What do you mean you want to leave? 4 ways to cope with a resignation


Nothing in this world stays the same. And now your star employee has handed you their notice.
At BTG Recruitment, there is hardly a day that goes by when we don’t speak to a client who has just been handed a letter of resignation. It happens to each and every manager in each and every business in the world and some day (maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but some day) it will happen to you.
Here are a few tips I have picked up on the way that can help you the next time it happens to you;
Don’t take it personally
You know that phrase “its not you, its me”?
It can be really easy to start blaming yourself when someone decides to leave your team, especially if they have been with you for a long time. Maybe you could have done something differently? Maybe they don’t like working for you? Use this as an opportunity to evaluate your management style and take on board any feedback but DON’T assume that it is all about you. People decide to move roles for all kinds of professional and personal reasons; often it is because they want a different role but sometimes they want to move closer to their family, start their own business or give up work all together. If you take the time to understand why someone has decided to leave you can take a balanced and focused view on what to do next without being plagued by self doubt.
Should you ask them to stay?
If you understand why someone has decided to leave and they haven’t found another role just yet you can consider ways you could encourage them to stay; ask around the company or other organisations in the group for other projects that they may be interested in. This means their expertise will stay in the business and you may be able to have them back one day.
However, be very wary about making a counter offer if they have already secured a new role. Very VERY few candidates stay in the long term having been bought back because (guess what?) they want to leave and one way or another they probably will. Once they have decided in their heart the time has come to part ways, it is unrealistic to expect them to stay committed to role or the company in the long term. 99% of the time a counter offer is a poor investment and not one I would generally advice.
Nothing you can do? Help them move onto their new role with advice and good references. You never know, they may be able to recommend a brilliant new recruit to you as their replacement. Keep in touch if you can, it’s a small market in the East Midlands and a reputation goes a long way; your existing team will hear nothing but good things from and love you all the more and you will find passionate and committed new candidates banging on your door to join your fantastic team.
There is no need to rush in…
Okay, so there is going to be a gap in your team. Before you start panicking and furiously typing up a Job Specification…..STOP! Do you need to recruit a replacement at all?
Spend some time looking over the skills and experience that you already have in the team. Consider whether the duties could be spread amongst the team without causing them added pressure or if an ambitious member of the team is ready to be promoted into the role. Not only will promoting internally make someone in the team very happy, offering progression within the team will be a boost when recruiting for entry levels roles in the future. If there is no one suitable in the department, use this as the golden opportunity it is to re-evaluate what you need from this role. A more senior candidate could assist with your technical duties and free up some of your precious time, whilst a junior candidate could learn with the role and help streamline the department’s budget.
And here’s an extra thought; do you already know the perfect replacement? The world can be a small place, think back over the last few years of your own career; who have you have worked with before who particularly impressed you? Why not give them a call? Speak to colleagues, fellow executives, even your friends. You never know who might have an absolute diamond in the shape of a relative, friend or colleague who is just perfect for your team.
Keep Calm and Carry On
You might just have to bite the bullet and start the recruitment process – I promise it won’t hurt! There are a hundred and one ways you can make the recruitment process easier for you (alas! another blog for another day), and guarantee yourself the best chance of finding the ideal candidate.
One of the best things you can do is to take fifteen minutes with your diary and put together your “Recruitment Plan”. Ask yourself; who do you need to liaise with in your organisation? Do you need to schedule a meeting/update with HR? When are you going to tell the team? When can you blank out an afternoon to interview candidates? When is your employee leaving? When will you need someone to start? If you are not sure how to put together your recruitment plan please feel fee to call me or a member of the team on 01159607000 and see how we can help.
Remember, if you are under pressure and the work is starting to stack up you can always think about bringing a temporary member of staff into the team. This will buy you some valuable time and may help you decide exactly what you need from your permanent recruit.
In truth, the day that your star employee handing their notice in wont be the best day you’ve ever had. But it needn’t cause you any sleepless nights. By assessing why someone is leaving, helping them on their way and taking a little time NOW to think about your options you can rest easy knowing that everything is in hand.

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