Employee Life Cycle

How To Attract and Retain Top Talent

If you are to Attract and Retain Top Talent, your Employee Life Cycle is very important. Did you know that your employee life cycle, actually begins with prospective employees in your recruitment process? Furthermore, it continues until the day they leave your company.

Diagram showing key Employee Life Cycle criteria to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Employee Life Cycle Essentials

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Client Testimonial

Fully understands our business

We have been outsourcing our HR to SVC for over 10 years, our dedicated HR Consultant works closely with our management team and fully understands our business. The fact that we have a dedicated HR Consultant who we can contact whenever we need to, takes away the burden and pressures that HR issues can sometimes bring. Our dedicated HR Consultant will often work on projects onsite to help our business and will always respond promptly and swiftly. We always get 100%, HR and commercial knowledge is fantastic. The advice and support given is always highly professional.

Adam Kimber Managing Director, Mansols Preforms
Diagram showing key Employee Life Cycle criteria to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Does This Describe Your Current Situation?

  • You want to know how to Attract and Retain more Top Talent?
  • Maybe you are unsure what a strong Employee Life Cycle is?
  • With some recent recruitment and retention issues you probably need some expert advice?
  • HR is currently managed by a third party service provider, but it seems reactive rather than proactively helping your business?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above, then read on. 

Spending the next few minutes reading the following may save you a lot of time, expense and frustration.

The Employee Life Cycle Stages

The key and essential life cycle elements of your employees that we go through below are:

  • Recruitment.
  • On-boarding.
  • Training and Development.
  • Retention.
  • Exit.

The Employee Life Cycle Starts With Recruitment

"On-boarding is a process you should begin as soon as you have made the decision to recruit a new employee. It officially starts with your offer of employment to the successful candidate."


On-boarding is a current popular term in Human Resources. But what does this actually mean?

To Attract and Retain Top Talent, On-boarding is an essential part of the Employee Life Cycle

If you want to attract and retain top talent, attracting the right people to job offer stage is only part of the process. After this, retaining them starts straight away not just months later. Therefore, whenever possible make your job offer by a phone call.

Why a phone call? In the first place, it's personal and welcoming! And on the other hand your chosen candidate may have competing job offers! Consequently the sooner he or she knows your ready for them, the better.

Once you have verbally confirmed this, and follow up your conversation with the offer letter.

Offer Letter Checklist

Your offer letter must include the following:

  • Salary
  • Hours of work
  • Job title or brief description of the job role
  • Any related benefits (e.g. holiday entitlement, pension), and
  • The agreed start date

About the Start Date

For the most part, if the start date is going to be a few weeks away, or even months, it's a good idea to keep in contact with your new recruit!

Due to the Employee Life Cycle having started, the occasional email or phone call will help to make your new recruit feel part of your team - even before they start. 

Also, it's an opportunity to answer any questions they may still have. In particular tell them how much you and your colleagues are looking forward to them starting. Subsequently, this will:

Getting Started - The Induction

The induction process is essential both for the new recruit and you the employer. In the Employee Life Cycle it is one of the most visible elements with impact. In particular, plan your induction process ahead. To begin with, it's much easier if you have a consistent and structured plan to use with all new recruits. 

Make it Consistent!

A consistent approach and exchange of up to date information with all new employees is important. It supports staff retention.

In particular, some areas of the induction process are mandatory by law. Thus it's good practice to have well documented procedures to cover these. 

Check out the Checklist below, it's the minimum you should cover in your induction:

Induction Checklist

Usually you must include the following:

1. Health and safety information:

  • Fire / emergency evacuation procedure
  • First aid facilities
  • How to report accidents, incidents or near misses
  • Assessing display screen equipment or other equipment they may have to use

2. Human Resources information including:

  • Checking of documentation such as proof of legal right to work in the UK
  • Qualification / DBS checks
  • Payroll and bank details to process their pay
  • Contact details in case of emergency

3. Company information, such as:

  • Your company values and vision/mission statements
  • History of the Company, and its culture
  • Tour of the office and where to find the amenities (e.g. kitchen & toilets)
  • Important policies (e.g. use company computers for personal use or not).

The Induction Process

A good induction process is important to all new employees. As they have a lot of details to consume, guide them through the raft of information they need to know.

This is also the best opportunity to provide a timetable of how and when they will receive additional information. For instance, this could be happening over the coming weeks or months - but let them know the plan. 

Plan Your Induction

Planning the induction will make your new employees feel welcome. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of losing them before they have had time to settle in.

