What to Do When a Top Employee Leaves

When a great employee gives you their two weeks’ notice, panic can immediately set in. Not only are you losing a great person, but you now must find a great replacement. In order to manage workload, find a qualified candidate and fill the role as fast as possible, you must tackle the challenge immediately.

Don’t Panic

There are likely employees on your team you feel are irreplaceable, but there is someone out there who can do just as well – if not better. Hiring a new employee is a lot of work, but it is also an opportunity to inject new life into a team. Instead of dwelling on the loss, focus on the possibilities.

Tell the Team

Don’t wait a week to tell the team someone gave their notice. Odds are, the employee who is quitting will tell people immediately and they will begin to panic about the aftermath. Make the announcement, congratulate the employee on their new opportunity and thank them for all of their hard work. Then, assure the team you’re working on a plan for the transition. This shows the existing team you value your employees and are committed to transparency.

Gather the Necessary Information

Odds are slim you’ll find someone suitable in two weeks, so it is imperative to have the exiting employee transfer as much knowledge as possible before their last day. Schedule time as soon as possible to:

  • Review their current job description and update it to add/remove any tasks or responsibilities that have changed;
  • List the top three projects or tasks that will need attention once the employee leaves; and
  • Provide any background information on outstanding projects and tasks.

Then, have the employee outline their daily tasks in logical, easy-to-follow steps. Print a copy and store a copy on the company server. They should also gather all critical files/contacts/information for their existing projects and ensure they are easily accessible. Begin distributing tasks among your remaining staff so critical work is covered until you find a replacement.

Contact a Recruiter

Two weeks is almost never enough time for busy managers to find a suitable replacement for a top employee, but putting off recruitment only makes things more challenging. Professional recruiters speed up the hiring process and increase the chances of finding a strong candidate, quickly. As soon as an employee gives notice, reach out to a top recruiter and start the process. The sooner you get a recruiter on the case, the better. If you are ready to connect with top talent quickly, the recruiters at Morris Bixby are ready to help. Our proven processes will instantly shorten your time to hire while improving the quality of your hires. Contact us today to get started.


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