Have you ever wondered whether every employee you recruit goes through a similar experience within your organization?
First and foremost is the hiring process. It starts when the need for new talent arises. The demand is attributed to two reasons; when a project requires a new skill set not available in the talent pool, or when an existing employee decides to leave the organization.
It’s needless to say that acquiring the right talent with a perfect blend of soft and technical skills is arduous. Besides, ensuring smooth onboarding and finding suitable projects for the new hire is equally important.
LinkedIn’s 2017 global survey reported that hiring a person may take anywhere from a few days to four months.
After this comes constant performance checks and reviews.
Resource lifecycle begins when employees join an organization and ends when they either decide to quit or retire.
Managing this lifecycle effectively helps managers regulate and maintain the resource health index and enhance overall efficiency.
Read this blog to find out more about resource lifecycle and its importance.
1. What is Resource Lifecycle?
The sequential stages of development that a resource goes through in an organization, right from onboarding to their termination, is known as resource lifecycle. There are multiple stages to the lifecycle, defining the resource’s tenure at the company.
As stated earlier, the lifecycle begins when the demand for a resource is created, and the company starts hiring talent from external channels to fulfill this demand. Then it goes onto the resource acquisition process, which encompasses interviews and tests to determine if the person is suitable for the role.
Once the resource gets selected, the onboarding and training processes begin. After that, they will get assigned to projects that match their skill sets. Next, they perform the tasks assigned and undergo performance reviews. Post reviews, a few resources can be allocated to relevant training, if required. The cycle of tasks and performance reviews continues until it is time for the resource to leave the organization.
The resource lifecycle ends when the resource finally leaves the company for different reasons, be it searching for a newer opportunity or retirement, or in some cases, planned attrition.
Now that you’ve gone through the definition, read on to find out about its many benefits.
2. What Are the Benefits of Managing a Resource Lifecycle?
By managing a lifecycle, you can zero in on talented individuals who can fill the skill gaps within your organization. Then it enables you to follow a definite onboarding process which further enhances the employee experience.
After onboarding and training, the recruits are assigned to suitable projects. Thus, resource managers can catalyze timely project execution by allocating the right resources to the right projects. In addition, the resource lifecycle also enables you to keep an eye out for employees’ productivity and utilization levels.
Managers can deploy a resource management tool to procure real-time KPI reports. For instance, the utilization reports provide a clear outline of the employee’s productivity level. Leveraging this data, managers can ensure all the resources are being optimally utilized. If not, they can implement necessary corrective measures.
The next step is conducting regular performance reviews and understanding the skills gap, if any. Thus, training and upskilling these resources can enable you to create a future-ready workforce who are well-equipped to handle newer endeavors.
The various training modules and IDPs also enable the resources to participate in career growth opportunities while ensuring organizational success. Soon, employees become efficient, and productivity levels surge. This systematic and methodical approach enables the organization to provide an enhanced employee experience for all.
Furthermore, following a step-by-step approach to managing the resources ensures that you do not miss any crucial developmental stage. By facilitating you to tap into their maximum potential, the resource lifecycle helps improve workplace efficiency and guarantees successful project delivery.
These are some of the benefits you can avail of in managing a resource lifecycle. So now, let’s look at the stages of a resource lifecycle.
3. What Are the Stages in a Resource’s Lifecycle?
As discussed before, there are multiple stages in a resource’s tenure at an organization, forming the resource lifecycle. Below is the detailed description of each of the stages:
I. Creating and Consolidating Demand for a Specific Skillset
When the demand for a new skill set is created for an upcoming project, the resource manager looks across the existing talent pool to fulfill the requirement. If the resources don’t possess the requisite competencies, the resource manager will coordinate with the HR manager to initiate the hiring process.
Depending on the demand of work and the pipeline projects, the company hires permanent or part-time workers. Hiring a contingent workforce is beneficial for short-term requirements since it keeps the overhead costs in check.
II. Streamlining the Resource Acquisition Process
The HR professionals start posting the job vacancy alongside a detailed description of roles and responsibilities on the company website/job portals. Once the applications start coming in, they are filtered using either an application tracking system or manually. The HRs then begin conducting interviews for the selected individuals.
The interviews are based upon the job role, the organizational demands, and its long-term vision. Soft skill interviews are also conducted to understand the emotional intelligence of the selected candidates. In addition, it helps them gauge if the person will be a right fit for the company’s work culture and values. Finally, the individuals who pass the tests and interviews are given the offer letter.
III. Onboarding the Resources and Getting Them Ready
Once the candidates accept the offer, the onboarding process begins. They undergo systematic orientation and extensive training before they are assigned to projects. The orientation program encapsulates a run-through of the work policies, the code of conduct, and compliance. The training modules are modified to suit each job role. It also ensures that employees get hands-on experience and are evaluated before they start with their new assignments.
During the onboarding, the concerned authority gives the new joiners a walk-through of the firm’s tech inventory; they set up their official accounts and provide the new work credentials. Onboarding processes will also include an in-person or virtual meeting with the upper management to give new employees further clarity on their expectations. In addition, an ice breaker session can be organized to give the new employees a sense of belonging and make them feel connected to the team. A seamless onboarding process minimizes the bench time of a new employee, and they can get assigned to projects faster.
