An unexpected resignation can send an organised business into mild turmoil. Business plans are usually created with expansion plans in place rather than retraction and losing a strong team member means you or your team are going to be spread more thinly until that person is replaced.
And the replacement is trained up…
We could talk about how to retain your staff, but that is a whole other blog, instead, let’s look at ways you can be prepared for the unexpected and get your recruitment gap filled, fast.
I’m sorry, I’m leaving….
The letter is on your desk, your employee has given their four weeks’ notice. At this point you need to understand why they are moving on, so you can ensure you learn from the experience.
- Did you recruit a high flyer who was always going to leave after a couple of years because your business doesn’t have the hierarchy in place to support their ambition?
- Did you miss any internal issues that led them to seek pastures new?
- Are your salaries lower than market rate?
Find out, digest and if the situation is irresolvable, move on and start the recruitment process.
Most employees are on 4 weeks’ notice, which means that unless you are lucky enough to identify someone not working, you are going to have an empty desk and no handover period between the previous employee and the new starter.
Recruitment can be a long-term headache, resolving it quickly requires pre-planning.
- Ensure you already have a strong relationship with a recruiter who knows your business well.
The best time to meet with prospective recruitment partners is when you don’t have a need to hire. Interview, take the time to understand how they go to market, take references on the business from their customers, agree terms (the cheapest doesn’t mean the best!), and have everything in place that as soon as you are ready you can pick up the phone and they will be ready to start work.
- Re-focus your day.
Once you have had a resignation, I would advise you re start your day and map in time to plan your new hire. Time is of the essence, so follow the simple rule of:
And create a plan for both recruitment and the role cover.
Things to include could be:
- Getting the current incumbent to write a detailed handover immediately, so you can look at it together.
- Allocating parts of their role out to other team members to start care taking immediately; so in client facing roles the client doesn’t feel a disservice.
- Plan time to recruit – a time to brief agencies, a day to interview for both first and second stage. Your recruiter will work well when tied to a specific timetable.
- Write a Job description.
This is probably not the time to write your Christmas list. We all want someone to hit the ground running but it is a candidate short market and it you want someone to be perfect, then you need to accept that is a headhunting campaign and the package you are offering needs to reflect that.
If not, look at your term expertise, where can you train someone, what skills can you give them if they join the party with the right attitude and motivation.
“Recruit for attitude and train for skill,”
- Call your recruiter, get them into the office as soon as possible. Ensure they act as a consultant and look at the job description with you.
Is it specific?
Is it realistic?
Does that person exist on the current market?
Is the salary in line?
Can they offer any suggestions based on their market knowledge?
- Set a timeline. A good recruiter shouldn’t be the fastest. Searching and benchmarking takes time. Having three CV’s on your desk by the end of the day may sound efficient but is 6-8 hours long enough to spend time talking, searching and interviewing?
For me, if I am going to write a cheque with lots of zeros on it, then I want the recruiter to search under every rock and look at every source before presenting me with a shortlist.
- Sit back and relax.
If you have done all the above, in theory you should be able carry on with the day job whilst your recruitment partner does their job. You have transferred the pressure to someone else whom you feel confident will succeed.
To discuss your hiring needs in Sales, Marketing, HR and Commercial Operations please call the office on 01628 817124. One of our consultants will be keen to discuss your business with you.