Put yourself in the new employee's situation. For example, they don't know what their new co-workers know. Indeed, they don't really know:

  • You and your company (their new employer).
  • Their new and unfamiliar working environment.
  • Their new work colleagues..

As a result you the employer must take charge of information dissemination and questions. As helpful as it can appear, co-workers can at times confuse new recruits.

Use a Probationary Period

Sometimes, things don’t work out for either party for whatever reason. Therefore it is important to include a probationary period in your Contracts of Employment. This allows you enough time to assess the new employee’s performance and suitability to the role.

The length of a probationary period varies. Consequently, it is important to have the right amount of time which works for your business. SVC's Human Resources team are happy to provide guidance on:

  • The length of probation periods, and
  • Creating a positive implementation.

What if the New Recruit is Not Working Out?

Where a new recruit has not fulfilled the expectations of the job role, there may be a valid reason. For example, has the employee had the support to achieve the standards you set?  Your decision will be to either:

  • Extend the original probationary period, or
  • End their employment at this point.

Employee Retention

Another important part in the attracting and retaining of top talent, is their personal development. Both training and staff development are essential components of retaining staff. For instance, do you and your company prove commitment to staff by investing in their development? Also, this is another key component which will make you more attractive as an employer when recruiting.

Don't forget that flexibility is also essential, for example flexible working hours, and enabling Hybrid Working

Development and Training

The right mix of training and development will have a positive impact on staff and your bottom line. To begin with it improves:

  • Motivation, making them feel good about being part of your company.
  • Their self-esteem, making staff feel happier about their job.
  • Commitment to your company values and contribution.
  • Commitment to your business and its success

The Return on Investment Can Be Significant

Your Winning Formula

What's more, Training, Development and Coaching will:

  • Ensure you have the right skills in the right areas of your business.
  • Develop the future stars in your business.
  • Improve your staff retention and employee engagement.
  • Enhance your company values and vision.
  • Install lasting effects to improve your productivity and profitability.

The correct training and development can provide a massive return on your investment. For example, it costs much less than under-performance. It can save a huge amount of precious management time. Furthermore, you will reduce the cost of resolving staff issues, employee churn and recruitment costs.

Performance Appraisal

An effective and regular appraisal or performance management process is also essential. Specifically, it will help you to:

  • Identify where to put in place development and training.
  • Achieve the objectives of both your company and its people.
  • Identify the potential in all your employees for competitive advantage.
  • Plan your company’s succession.

These are all important criteria. But here's the thing, in day to day management, it's easy to overlook succession. This is an essential part of any business strategy. Your business growth also depends on continuity of staff in all business areas. You will be able to mitigate any unexpected, or indeed planned changes in your workforce.

Training Advice

As well as HR support, SVC Training and Development can help you improve your business performance.

Managing Sickness and Absence

People do become ill from time to time, and each period of absence has a direct and indirect cost to your business. 

"Sickness absence costs the UK economy over 14 billion pounds a year. That's £554 (pounds) per employee"

Report "Growing the health and well-being agenda"
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

The annual cost of sickness absence for UK businesses in 2017 was £554 per employee. But this does not take into account other indirect costs such as:

  • Penalties for lost or delayed production/deadlines.
  • Negative impact on morale of co-workers in the department / workforce.
  • Customer dissatisfaction.

A Good Absence Process

Consequently, another essential element of the Employee Life Cycle is to manage your sickness absence with an effective process. By tracking, identifying and resolving issues, you can avoid negative impact. In other words, you can mitigate this impact which can otherwise cause detriment to your business and other employees. In other words, this really matters if you want to attract and retain top talent.


You need to determine an absence process that works well for your company and employees. Or you could adopt a prescriptive approach such as the Bradford factor.

In particular, the key here is to handle long-term and short-term absence differently. Short frequent and unplanned absences are generally more disruptive than longer absences.

Whilst you must adhere to statutory legislation, you may decide to enhance it. Regardless of the process you choose, let your employees know how it works when they start with your company. This will make sure there are no misunderstandings at a later stage. By the way, having an easy to understand document also helps managers or supervisors. Hence it will assist them in handling difficult and uncomfortable situations with employees. 

Sick Pay

The law specifies your employee entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay. If absence from work is due to sickness and injury, they qualify for this from their first day of employment. But there are certain qualifying conditions that apply:

  • The first 3 days of absence are unpaid.
  • Statutory sick pay is only payable for 28 weeks.

Employee Medical Records?

You can if necessary have access to an employee's medical records with their consent. However, how much help this will be to you depends on the specific questions you ask their doctor or consultant.

You may encounter circumstances that need further advice to decide on:

  • Making reasonable adjustments, or
  • Deciding on the future of that individual's employment.

