Attraction, recruitment, onboarding: how to attract top talent

The 7 Stages of the Employee Lifecycle
(Part 1)

The employee lifecycle refers to all the stages that employees pass through in an organization. It begins with presenting the company as an attractive employer on the job market in order to attract the attention of talented employees. It continues with recruitment and onboarding. In the first part of our series of articles "The 7 Stages of the Employee Lifecycle", you can find out what is important in these first three stages of the employee lifecycle.

The 7 Stages of the
Employee Lifecycle

The "Employee Lifecycle" is very important, especially for the People Team, to understand, evaluate and optimize the relationship between individual employees and the company, as well as their needs at the different stages. The Employee Lifecycle consists of seven stations:

  1. Attraction
  2. Recruiting
  3. Onboarding
  4. Development
  5. Retention
  6. Exit
  7. Alumni

Each station has its own requirements. The better and more attractively the individual stations are designed and interlinked, the more attractive the company appears - both to potential applicants and to current employees.

Station 1: Attraction 

The most important term when it comes to the first station of the employee lifecycle is: employer branding. Employer Branding. Today, it is no longer the case that many talented people are fighting for a single job in a particular company; it is usually the other way around: many employers are queuing up for top talent. It's a bit like applying for apartments in big cities. 

Companies have to have good reasons for an employee to decide to join then. And not only once the job candidates they are courting are already going back and forth about which employer they want to choose. It's best to do this before talents even get the idea of looking for a (new) job. 

One goal of your employer branding is to present your company as an ttractive employer brand. Ideally, your company should stand out from the competition in a particularly positive way. If you look around and think, "We make a much better impression than our competitors," you're on the right track.

Doch wie wirst du die Top Brand unter den Arbeitgebermarken? Indem du passende Kommunikationskanäle definierst und diese gezielt nutzt, um ein Bild von deinem Unternehmen nach außen zu zeichnen – und gleichzeitig authentische Einblicke nach innen zu gewähren. 

Here, pay attention to the transmission of values, mission and vision, as well as to the right approach, responsiveness, relevant content and coherent design. Ask yourself: What does my company have to offer talents? From basic offerings to compelling benefits that, at best, outshine what other companies have to offer. And another question: What does the top talent who are already with the company particularly appreciate about us?

Communication channels on which you can present yourself as an employer brand and come into contact with top talents:

  • your company website
  • Social media relevant to your target group, such as Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook 
  • Career networks such as LinkedIn, job and university fairs

Thoughtful employer branding not only radiates to the outside world and piques the interest of new talent. It also has a very important effect on your employees and contributes to staff retention. bei. 

Station 2: Recruitment bzw. Talent Acquisition

While attraction is still about a "general approach" and presentation to the outside world, recruitment is more concrete. The term Talent Acquisition is also used synonymously. 

Recruitment follows a plan, namely personnel planning.This means: You have to consider the type of talent and qualifications your company needs now and in the future. You match this with the qualifications of your current employees and the further training they may want to or are able to do. For all other skills and competencies that you need beyond that, you need to hire for the short, medium or long term. You should also keep in mind that reoccupations will occur due to internal fluctuation.

Scorecards are the basis for a well-structured recruiting process. Scorecards You then use the scorecards to conduct a specific search, design outstanding job advertisements, and distribute them through your communication channels and on job boards. This is the more "passive" part of recruiting. Active recruiting, called active sourcing, on the other hand is also very important nowadays, at least for key positions. With active sourcing, talents are proactively approached by yourself or via headhunters engaged by you. Another possibility is that prospective employees apply via employee recommendations (employee advocacy).Employee AdvocacyThese recommendations can be linked to incentives such as bonus payments for successful hiring and successful probationary period.

As soon as applications are received, the talent acquisition phase begins, which covers the entire process until an employee is hired:

  • Screening of applications
  • Job interviews
  • Trial days or recruitment tests
  • Offer or rejection
  • Employment contract

When recruiting, it is important to have a process that attracts the greatest possible diversity of qualified talent. The required skills should not be the only selection criterion, but also diversity, inclusion, and the corporate culture.

Station 3: Onboarding

Just because a top talent has signed the employment contract doesn't mean he or she will stay with the company. After all, the probationary period works both ways and is therefore also a test for new employees as to whether their expectations will be confirmed in reality, or whether they will take advantage of the opportunity to leave the company again without any complications.

A well-designed and functioning onboarding processonboarding process that integrates new employees into the new working environment in a friendly and appreciative manner is crucial in this direction. The onboarding process starts from the signing of the contract and ends at the end of the probationary period. and It includes orientation in the new company, training on work processes, and socialization with the whole team.

The Onboarding Phases:

Phase 1 | after signing the contract, before the 1st working day Enable new employees to get off to a smooth start, both administratively and in terms of communication.
Phase 2 | 1st working day and first half of the probationary periodMake sure that new employees have all the information and equipment they need so that a very good induction is possible and they can hit the ground running.

In these phases, you can easily see how new employees accept and deal with the challenges of a new task in a new environment.
Phase 3 | second half of the probationary period with conclusionIn this phase you can carry out an evaluation of the previous cooperation. Also solicit feedback on the recruiting process, as this will give you valuable first-hand feedback. Once the probationary period has been successfully completed, a new stage in the employee lifecycle begins for the new employee: development. Development

Onboarding good,
everything good?

Once the probationary period is over and both sides agree that working together is an excellent idea, it's still not time to sit back and relax. After all, the task now is to keep the employee, who was hired with a lot of commitment, time and effort, in the company. Other employers are always on the lookout for top talent and are not afraid to proactively "poach" it from their competitors. It is not for nothing that people talk about "headhunters"

It is therefore important to keep up the efforts to retain qualified employees in your own company. This is exactly what the second part of our article series "The 7 Stages of the Employee Lifecycle" is all about: Development & Retention: Staff retention for winners..


  • Attraction: Develop a great employer brand, invest in your brand awareness and actively search for candidates. The job market is highly competitive in many areas. Your goal: to stand out positively as an employer brand.

  • Recruitment: also called "Talent Acquisition". Means everything from the creation of scorecards, the review of application documents to the signing of an employment contract. Oriented toward short-, medium- and long-term personnel requirements planning and includes both traditional channels (e.g. job advertisements), active sourcing (proactive approach), and recommendations.
  • Onboarding: A well-designed onboarding process welcomes new employees, integrates them into the company and fully convinces them that they have made the right decision in their job choice. Onboarding begins when the contract is signed and ends at the end of the probationary period.



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