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BY Jules Dalmacio Articles
We asked 10 HRs what they are most busy with year in and year out. Among the top 5 answers are attendance, payroll, recruitment, government reports, and employee relations. One thing that was never brought up is the Employee Life Cycle. While it seems like such a theoretical part of HR, it’s actually a very overlooked model that systematizes every HR aspect.
As the name implies, the Employee Life Cycle is a model or framework that categorizes the different stages of an employee’s “life” within an organization. Every type of employee has a trend on how difficult it is to fill in open positions, how long they usually stay, and reasons for emancipation. As it is, the Employee Life Cycle is just a model—it’s an HR’s job to optimize every stage of the cycle to help both employees and the organization gain the ideal work and operational experience.
Most academic articles would categorize the employee life cycle into 5-7 stages. According to Personio, these stages more or less are attraction, recruitment, onboarding, retention, development, and separation. While the employee life cycle might not be a popular concept to some Filipino HRs, sure enough, every stage of the cycle is. For the sake of brevity, we will group the 6 stages into 3 categories for discussion: acquisition, cultivation, and alumnus.
Under acquisition, the stages that you optimize are attraction, recruitment, and onboarding. The traditional ways that we acquire talent is through job postings either physically (street banners, posters) or digitally (Jobstreet, LinkedIn). However, optimization of how we perform acquisitions does not end with publishing a job posting.
What are things that affect how attractive a company is to good talent? HRs are expected to be up-to-date to what a “competitive” compensation package is. Not only are you looking at competitor companies for industry standards, but it is also worth to look at how much freelance workers are making. How much does the work pay, for how long does a day last, and what benefits that are tangible (leaves, bonuses, health card) or intangible (flexi-sched, production based work, 100% remote setup) are most resonant to which types of applicants.
Turnaround time for recruitment also affects fill rate. If you have an applicant, it’s likely that they want to start work ASAP. Slow processing affects how they perceive the offer: it gives the impression that they will do work that isn’t as valuable, that the company might be hiring for a very dispensable position, and that their talents might be better appreciated, daresay “demanded”, elsewhere.
The right balance of amicability and professionalism also affects how a successful client will feel about staying during the onboarding process. Different companies handle onboarding differently—some things that they should be consistent at though is level of expertise, and people relations. Onboarding sets the tone of what new employees will expect within the company. Employees that have one foot in the door might be turned off by pompous or prying onboarders.
Summary: Analyze where your company lies when it comes to competitive packages. See how your organization can improve fill rate by studying where acquisition bottlenecks lie. Assign personable experts to onboard. It’s also important to manage company reputation which we’ll touch on in a later section.
Now that a company has decided to work with the company, they are now in the hands of their direct report superiors, right? Not really. HRs are still expected to help craft environments that cultivate talent and protect employees’ and the company’s best interest.
Cultivation feels like it’s the management’s burden when in fact, HR is crucial in making this stage succeed. Proactive human resourcing has to be diligent in “listening” to what both management and workforce have to say about work conditions. After all, HR is the conduit between employee and higher up representatives of the business.
Proactively and consistently checking in with employees and management will yield precious sentiment data that will help weed out pain points. That pain point could be as simple as logistics, like intermittent internet connectivity, or as deep as a systemic problem like inter-business unit management power-tripping. What’s important is that HR get’s a pulse of such pain points and cooperatively pushes to resolve it.
Of course, resolving pain points is just one side of the coin of cultivation. Employees stay for the value that the company gives them. Learn what employees consider to be are the best parts of their stay with the company. This will help HR help the company play to its strengths.
A lot of employees want growth; some employees are looking for a comfortable status quo. Both of them will need development in some way, shape, or form if you don’t want them to feel like they’re stuck on a dead-end job. Always mediate talks about career expansion, whether through promotion or lateral transfers. Employees that are doing amazing work in their comfort zones still deserve some development in the form of pay increase or other benefits.
Summary: Not all employees will be vocal with pain points so HRs should be proactive in “listening” to avoid any potential fallout. Consequently, development is important to any type of employee and regardless of their career outlook. Learn how you can also work around potential resignations.
This category of the employee cycle only actually covers separation but it’s still very important all the same. In a perfect work environment, we would want to call all separated employees as alumnus. This means that, though they no longer work for the company, they at the very least do not harbor resentment for it, and at best will help evangelize how good an opportunity it would be to work for the company.
The separation/alumnus stage also encapsulates why it’s called a cycle. Alumnus influence how easy it will be to recruit new talent. Bad rep about a company will make hiring prized talents difficult. Not only that, but it also potentially ruins a company’s reputation with other companies. Especially in this age of a very vocal internet audience, a company that does not treat its employee right will have to deal with undesirable prospective talents as well as commercial backlash.
Summary: Close the employee life cycle on an amicable note as much as possible. Every separated employee is either a potential evangelist of how good your brand is or a ticking time bomb of exposé. Every other stage of the employee life cycle affects how an employee will feel after separation.
Like what we’ve mentioned earlier, the employee life cycle model might be falling by the wayside and it looks like it’s because of tedious HR processes like attendance, payroll, and government paperwork to name a few. Refocus and get your analytics on; leave the tedium to Salarium. Sign up for free to try our attendance and payroll system today.