Research from Glassdoor states that 91% of employees who went through an effective onboarding felt strongly connected to their work.
IV. Assigning the Right Resources to the Right Projects
The individual has now been successfully onboarded and is ready to get assigned to projects and work on them. The resource manager will look at the resource requests or project vacancies, identify the positions that align with the resources’ skillset, and allocate accordingly. Moreover, if a critical resource needs to be out-rotated to another project, the new joiner can undergo shadowing to backfill the vacant position.
When the resource allocation is done right, employees are more productive as their personnel aligns with the demand. Thus, they can also accomplish the tasks faster or on time without compromising the quality. Before allocating the tasks, managers also have to look at the availability of resources to ensure that they are not getting over or underutilized. Optimal allocation of resources maintains the motivation levels of the workforce and prevents burnout.
V. Complete Delivery Requirements as per the Role
Once the resources are allocated to the projects, the resources have to accomplish the tasks as per the clients’ or stakeholders’ expectations. They have to ensure that they are completing the assignments on time while maintaining quality standards. Therefore, the project managers explain the roles and responsibilities before the project’s onset and monitor their performance during its course.
To keep an eye on the project timeline and resource productivity, managers can leverage real-time utilization reports. When resources spend more time on their tasks, managers can take feedback and course-correct ahead of time. The forecast versus actual data can also be used to gauge the difference between your planned and actual values. For example, if the project manager sees that actual costs are going above the planned budget, they can take measures in time and control the project costs.
VI. Performance Review and Individual Development Program (IDP)
After completing the appointed tasks, the employees are up for a performance review. The people managers conduct these performance reviews after collecting feedback on the employees from their respective project managers. During the reviews, every employee goes through 1:1 feedback where the managers explain the setbacks and achievements. They also try to understand the employee’s aspirations and, if needed, assign them to Individual Development Programs (IDP).
The L&D departments design these programs to upskill the employees and make them future-ready to take on advanced projects. They empower resources to gain further promotions, pay rises and move them forward in their career paths. They could also be assigned to Performance Improvement Plans (PIP) if they don’t meet the company’s expectations. Overall, this cycle of training and delivering projects continues until the employee leaves the company.
VII. Exercising a Smooth Exit Process
There are multiple reasons why an employee leaves a company – retirement age, better remuneration elsewhere, work stress, etc. There can be situations when a company has to lay off employees as well due to unavoidable circumstances. Regardless, a seamless exit process means that the company and the employee end things amicably.
Furthermore, it is essential to conduct an exit interview when the employee is leaving the company. The discussion will give managers an insight into the company’s practices and help them understand if the loopholes in the process contribute to the turnover. It facilitates an opportunity for the organization to improve these practices and enhance employee retention and engagement.
Thus, as the employee’s time at the organization comes to an end, so does the resource’s life cycle. To efficiently manage the resource’s lifecycle, implementing a resource management tool will prove beneficial. Let’s see how.
4. How Can a Resource Management Tool Help You Manage the Resource Lifecycle?
The resource management software entails all the necessary features needed for efficiently managing resources throughout their lifecycle. Right from the beginning, project managers can raise the request for a resource with the help of the tool. The resource managers then look for the skillset using advanced filters. When they do not find suitable talent or if there are skill gaps, they either upskill the existing workforce or contact the HR department to hire a new resource.
The company can then hire a permanent or a contingent workforce to fulfill the demand. Furthermore, the tool enables multi-dimensional resource scheduling that allows managers to book the resources using drag and drop seamlessly. They can split the booking in case it exceeds the employees’ capacity and prevent over utilization.
Managers also get a birds’ eye view of resources and the assigned projects. If the resource is working on non-billable or admin activities, they can mobilize them to be billable or strategic work and maximize their productive utilization.
In addition, managers can ensure effective bench management using project vacancy and bench reports. To minimize bench time, they can foresee the ramp-down activities and allocate the resources to future projects in advance. Also, they can compare the project vacancy with the people on the bench and assign work if it aligns with their skill set, or they can upskill the benched employees to take on future work.
Performance reviews can also be conducted using precise reports that are procured from the software. The data-driven reports provide accurate insights into the resource metrics or KPIs, which assists in making better decisions.
In a nutshell, the resources’ lifecycle can be regulated efficiently with the tool’s advanced features and help you enhance productivity, thereby improving employee experience.
5. Conclusion – Practical Tips to Make the Resource Lifecycle More Efficient
As defined earlier, resource lifecycle is a broad term that considers the entire time a resource spends in an organization. Here are a few helpful tips that make managing the resource simpler.
- Hire resources based on the upcoming projects and demand
- Conduct unbiased interviews and ensure the individual is a right fit
- Make the onboarding processes comfortable for the new joiners
- Assign tasks to the resources only after adequate training and skilling
- Ensure project deadlines are never missed
- Focus on optimum utilization of resources, do not overbook them
- Encourage 1:1 feedback
- Provide ample opportunities for the resources to upskill themselves
- Maintain performance reviews to gauge productivity levels
- Keep the exit process simple and positive for everyone