Employee Development

Talent management life cycle: developing employees at every stage

A solid talent management life cycle should take center stage in any organization. Discover ways to develop employees at every stage, from hiring to exit.

Noah Edis

Published on 

March 15, 2023

Updated on 

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Bringing in new talent is often considered the primary focus of HR teams. Without a doubt, any organization needs to have the right people in place. After all, employees are the soul of every organization.

While having the best tools and technology can give organizations a competitive edge, it is the employees that make the most difference. However, simply hiring the most qualified individuals is not enough to ensure success. Developing new and existing employees at every stage of their careers is just as important.

A successful HR team needs to take a proactive approach to ensure that the employees are engaged and contributing to the organization’s goals through a strategic talent management life cycle.

At Together, we believe that mentoring is a powerful tool in building a holistic talent lifecycle management approach that allows companies to attract, engage, and retain top talent.

Here’s a guide on how you can incorporate mentoring in the talent management strategy to develop your employees at every stage while remaining competitive in the market.

What is talent management lifecycle, and why is it important?

Talent management lifecycle, also called the employee lifecycle model, is a comprehensive approach that looks at the entire employee experience. 

  • It begins with recruitment,
  • continues through onboarding, training and development, performance management, retention, and 
  • eventually succession planning when someone leaves the organization.

The primary goal of employee lifecycle management is to create an environment where employees are engaged, motivated, and productive enough to contribute to the organization’s growth while also building a culture of continuous learning and development.

In fact, 6 out of 10 employees are considered “disengaged” from work based on the lack of key elements that can influence organizational performance outcomes, such as:

  • Training and development
  • Feedback and recognition
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Career advancement

Compare that to what companies taking talent management seriously are experiencing. Almost 89% of workers at organizations that value employee well-being are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work. Likewise, treating workers at any level with respect was rated as “very important” by 72% of employees, which is even higher than compensation at 61%.

Talent management life cycle: Developing employees at every stage

From recruitment to retirement, the talent management life cycle is a sequential process that encompasses all stages of an employee’s career. As employees move through the stages, they require different types and levels of guidance and development to support their growth.

Built on the pillars of attraction, engagement, and retention, there are six stages in the talent management life cycle. Below, we’ll provide examples of active tips and strategies you can implement in each stage.

1. Talent attraction

The first stage of the talent management life cycle is attraction. It involves actively seeking out potential candidates and getting them interested in your company and job opportunities.

The best way to attract qualified applicants is to:

  • Build a strong employer brand: From social media to job postings and recruitment events, create an online presence that introduces your company’s culture, values, and mission that will resonate with individuals.
  • Develop a structured recruitment process: Without a systemized recruitment process, you may end up with a pool of unqualified candidates.
  • Offer competitive compensation and perks: Tempt potential applicants with a bundle of attractive benefits and perks to make your company stand out from the competition, such as a higher-than-average salary and access to experienced mentors.

2. Hiring and onboarding

Roughly 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 90 days or three months. Without an effective onboarding process, the cost of replacing new hires could be as high as $4,000.

These tips can be done to strengthen your onboarding program:

  • Leverage technology: Use digital tools such as video conferencing, learning management software, or online forums to connect with new employees from day one.
  • Create a mentorship program: Pair new employees with experienced colleagues who can help them learn faster about the organization, offer insight into their respective roles, and navigate the company culture. See how Google designed a mentorship program designed for this.
  • Set check-in meetings: Schedule regular (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) meetings with new employees to assess their progress and address any concerns or questions they may have.

3. Performance management

Performance management is a critical aspect of the talent management life cycle that helps organizations measure employee performance, identify employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and reward progress.

Some strategies on how you can win at performance management are:

  • Provide meaningful rewards: Implement incentives that will motivate employees to reach their goals, such as bonus pay, recognition awards, flexible working hours, etc.
  • Utilize feedback loops: Incorporate regular feedback sessions into your communication process to identify areas of improvement while also celebrating successes along the way.
  • Prioritize expectation setting: Dedicate time to have an open dialogue with employees to ensure they understand their roles and job expectations, as well as provide support when needed.

