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A guide to employee lifecycle management systems

6 min read
When your job involves human capital management, you’re involved with all five stages of the employee lifecycle: recruitment, onboarding, development, retention and exit. Multiply this by the number of employees you process and it’s a big task.

While facets of the employee lifecycle – such as interviewing and performance reviews demand human interaction, it makes sense to automate the more data-driven tasks such as applicant tracking and performance measurement.

A good employee lifecycle management system will take care of the data and analytics, allowing managers to measure employee experiences at every major milestone of the employee lifecycle and establish baselines to measure future performance. By collecting this data automatically, managers will be able to identify at-risk employee populations with low engagement and attrition issues along the whole employee journey, leaving you to focus on the more human side of human resources.

One platform

Much HR software only stores data in unconnected systems or covers only certain stages of the employee lifecycle: recruitment and development, for example. The best management systems offer a single, unified software platform where the lifecycle stages are in linked modules, and there’s scope for scaling up as your business grows. Your business is unique; you’ll need a range of pre-hire and post-hire tools that can be tailored to your particular commercial needs.

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In the battle for recruiting top talent, an applicant tracking system is essential in the recruitment stage of the lifecycle. A good management system:

  • Stores CVs and resumés in one place and makes them easy to retrieve
  • Tracks the date and source of the applications
  • Tracks candidates’ communication history
  • Sorts and ranks candidates according to your criteria
  • Can screen applicants with questions and tests

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Studies show that an effective onboarding program can improve retention rates by 52%, ramp time by 60%, and overall customer satisfaction by 53%. A new hire can be given their own profile on your HR system before they even start working. They can complete necessary forms, read company manuals, enrol in benefits and even request stationery and tech equipment. All this admin can be completed before your new employee steps through the door on their first day, allowing everyone to focus on orientation, their role, culture and people involved rather than tedious paperwork.

The next task is to get the new hire trained and up to speed so that they can be productive. A tailored learning management package for every employee will manage, deliver and track training over the whole lifecycle, from onboarding to exit. A comprehensive lifetime training history can also be linked to every employee’s professional development plans.

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To develop, employees need to be set goals, and appraisals and reviews are necessary to give feedback on how they achieved their goals (or didn’t).

Performance reviews and 360 Feedback help employees to continue to develop, be challenged and want to stay at your organisation. Rather than the dreaded one-to-one appraisal meetings with a manager, 360 reviews anonymously collect appraisals from a senior, a junior and a peer, as well as a self-assessment. 360 reviews give a fuller picture of how an employee functions within your business and may be set as events along your lifecycle program.

It’s essential to really hear your employees to develop them fully. Give feedback on their work, gather feedback on how they feel as an employee, make them feel that they’re an asset to your company and get their input into proposed changes and strategy.

On a single, unified employee lifecycle management system, all appraisals can be tracked and measured against business goals, easily identifying employees’ strengths and targeting areas of weakness for improvement.


Employees stay when they feel properly rewarded for a job well done. A good lifecycle platform will include automated compensation software that is linked to fair reviews, consistency and transparency and accessible to both HR and Finance departments.

It also makes sense to hire people who really know your business inside out – your current employees. Cherry-pick the most highly-motivated, best-trained individuals and move them into new opportunities with suitable compensation and benefits. Your employee lifecycle software will be able to identify fast-track star employees in advance of positions becoming available, enabling you to succession plan from your existing employees with ease. You’ll also be able to identify which employees need more learning and development, and those who have reached the end of their career path with you.


A good lifecycle management system gives equal weight to a sometimes-neglected stage of the employee journey – an employee’s exit interview and survey. As well as gleaning the most candid information about why an employee has chosen to leave, you show you are a caring organisation by expressing interest and concern even at the end of the employee lifecycle. An employee will exit with a positive experience of your organisation, more willing to recommend you to customers and other applicants who would be great hires.

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Qualtrics is rated 4.7/5 for employee engagement software based on 59 reviews.

See how Qualtrics can support you at every stage of the employee lifecycle