Talent management is a critical process for organizations seeking to gain a competitive edge. With today’s labor market challenges and skills gaps in many industries, the ability to effectively manage talent across the employee lifecycle has become a key imperative.
Meanwhile, rapid advances in technology coupled with a work-from-home landscape sees HR professionals having to adapt and innovate to navigate. This article overviews the employee lifecycle with six key steps to help manage talent for long-term success in a future-ready organization.
What is an ‘employee lifecycle’?
The employee lifecycle is familiar to HR executives and professionals and refers to the different stages an employee goes through during their time with a company. It is the framework for HR to strategize and support employees as they progress through each phase of these the key stages:
- Performance management
1. Embrace change and evolving times
Like any lifecycle, however, there is evolution and the world of HR is no exception with executives constantly embracing and adapting to change. Added to this, HR executives have to balance and innovate solutions while attracting, recruiting and retaining talent in a challenging and highly-digitized market.
The rapid evolution of automation and machine learning, for instance, has been viewed as a disruptor, and potential threat to an employee’s job security. AI’s algorithms and data-driven wizardry, however, revolutionize how HR teams nurture and support their workforce. New pathways that augment AI tech have enabled HR executives to adopt digitization to transform acquisition.
Meanwhile, the structure of workplaces have evolved in tandem with advances in tech welcoming in a new work-from-home world. HR professionals embrace flexible remote-working patterns by strategically planning and supporting change in an employee’s personal journey and throughout the wider organization to boost recruitment, engagement, productivity and retention. As workplace patterns evolve, so do employee expectations, and HR leaders can rethink and digitize multiple aspects of the employee lifecycle.
2. Manage a workforce via personalized pathways
Talent management has become a top priority for HR leaders seeking to build agile and future-ready workforces, however having a person-centered approach is even more valuable in today’s digitized work environments. With skills requirements rapidly evolving due to automation, AI, and other technological disruptions, organizations need better ways to attract, develop, and retain top talent. The competition for critical skills is intense, and the solutions require new ways to find, keep, and inspire people in any organization.
By blending digital capabilities with strategic human connections, HR leaders can reimagine the employee lifecycle to cultivate an adaptable, high-performing and engaged workforce built for the long haul. This means taking a more data-driven, personalized approach to managing talent across the employee lifecycle. In essence it is about inspiring ways to promote ongoing personal development or growth, and the continued drive to encourage and nurture an individual to flourish at every stage of the life cycle. It is, however, important to devise a cycle of growth strategy that starts with the person but one that filters through and positively impacts the team, department and business as a whole.
3. Align strategies with individual values and shared goals
For long-term success, it’s valuable to ensure that your HR strategies align with the organization’s current values. This can be anything from surveying how much unused tech your business uses to upholding the positive workplace culture your business is renowned for. HR professionals need to recognize that today’s employees are attracted to CEO’s who prioritize ethical values, and demonstrable CSR initiatives and proven sustainability commitments rather than misleading appearances.
In order to retain talent, therefore, it’s crucial for HR professionals to invite employees throughout their lifecycle to share and engage in such values, achievable goals and play a part in any surveys or initiatives. Curate personalized pathways using AI- training recommendations based on roles, values, interests, strengths and weaknesses. Deliver platforms to participate and training that supports continuous performance management and improvement.
4. Optimize your hire to retire approach with AI tech
For long-term success organizations can’t risk falling behind, so the need to grasp and optimize stages of the employee lifecycle is key. AI is transforming human resources and the employee experience. It analyzes resumes and profiles to match candidates faster and fairer. Once hired, AI personalizes benefits and pay to suit individuals. The hire to retire stages can also be enhanced if managers look for specific areas that can benefit by leveraging AI and data analytics for the future. To be more inclusive, AI can help to remove unconscious bias from job descriptions and screening.
By studying employee data, AI identifies training needs, boosts engagement, and predicts the risks of losing talent. AI chatbots, surveys and analytics can anticipate and resolve transition issues proactively, but the human element is vital. AI enables data-driven human capital management that optimizes worker efficiency, responsiveness and enhances the employee experience.
The analytics can provide the personal goals for HR professionals to strategize with by capturing insights from exit interviews, feedback and surveys to enhance employee experiences. For example, recent reports demonstrate that promoting health saving accounts (HSAs) rank highly on employees’ wishlist towards the end of their careers. Utilizing survey results in line with tech analysis can proactively access and address pain points impacting engagement and retention to introduce winning longer-term strategies.
5. Identify talent who thrive in an evolving business
The talent management process begins with strategic workforce planning to identify talent gaps and surpluses based on business goals. Recruitment is no longer just filling open roles, but rather about finding people with the potential to thrive as the work evolves. Onboarding must align to the employee value proposition and company culture to boost engagement and retention from day one.
Ongoing learning and development is crucial and the smartest companies are providing dynamic career paths, cross-functional experiences, and mentoring to develop talent from within. Performance management needs to focus on fueling growth and providing continuous feedback. With millennials soon becoming the majority workforce, culture and purpose matter more than ever in engaging and retaining top performers. So again, in the war to win talent, a personalized approach is key.
6. Foster social connection in a lifecycle for long-term success
HR leaders can implement comprehensive virtual onboarding protocols that go beyond paperwork completion to actively foster individual social connections, establish mentorships and set clear 90-day goals for new remote and hybrid employees. A thoughtful onboarding process is key for integration and fostering personal engagement. Additionally, HR teams can curate a centralized, easily accessible digital hub containing self-service onboarding resources, company policies, benefits information, and training materials that new and existing employees can reference anytime.
To build robust talent pipelines, organizations must expand their networks beyond job boards by hosting virtual career fairs, empowering employees as brand ambassadors on social media, and leveraging both personal and professional connections.
Proactive wellbeing initiatives like virtual ergonomic assessments, mental health days and dedicated channels on collaboration platforms for social connection can help combat employee stressors and burnout risks. AI chatbots and HR service delivery platforms will enable 24/7, omnichannel employee support and scale HR services across the lifecycle.
With the future of work rapidly evolving, talent management is no longer just an HR function, but rather a strategic capability that allows companies to thrive alongside evolving tech. Adopting a data-driven approach can help HR transform the employee lifecycle for a future-proofed business but the personalized approach remains critical through every stage of the lifecycle. By prioritizing personalized development and sharing tech tools and expertise to do so, HR professionals can optimize talent management to drive productivity, performance, and long-term growth.
HR Future Staff Writer.