Smoothing out an employee’s exit spares your image

Good Work - Lisa Cefali
Good Work – Lisa Cefali

As organizations bring on new employees, a great deal of detail goes into the letter of offer to ensure compensation and benefits are compelling. The business leader and Human Resources also ensure that the onboarding process ensures a smooth transition into the organization.
After all, the effort and approach taken with a potential candidate is itself considered and evaluated before a final decision is made. And so it should be – word gets around! A great hire can be your best ambassador to help continually attract good people.
But what about when an employee leaves? Word still gets around. In the recruitment and executive search industry, we ask every candidate, “Why did you leave?”
If the choice was not the employee’s, the answers are quite interesting, colourful, and some, very entertaining. What is most evident is that the employee who has been given career transition services is by far the most complimentary when speaking of the organization he or she was recently released from.
I would guess that even the most colourful stories that I hear are pretty vanilla compared to what is shared with family, friends, and around the fire pit over a few drinks.
So why would an organization leave this part of its brand to chance? Yes, it’s your brand that is getting trashed while the employee walks out your door – and you should care!
It is not common practice to talk about a career transition package during the offer stage of bringing on an employee as a means of enticing the candidate to join the organization. However, does it not send a great message to the employee you are walking out and to the remaining employees that “this company treats its people well”?
Career transition packages are a minimal investment to ensure that the message of how you treat people is seen as favourable. All employees that come into the Legacy Bowes Group office for career transition services generally do have a certain profile. They are in shock, they are uncertain, and they are eager to begin the next phase of their career path.
We spend time with each individual over several sessions. We begin with supporting their current state and where they have come from. If it takes a while to allow them to see that the end of one career could be the beginning of an even better opportunity, then we take that time.
We assist with assessing strengths, interests and skillsets, and discovering where the possible opportunities for them may arise.
We assist in resume writing and seeking the best approach for finding the next opportunity. If it has been a while since the individual has interviewed, we assist them in making this experience comfortable. We arrange meetings with our recruiters so that the individual can be kept top of mind as we work with different clients.
We ensure the individual is well-equipped at the end of the sessions to be the best candidate for that next opportunity. He or she walks out of that last career transition session feeling empowered, very optimistic, and regardless of the situation that brought them to us, pretty positive about their former employer.
Why would you not want to ensure a positive message is said about your organization?
Again, the effort that goes into hiring people, then investing in them while they are employed with you, and finally the small investment of the career transition services, all speaks to your brand.
You have the opportunity to address a situation that is difficult with positive actions that acknowledge to the employees that their value is simply not a fit for the organization at this time, and not that you think less of them as individuals.
Such a message is a strong one that will be repeated once the individuals are on their way to another career path.
By not recognizing that your last discussion and final handshake with the employee you have walked out is still an investment in your brand (and can be seen as positive), you are losing a valuable opportunity to attract good people into the future.
Let us at Legacy Bowes assist you in completing this last piece which forms an integral part of your brand positioning, to a group that can be very vocal. People talk – ensure you have given them the best things to say!
Lisa Cefali is the vice president of executive search with Legacy Bowes where she uses her many years of competitive intelligence, recruitment and assessment of emotional intelligence experience to uncover those attributes that provide for the best organizational fit for her candidates and clients. Please feel free to contact her at lisa@legacybowes.com for your executive search and recruitment need.

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