Your Employee of the Month Just Left – Now what?

If you’ve never experienced the departure of a key employee, you’re more fortunate than most. No matter how much time one spends planning a smooth post-departure transition, it’s never enough, and almost invariably there’s a train wreck of some sort.

Although you can’t stop them from leaving, there is an effective way to plan the transition. No matter how refined the plan is, there will be a tumultuous period – but it is possible to limit the damage and potentially lost productivity.

The moment a leader receives two weeks’ notice, one’s recruiting partner should immediately identify qualified passive candidates. Working with an existing candidate pool allows for a recruiter to quickly and efficiently find the right candidate to fill the position. The more quickly a replacement is identified, the greater the chance is of limiting the inevitable disruption caused by this process.

While it’s sometimes tempting to shift a current employee into the now-vacant role, this often looks better on paper than in reality. It may save a few weeks training costs, but it’s a short-sighted strategy. It’s better to invest the resources to find an ideal and qualified candidate than to bring someone into the position who doesn’t have the proper credentials or training – even if they are more familiar with the company.

While it is rare, if the hiring is completed and the replacement is able to start while the current employee is still working, make sure the two spend as much time together as possible. Ensure that the new employee understands the incumbent’s job as thoroughly as possible and has the time to ask questions. While more formal training will need to take place, the more time these two people can spend together, the easier the transition may be.

If the two employees do not have the opportunity to work and train together, be sure that management and other team members clearly know the role of the leaving employee and can aid in transitioning the new employee into the role.

While a departure interrupts the flow of business and information, it is unfortunately inevitable. A completely seamless transition is virtually impossible, but with a proper staffing plan in place, it can be easier. A strong plan includes knowing your passive candidate pool and which candidates are a good fit for the position. If this isn’t an option, make sure an existing job description, outlining the exact needs for the position, is ready to go and your recruiting partner can jump right into finding the best candidate for the opportunity.

Finally, one of the most common mistakes employers make is hiring a candidate with the right qualifications but the wrong mindset.  At CultureFit, we’re about more than just the qualifications. We place a major emphasis on long-term evaluation and how the overall vision of the candidate matches that of the business. We understand the importance in business culture, and how it affects morale and productivity.

That’s why we retain a network of candidates with diverse skillsets and varying views – to match your business with the best possible candidate. Contact us to today for a consultation or a review of your retention plan to see how we can help your business.