What to do when an employee hands in their notice

When a valued employee hands in their notice, it’s easy to feel anxious for what happens next. Here we discuss how employers should deal with employee departure, ensuring a smooth offboarding process, and an effective re-hiring strategy.

Can I stop my employee from quitting?

Once an employee hands in their notice, you have no right to pressure them to stay with your business. You can, however, take the opportunity to learn the facts behind their departure, and potentially make a counter-offer for a renewed role with your company.

The first thing to establish is their reason for leaving, be this salary, working environment, or employment benefits. By discussing these with the departing employee, you may be able to counter their new offer with an offer of your own.

From this point, it is up to the employee to make their own choice. No matter which way their decision falls, it is crucial that you offer your support; maintaining a relationship with strong talent is always preferable.

Agree on a final working day

One of the first things to establish when your employee hands in their notice is their final working day. This gives you the opportunity to arrange any handovers, recruitment campaigns, and HR procedures necessary, while also providing your employee with a clear off-boarding time frame. 

Depending on the worker’s employment contract, they may or may not be obliged to work a notice period before leaving your company. It is up to you whether you hold them to this statutory period, but doing so can help to provide a smooth transition in sourcing their replacement. 

Arrange an exit interview – improve employee retention

Exit interviews are a vital tool in establishing the reasons for employees leaving your company. This can aid you in the creation of a counter offer, but may also highlight factors of your employee value proposition (EVP) that you may adapt to prevent similar departures in the future.

Simply put, if there are clear factors influencing an employee’s departure from your business, resolving these is key to assuring future staff retention.

Hire a replacement: attract the best talent to your business

Depending on the departing employee’s role, it may be necessary to start the replacement process immediately. In order to ensure the best possible replacement, it is crucial to approach the campaign with a strong hiring strategy.

Utilise recruitment technology 

By utilising recruitment technology, such as applicant tracking software (ATS), you can focus your efforts on attracting and hiring the strongest talent in your sector. An ATS helps to establish a smooth workflow for your hiring managers, allowing intuitive candidate management/ranking, and frequent contact with the strongest applicants. 

In summary

It is never easy when a valued employee hands in their notice. However, by approaching their departure in the right way, you can ensure both a smooth off-boarding process, and a strategic replacement hiring campaign. 

By arranging an exit interview with the employee, you can assess their reasons for leaving your company, and adapt your HR strategy to prevent similar departures in the future.

Utilising recruitment software, such as an applicant tracking system (ATS), can help you attract the strongest replacement in your subsequent hiring campaign. 

Whatever your employee’s reason for leaving, it is crucial to support them in their decision; keeping strong talent in your network is always beneficial.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.