In this situation you may find it helpful to use an Occupational Health Adviser.

Return to Work

It is advisable to carry out a return to work interview in all cases of absence. In particular, this is to:

  • Ensure that your employee is fit to return to work, and
  • Explore any underlying issues that may have resulted in that employee's time off of work.

Also, your managers or supervisors may need training in this area. People in these positions are often unsure what they can and cannot ask. With the skills needed to deal with such interviews, they will be able to handle them with confidence.

Dealing with Leavers

Picture of an employee leaving their job role

You will have people leave your Company, it’s part of the employment life cycle. It is generally straight-forward if your employee resigns. For example, they may be:

  • Moving to another job.
  • Going travelling.
  • Retiring.

Client Testimonial

Fully understands our business

We have been outsourcing our HR to SVC for over 10 years, our dedicated HR Consultant works closely with our management team and fully understands our business. The fact that we have a dedicated HR Consultant who we can contact whenever we need to, takes away the burden and pressures that HR issues can sometimes bring. Our dedicated HR Consultant will often work on projects onsite to help our business and will always respond promptly and swiftly. We always get 100%, HR and commercial knowledge is fantastic. The advice and support given is always highly professional.

Adam Kimber Managing Director, Mansols Preforms


Resignation needs to be in writing from your employee. After receiving written confirmation, acknowledge their resignation in writing. This is the time to confirm information you may wish to add, such as:

  • When their last working day will be.
  • When they will receive their final pay.
  • Any restriction clauses in their Contract that they must abide by.

You may need to decide if you want the employee to work their notice or not. If not, consider whether you would prefer they go on ‘garden leave’, or have their notice paid in lieu. 

Don't Forget!

To do this you must:

  • Ensure your contract of employment includes such options.
  • Clarify this with your employee ASAP after receiving their letter of resignation.

Exit Interviews

It is always a good idea to carry out an exit interview. This way you understand better why an employee has decided to leave your Company. Also, it will help highlight any areas that you may wish to consider improving.

Therefore, retention of staff is important because:

  • It costs a lot of money to recruit new employees.
  • It costs even more money (direct and indirect cost) to train and develop a new employee.

Knowing why staff are leaving helps you identify issues causing them to leave. Consequently, you can minimise others leaving, and enhance your status as an employer of choice. This will help you to attract and retain top talent.

Analysis of HR data

Picture of Human Resources Data Analysis for Employee Life Cycle

Capturing and analysing data in the Employee Life Cycle is an important HR activity. For the most part, knowing the costs to your company, you will make more informed decisions in the future. In addition, it may help you to monitor key performance indicators to attract and retain top talent.

Consequently, many companies like to know certain aspects of the Employee Life Cycle, what it is costing them, and what benefit they gain. Also, some companies track such data to maintain a specific business accreditation.

Here Is a Basic Data Checklist

HR Data for Employee Life Cycle Analysis

You can measure any data that you feel important to your business. For example:

  • Retention of staff
  • How much it costs to recruit staff
  • How long it takes to recruit staff
  • Management time of those recruiting
  • Absence

The choice is yours, but SVC Human Resources can help you understand what to measure, why and how.

Do You Need More Help?

Throughout the employee life cycle, you may face obstacles which can be daunting. The HR team at SVC are here to help you with any Human Resources related issues or obstacles.

You may also need to seek opinion on whether or not you are an employer of choice. There are several purposeful leadership and values-based criteria that can ease the employee life cycle from recruiting to retaining your people. Take a look at our article The Benefits of Being a Purpose-led Company, and How to Become an Employer of Choice.

Take Action Now

Sometimes talking an issue through with an expert will help to ease any concerns. Whatever you do, do not ignore issues in the hope they will go away. They won’t! Generally, an issue will only get worse and more difficult and uncomfortable to deal with.

Contact the SVC HR team who will be happy to help. They can put your mind at ease and find the right solution to your situation.

Find Out How We Can Help Your HR Needs

For a no-obligation confidential chat about how can help your company:

  • Message us privately by using the Contact Us button below.
  • Or call us on 01206 262117.


The information contained in this web page is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included on this web page without seeking professional, legal or other specialist advice by qualified practitioners. If you have a specific human resources issue, please contact SVC Human Resources team for individual advice on your particular circumstances.

Accreditation and Certification

SVC Solutions holds accreditation and certification from several professional bodies.

REC - The Recruitment & Employment Confederation
Institute of leadership and management
City & Guilds Examinations & Qualifications
CIPD - the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the professional body for HR and people development.
IOSH - Institution of Occupational Safety and Health Approved training provider 4517