People Power: The 5 Stages of the HR Lifecycle

Like many other areas of life and business, human resources has a unique lifecycle; however, instead of focusing on the biological aspects of development, the HR lifecycle involves the stages employees go through and the role HR takes on during those stages.

The typical employee experiences five different stages during their employment: Recruitment, education, motivation, evaluation and celebration. Each stage has its own challenges, opportunities and benefits. For example, if your small business is experiencing excessive employee turnover, it is likely that the “motivation” stage of the HR lifecycle needs attention; or, if an employee’s skills are not improving, you will want to address the “evaluation” stage.

If there is a breakdown at any stage of the cycle, you need to take the necessary steps to correct the problem so both your employees and your business continue to grow. Here’s a look at each stage in more depth:


Stage 1: Recruitment

Growing your business starts with hiring the right people. Hiring decisions play a critical role in turnover, productivity and growth. In order to succeed in the recruitment phase of the HR lifecycle, your human resources department needs to:

  • Create a strategic staffing plan that includes understanding positions that need to be filled, what will be expected of an employee, a strategy for attracting the best of the best, and other hiring concerns;
  • Analyze compensation and benefits packages to see if they’re competitive enough to attract the top talent; and
  • Develop an interviewing protocol, which may include written tests and multiple interview requirements, as well as a focus on active listening.


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