Employee Life-Cycle (ELC)
ELC Phases: Recruitment, Integration, Development, and the Transition
Depending on the reference, the Employee Life-Cycle (ELC) can have six stages and some reputable references condense the ELC to four stages. The ELC identified has four stages which are: Recruitment, Integration, Development, and the Transition stage. The ELC outlines the stages in the occupation of the employee and each stage includes the activities an employee experiences in the ELC (SHRM, People, 2017, p. 206). It is imperative for HR to have the ability to understand when in the ELC to engage and retain employees. HR needs to know when to prioritize and increase employee “satisfaction and engagement by turning to key moments in the ELC into a meaningful journey” (SHRM, People, 2017, p. 207).
The first stage in the ELC is Recruitment, which includes the following components: sourcing, recruiting, selection, and hiring. This is the stage in which the employer and employee start their relationship (SRHM, People, 2017, p. 206). Before HR posts an Ad to initiate the recruitment process, HR needs to team up with the hiring manager to confirm an accurate job description to source from an applicant pool which will yield the most qualified applicants to recruit. In order for the job position and employment branding to be appealing in the applicant pool, the company should offer an attractive total rewards package. An example of the best practice in the recruitment stage is to be competitive in the total reward and tangible and intangible benefits. Another best practice HR needs are to screen and select for the most qualified applicants without tampering with the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). HR should be objective in the entire recruitment process. One of the best practices in this stage is to avoid any perjuriously biases which can stem consciously or unconsciously (i.e. disparate impact and disparate treatment).
The second stage in the ELC is Integration, which includes onboarding, engaging, and socialization (a.k.a. Organizational Entry and Socialization). The integration stage is the process in which an employee gains access to information, tools, training, tasks and conforms to his or her settlement in their position and become more proficient in their duties (SHRM Learning System, 2017, p. 206–207). The process usually takes about six months or sooner for the applicant to acclimate to the work culture and be fully engaged and comfortable A best practice to ensure for a proper integration, the HR department needs to “monitor performance, motivation, engagement, and attitudes” (Mello, 2015, p. 247). Another best practice in this on-boarding stage is to assign the new hire a peer-mentor and/ or a sponsor. Another best practice is to evaluate the employee satisfaction and assess the onboarding process by utilizing a formal 30–60–90-day employee satisfaction survey and performance evaluation.
The third stage of the ELC is Development, which includes elements to evaluate, develop, and promote employees. In this stage, it is imperative to intervene based on performance standards and engage in the development of the employee’s career development and career management. A best practice in development is to identify where the employee can best benefit from professional internal or external formal training and attending annual professional conferences. Another best practice in retaining employees is for HR and the employee-manager to engage the employee to create goals and objectives bases on their performance evaluation.
Transition (or departure) is the final stage of the ELC which primarily consists of offboarding. The transition stage is the disengagement stage when the employee is retiring, resigning, terminated voluntarily or involuntarily, received a promotion or demotion, or transferring to another division, region, or department (SHRM Learning System, 2017, p. 206–207). A best practice in this stage is to find out the underlying reasons for the employee’s departure. This can be done via exit interview 3-days after the employees leaving the company. Another best practice is to maintain good relations with the employee who is departing, especially if the departing employee is a high performer, this might help if an employee might consider coming back to work for the company.
The Recruitment stage is basically when HR and the applicant first initiate the hiring objective of finding the best fit for the position. The Integration stage is essentially the “honeymoon” or “an extended orientation” stage of engaging and socializing the new hire to set them up for success (a.k.a. onboarding). The Development stage is intended to motivate, develop, and keep the employee satisfied in the organization. The Transition stage is the disengagement stage when an employee departs their position. It is important for HR to Engage and Retain as an ongoing common practice, regardless of which stage an employee is in the ELC. The engagement of an employee should not have an expiration date until the exit interview is complete.