4. Employee development

Providing employees with various training and development opportunities during their employment sets the foundation for their future career growth as a professional and with the organization.

During this stage, HR teams and leaders can:

  • Invest in mentorship: A little bit of guidance and support goes a long way. Connect your employees with experienced mentors who can teach them the ropes while reinforcing their motivation to succeed.
  • Take advantage of e-learning: Technology has made learning more accessible and engaging, so it’s essential to provide employees with online resources that will help them stay on top of the latest trends in their industry.
  • Offer individual development plans: Tie learning and development initiatives to specific business goals to ensure that employees are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to perform their jobs well, which will ultimately benefit the company.

5. Employee retention

Once talent is secured, HR teams and managers shift their focus to keeping them engaged and motivated.

Employee retention is all about employee loyalty. It entails creating an environment in which employees feel comfortable expressing their views, are rewarded for their hard work, and have access to ample opportunities for growth.

A successful employee retention plan may include one of these strategies:

  • Recognize good work: Acknowledge employees’ successes—big or small—to keep them feeling appreciated and motivated while they continue delivering great results.
  • Provide career advancement paths: Help your team members create their own career paths and give them the tools they need to get there.
  • Create a sense of community: An atmosphere that encourages collaboration and communication between employees from all levels of the organization makes them feel like part of a team.

6. Succession planning

A succession plan brings structure and clarity to transitioning from one leader to another. It allows a business to anticipate and prepare for future leadership changes.

Without a well-defined succession plan in place, organizations risk losing valuable employees and the knowledge they possess.

In succession planning, HR teams can:

  • Create customized career maps: Help employees gain insight into what the future of their career could look like by creating career development programs that outline potential paths.
  • Train the chosen successors: Provide high-potential employees with challenging tasks that will help them develop their skills and gain experience in higher positions.
  • Encourage collaboration between current leaders and successors: Leverage mentorship programs like Together to facilitate knowledge transfer from experienced employees to those who are being groomed for leadership roles.

How to adopt a talent lifecycle management model

Even with the best recruitment process in place, companies may still face the challenge of retaining talent. The key lies in developing employees all throughout their careers and providing them with a meaningful experience from the moment they join the organization.

Adopting an employee lifecycle model helps HR teams understand how employee engagement, development, and retention can be managed at every stage of their career. It provides a comprehensive overview of all the steps that need to be taken to ensure that employees are engaged and contributing to the company’s success at their full potential.

Here are some ways you can adopt a talent lifecycle management model in your organization:

1. Hire for potential and train for skills

Most companies look for candidates with the right skills and experience when hiring. However, hiring based on potential is just as important.

Look beyond a candidate’s current skill set and hire individuals who have the drive and ambition to learn new skills that can contribute to the organization’s success in the long term.

As they move through the employee lifecycle, provide them with adequate training and development opportunities, such as mentoring programs, to help them hone their skills and reach their full potential.

2. Improve internal mobility by hiring internally

Hiring from outside is crucial for any organization, but so is hiring internally. It promotes a culture of growth and development within the organization while reinforcing employee loyalty.

Encourage your team members to explore different roles within the organization and provide them with internal mobility opportunities and resources to help them transition into their new roles. These include individualized career paths, training programs, and mentorship opportunities.

3. Perform a skills audit and map skills to business goals

While hiring and training are important, companies should also focus on understanding the current skills gap in their organization.

Conduct a skills audit every year to identify gaps in terms of team members’ current skill sets and map them against the organization’s goals. With this, you can create an actionable roadmap for employee development to ensure that employees are equipped with the right skills for the job.

Bottom line

A talent management life cycle is essential for any organization that wants to remain competitive and attractive. This approach involves not only recruiting the right people but also ensuring that those employees are developed and supported at every stage of their journeys.

With Together, you can take advantage of powerful yet cost-effective mentoring tools to build a solid talent management strategy that will engage, attract, develop, and retain top talent throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Our online platform offers a range of features to help manage, monitor, and measure the success of your mentoring initiatives.

Want to see how Together can help you create a successful talent management life cycle? Learn more about our mentorship platform.

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