezOnboard ensures that accurate information is available for employee lookups using collaboration tools like Outlook and Teams.

Focus on High-Value IT Projects

Freed from repetitive manual data-entry tasks, the IT department can focus on implementing and supporting technology solutions that contribute to employee development, engagement, and productivity.

  • Transition and Offboarding

Automated IT Offboarding

The software automates the deactivation of accounts and reclamation of licenses when employees leave, ensuring that access is promptly and correctly removed.

Regulatory Compliance and Security

By automating access deactivation and maintaining detailed logs and reports of all changes, ezOnboard helps companies comply with regulatory requirements and maintain high cybersecurity standards.

Track Your Employees’ Lifecycle Updates

Start tracking your employees’ lifecycle updates. Whether it’s promotions, title, location, or any other changes, get accurate and up-to-date information.

Request a demo or check the ROI calculator to see how much money ezOnboard can save you.

FAQs About Employee Lifecycle Management

What is the framework used to understand an employee’s journey in a company?

The employee life cycle model provides a framework for understanding the stages an employee goes through within an organization.

What tool helps manage candidates during the recruitment process?

An applicant tracking system is used to streamline the recruitment process by managing candidate data and applications.

What is essential for improving workplace conditions and employee satisfaction?

Employee feedback is essential for identifying areas for improvement and enhancing overall workplace satisfaction.

What is crucial for maintaining a motivated and committed workforce?

Employee engagement is crucial for ensuring employees are motivated, productive, and committed to the organization’s goals.


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