HR Analytics

July 18, 2022

Managing the Employee Lifecycle with HR Data

Nurturing and developing your human capital, from hiring to retiring, should be a fundamental priority of any HR team. Every employee goes through a journey in their organization – and while no two journeys are ever the same, there are common tropes that can be monitored, managed, and maintained.

Some journeys are long, ending in retirement. Others are short-lived, and end in termination. The vast majority will be somewhere in the middle; and understanding how that lifecycle works in your company is a pivotal part of your HCM.

Data is the only way to see beyond the surface and understand what’s really going on with your human capital, at every stage in the employee lifecycle.

What are the stages of the employee lifecycle, and how can we use HR data to better manage and understand our workforce?

Understanding the employee lifecycle – and capturing data

The classic employee lifecycle has five elements:

  1. Recruitment

  2. Onboarding

  3. Development

  4. Retention

  5. Exit


Welcome to the start of the employee lifecycle.

We all know that recruitment can be tricky – but it’s actually one of the easiest stages in the employee lifecycle to capture good HR data. Clicks on job ads, your website, and social media impressions are key indicators of your visibility in the job market. You can also get useful feedback from candidates, during the application and interview process.

Data points captured during recruitment can inform time to hire, cost per hire, recruiter performance, and so much more (including your hiring diversity). All stored data, even if a candidate doesn’t accept the role, is useful; it’ll feed into your processes, to make them tighter and more reliable.

This phase is also the place to show your data. To make your open positions even more compelling, you can use statistics on development, salary, and retention to demonstrate that your organization means business, and has the data to back it up.

Use real feedback from your people – give a preview of the culture and rewards you facilitate. Each little slice of evidence mounts to make your company stand out as a great employer, widening your talent pool and attracting more of the skills you’re looking for.


Onboarding could take a couple of weeks or a few months, depending on the complexity of the role. This phase, sometimes called ramp time or “getting up to speed”, is where a new hire gets their induction or workplace-specific training. It’s also where they begin to find their place and navigate the realities of their role – adjusting to systems, establishing workflows, and getting to know their team.

It’s impossible to overstate just how important this time is; it’s a big investment, and making it work isn’t all down to the new hire being great. HR and leaders have a big role to play in facilitating smooth onboarding, and giving new team members everything they need to thrive. And it goes without saying, but a welcoming environment and positive workplace culture is a huge help!

The onboarding phase is when effective employee surveys or check-ins must begin. As the first touch point, it’s the initial source of the HR data that will inform the rest of the employee lifecycle. Does the reality of their role match expectations? And, does the new hire match your own expectations?

Keep checking in, and plan accordingly. Watch for early signs of team fit and performance in feedback. This is how you’ll know whether your investment in new team members will pay off.


This might be the most exciting phase for your new team member – but it’s also a lot of hard work. The opportunities and learning experiences are nearly constant, and they’ve totally nailed their workflow. Performance is high and they just keep getting better.

There’s also a clear investment from the company, devoting time and resources into honing that expertise with training programs. This is where team members become their strongest; with not only a highly developed skill set, but practical experience of how those skills work in the real world.

This phase can go one of two ways; progression, or burnout. It can be tough to navigate, and even tougher to get accurate data if there’s a sense of distrust or being perceived as disloyal if the employee were to be honest about their feelings

HR and management are integral to building trust. Employee feedback must be listened to and logged accurately, through one-to-one meetings and surveys. You’ll need this data to get through the next phase: retention.


To reduce employee attrition, turnover, and churn, you need to know root causes. That requires good, clean HR data.

Read more: Clean Data: for Good Analytics, You Need Good Ops

If your HR data collection has been following best practice, and you’ve got reliable data on your people from recruitment to development – you should have what you need at this stage. But that still doesn’t make it easy.

Making sense of your workforce analytics data still requires effort. Finding clues, looking for patterns – making sense of what motivates people to leave their role. Correlation does not equal causation; but when the numbers line up, even the most experienced HR executives can find themselves second-guessing their decisions.

eqtble’s HR analytics software can make sense of the data, even at a glance.

Instead of just a wall of numbers, you get guidance: actionable insight into the root causes, early warnings of flight risk, and a visual representation of the whole organization.

We know what preventable attrition costs – which is why eqtble works so hard to reduce it.

With HR data in eqtble, you can:

  • Identify retention problems – before they develop

  • Find the root causes, through patterns and employee lifecycle data

  • Create, track, and achieve retention goals

  • Use your data to create tailored employee retention programs

But even if 75% of employees could be retained with data and meaningful retention schemes, there’s the 25% left over. And it can still be a positive experience for employees and the company at large.


Employees leaving is an inevitability. Outside of the preventable, employees leave for complex, personal reasons. Regardless of the reasons – even if they’re positive – you’re more likely to get the most honest, useful feedback during their exit interview.

This data is some of the best you’ll get throughout the whole employee lifecycle, so don’t overlook it: exit interviews can lead to valuable, candid insight to your processes. 

Use outgoing employee interviews to understand why people leave your company, and feed this back into the development and retention phases. Maintain, wherever possible, a positive relationship with former team members; lose an employee, but keep a brand ambassador. Show your team that even at the end, you’re still listening.

It’ll go a long way, especially in the age of apps like Glassdoor. In the end, reputations can only be managed at the source. You’ll never win everyone over – but you can at least make sure your house is in order, and that you’ve done all you can to make your company a great place to work.

Convert HR data into action

Collecting HR data is just the beginning. To make an impact, you need goals – at each stage of the employee lifecycle.

See every stage of the employee lifecycle in your organization

Know your people. Predict their next move. Give them what they need to thrive – with actionable goals at every stage of their development. eqtble is the most powerful way to visualize and understand the employee lifecycle in your company. Want to know more? Request early access to our platform!