A company is only as strong as its workforce, so staffing your business with excellent employees can make all the difference.
While crucial, finding the right people to join your team can be tedious and time-consuming, especially in today’s labor market. As a result, you want to do everything you can to keep high-quality talent on the team for the long haul.
In this Employee Lifecycle Guide, we’ll break down the employee lifecycle from start to finish. We’ll also explain how to optimize each stage to improve your business.
Recruitment is the process of actively seeking out, finding, and hiring candidates for a specific position or job.
Onboarding refers to the processes by which new hires are integrated into the organization. It includes activities involved in the initial new-hire orientation process, as well as the ways new employees learn about the organization and its structure, culture, vision, mission, and values.
Employee retention is the ability of an organization to retain its employees and ensure workforce sustainability. Employee retention can be represented by a simple statistic, but it is also the strategy employers use to try to retain employees in their workforce.
Career development refers to the process an individual may undergo to evolve their occupational status. It is the process of making decisions for long-term learning to align personal needs of physical or psychological fulfillment with career advancement opportunities.
A job transition means that the employee changes career paths within or outside of the organization. Separation of employment is an employee's departure from a job and the end of an employee's duration with an employer.
At this stage, the employee has withdrawn from their position or occupation and from their active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours or workload.
Losing employees at the transition stage can drag down your bottom line. That’s because the cost of employee turnover can range from 20% to over 100% of the lost employee’s annual salary. You can boost your chances of retaining employees by:
While you want to retain top talent, letting go of poor performers is also important. According to Harvard Business Review, avoiding one bad apple can save your company twice as much money as hiring a superstar employee.
Now that you know the basics of the employee lifecycle, let's go back to the beginning: the hiring process. Acquiring new employees is a challenge in today’s market. In 2023, 90% of employers reported having few to no qualified candidates apply to their open positions.
While attracting qualified people is tough, employing the right tactics to diversify your company from the competition is possible. Some effective techniques include:
If you need applicants with more experience, you may find them at industry trade shows or conferences. Professionals attending these events are often eager to network and may be looking for their next career move.
By joining relevant organizations, you can connect with professionals in your industry who may be looking for a new job now or in the future. Many professional organizations even provide job boards for their members.
Learn more in our blog and podcast: How to Hire in a Tough Labor Market
In addition to seeking out talent in the right places, you want to ensure your company puts its best foot forward during the hiring process. A strong first impression can facilitate positive rapport and lower your risk of future turnover.
Here are some turnover-reducing tips and tricks.
In addition to considering your hiring strategies, tracking your time-to-hire is a good idea. Time-to-hire is the number of days it takes you to convert a job applicant into an official employee.
For example, you post a job listing, and a promising applicant reaches out. You get back to them the following day, arrange an interview two days later, and offer them the job the next morning. In this case, your time-to-hire would be four days.
Want more ways to expedite your time to hire?
Check out this article: 9 Ways to Speed Up Your Employee's Time-to-Hire
To facilitate a smooth transition, you and your preferred candidate must share the same general hiring timeline. You should also define the maximum salary in advance, so you don’t waste time entertaining candidates beyond your price range.
Next, you should document the steps involved in your interview process and communicate those steps to your applicants. This way, they’ll know what to expect if you decide to move forward with them.
In-person interviews can be logistically challenging for job applicants still employed at another company. You can accommodate more applicants’ schedules by conducting initial interviews over the phone or via Zoom. Save the in-person interviews for applicants who make it to the next stages.
While clear communication is crucial during the hiring process, you don’t need to send every email or text message yourself. Investing in automated messaging software can take hiring work off your team’s plate.
When attracting job applicants, quality beats quantity. Rather than casting a wide net, you can save time by leveraging your industry connections and focusing on a subset of pre-vetted applicants. If you select someone that a trusted contact recommended, you’ll have that much more confidence in your hiring decision.
Once you’ve hired someone new, the onboarding stage of the employee lifecycle begins. Providing an excellent onboarding experience sets the stage for a positive working relationship. Companies with strong onboarding practices boost their new hire retention rates by 82%.
With that in mind, here are four key steps to effectively onboarding new hires.
Even new employees with extensive industry experience will have much to learn once they join your team. To bring them up to speed, ensure you have a robust onboarding process.
While mastering daily duties is important, so is integrating with the team. You can facilitate a smooth social transition for new hires by cultivating a welcoming workplace environment. For instance, you may want to host a Friday luncheon or Monday morning coffee social hour to give new employees a chance to get acquainted with the rest of the team.
Just as coworker relationships are important, so are employee-supervisor relationships. Start your relationship with new hires on the right foot by checking in on them periodically throughout their onboarding process. These interactions can instill a greater sense of loyalty within your new employees.
It would be nice if new hires could get up to speed in a week, but most take a few months to get comfortable in their new positions. When you’re realistic about the time it will take to train someone, you can organize their training sessions appropriately and ensure they receive the support and feedback they need to become a competent worker.
While most of the onboarding process will require hands-on training, it’s also important to present new hires with an employee handbook. This handbook can clarify your expectations for their conduct and detail your responsibilities as an employer.
While having an employee handbook isn’t legally required, it’s highly recommended. Here are six compelling reasons to put one together for your company:
You’ll be more likely to hold onto high-quality hires for years if you provide plenty of career development opportunities. Mentorship programs are just one example. These programs have been shown to reduce turnover by enhancing morale and showing employees that their professional development is valued by higher management.
Some benefits of enacting a mentorship program at your company include:
Find out more about mentorship programs in this article: Mentorship Programs: A Small Business’ Key to Workforce Development
While a mentorship program can inspire more employees to stay, only some hires will be the right fit for your company. If you’re considering firing an employee for poor performance, you may want to enact a corrective action plan (CAP) first.
CAPs are step-by-step procedures that can help you identify, investigate, and solve issues at your company, whether that’s an industry-related crisis or work quality concern with a specific employee.
Corrective Action Plans can facilitate conflict resolution and potentially prevent imminent termination when used correctly.
If your CAP doesn’t resolve an employee’s underperformance, you may have just cause for termination. Here are some common reasons why an employer may choose to terminate an employee:
Even if your reason for termination is valid, you must conduct the termination process carefully. Otherwise, you may incur costly legal claims.
When you decide to let someone go, make sure to follow these best practices:
Keeping employees on board is better than terminating them if you can resolve the performance issue. After all, hiring and onboarding someone new can be time-consuming and expensive.
Here are five steps for using a CAP to prevent unnecessary terminations.
Corrective action plans that are based on CPR highlight the “content” of the performance issue, problematic “patterns” you’ve noticed, and how they’ve affected “relationships” in the workplace. Highlighting these three elements can help employees identify their role in a workplace issue, take accountability for it, and take steps toward resolution.
When it comes to CAPs, it’s important to document every step of the process. This way, you’ll have documentation ready to go if you decide to fire an employee. This documentation can protect you if the employee decides to pursue legal action post-termination.
A healthy employee lifecycle can help your company attract and retain valuable employees.
Need help upgrading your employee lifecycle? As an experienced Professional Employer Organization (PEO), BBSI can help you make it happen.
Over our 50+ years, we’ve helped countless companies with their recruiting process, HR requirements, payroll, risk mitigation, employee handbook development, and corrective action. Reach out to BBSI today to learn more.
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