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How the talent life cycle has shifted over the years

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read
How The Talent Lifecycle Has Shifted Over The Years

The life cycle of talent management has undergone dramatic changes in recent years, resulting in leaders having to completely redesign processes and practices that have been ingrained for years.

What is the talent life cycle, you may be asking? Well, there are a lot of components at play, but a general example of this was outlined by the Academy to Innovate HR:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Onboarding
  3. Engagement
  4. Learning and development
  5. Offboarding and outreach

Recent developments in the workforce have resulted in a shifting of processes. One of the major influences, according to Avature’s founder and chief executive, Dimitri Boylan, is the emergence of younger generations in the workforce.


“The talent life cycle is changing a lot. It always changes as the generations change. So, the expectations of employees have changed a lot over the last 15 years. The Millennials came in with an expectation for employment that was different [from] the Boomers. The newest generation is coming in with a completely different expectation,” Boylan said.

“For example, the latest generation is coming in with the expectation that they don’t really need to show up. And that’s kind of new. The talent life cycles inside companies are a little too rigid for the changes that we see occurring. And redesigning that talent life cycle requires a level of agility inside the organisation that for a lot of organisations, it’s really not there. They’re not really prepared to redesign the talent life cycle.

The overtaking of generations is just one of the changes affecting how workplaces operate. Another is the breaking down of borders, with globalisation resulting in many companies operating across the world.

“Globalisation has grown at an unprecedented pace,” an Investopedia article said. “With public policy changes and communications technology innovations cited as the two main driving factors.”

This has forced businesses to rethink the talent life cycle. With many organisations needing to manage talent from afar, processes have shifted dramatically.

“It’s challenging for companies that work across many different countries. A lot of our customers are large multinationals, and changing the talent life cycle involves changing it in many different cultures around the world. So, you find that in some places, that change is easy, and in some places, that change is very difficult,” Boylan said.

The advancement of tech is another significant influencer: “I don’t think that, today, as a mid to senior manager or anything above, you can really be successful in your company without a pretty good understanding of how technology works and how you have to apply technology,” Boylan said.

“You don’t want to get stuck on old technology as a professional today because so much of what you do happens in that technical realm. Twenty years ago, if you were on 15-year-old technology, it was OK. A lot of other people were too. Five years from now, if you’re on 20-year-old technology, you’re going to be at a really big disadvantage.”

The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace is a consequence of technological advancement. Leaders are now leveraging AI across all parts of the talent life cycle, making processes easier. While it may streamline things, there still needs to be an understanding, causing a need to alter practices.

Boylan said: “There’s going to be a lot of AI in HR … When you get into the realm of HR and you imagine that the artificial intelligence can be potentially making decisions about who gets a job or keeps a job, you’re suddenly in a really sensitive domain.”

“It’s going to remain a sensitive area because people are going to struggle with an understanding of AI for years to come … It’s interesting because the HR organisation has to wade into these waters. They really can’t sit this one out. So, the question is how they do it and where do they deploy AI?”

Seeing how the workforce evolves and adapts to new challenges and opportunities is interesting. While there is certainly significant benefits to be taken advantage of, it must be approached with care, as traditional processes and practices are likely to be altered.



Onboarding is the process of integrating new hires into the company, guiding them through the offer and acceptance stages, induction, and activities including payroll, tax and superannuation compliance, as well as other basic training. Companies with efficient onboarding processes benefit from new workers integrating seamlessly into the workforce and spending less time on administrative tasks.


The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.


Training is the process of enhancing a worker's knowledge and abilities to do a certain profession. It aims to enhance trainees' work behaviour and performance on the job.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.