When a staff member’s employment term comes to an end, whether it be voluntarily or not, it leaves a space in the workforce that must be filled. Employees are generally good about picking up the slack and taking on extra responsibilities while their organization searches for a replacement, but this can hinder the speed at which initiatives are completed and can take staff members away from their primary objectives. To limit the impact of losing a valuable member of staff, the process of replacing an employee should be a priority for executives looking to continue the momentum and achieve organizational goals.
Unfortunately, finding a like-for-like replacement is much easier said than done, and the process of replacing an employee can be both long and frustrating. With that said, it’s crucial that the process isn’t rushed and that the replacement is willing to dive right in. Moving forward with the wrong candidate can potentially throw off the team’s dynamic and negatively impact the organization’s culture. Here are a few tips to consider when replacing an employee.
Include Specific Job Titles and Descriptions
When creating a job listing for the recently vacant position, it’s important to include all relevant information pertaining to the open role. Slightly altering a previous template won’t cut it when trying to replace a valuable member of staff. Obviously, the job title must reflect the position being hired for, but more importantly, the job description itself must include every aspect of the role and all responsibilities that the previous employee held. This ensures that potential candidates know exactly what they’re applying for and can hit the ground running if selected.
Posting jobs to the right job sites is also a great way to ensure that the proper applicants are finding the position. Internal career sites are important, but posting to sites like Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder are what drive traffic to those pages. Luckily, modern HR recruiting software is designed to automatically post open positions to popular career sites in a matter of seconds.
Evaluate Cultural Fit
Losing key staff members can seriously disrupt organizational culture. It’s important that executives take this into consideration when looking for a replacement. Fortunately, there are a few ways to determine if a candidate would be a good cultural fit for the organization. Asking off-the-wall, fun questions during the interview process can reveal if the candidate has a creative side and is more than just another employee sitting behind a desk.
With that said, an interview can only reveal so much about a candidate. Emailing a candidate a personality test is a great way to find out more about their work style and tendencies outside of the interview. Once the results are in, a more detailed and evidence-based decision can be made on if the candidate would make a positive cultural impact on the organization.
Assess Past Experiences
In an ideal world, there would be no learning curve for the new replacement once they assume their new role within the organization. Making sure that candidates have experience in a similar industry with a similar role is an obvious way to make sure the candidate will be comfortable with their new surroundings.
It’s also smart to make sure that candidates have experience with the software, programs, and tools that are being used within the organization. This will make transition into the role smooth and allow things to resume back to normal. Past experiences are one of the best ways to determine whether a candidate has what it takes to fill a hole within an organization.
Meet with the Team
When replacing a key employee, it’s likely that many members within the organization will be impacted by the replacement. With that said, it’s important that executives and candidates meet with the team before any final decisions have been made. Executives must meet to understand what characteristic and attributes to look for in the replacement. Asking questions like, “What did you like best about the former employee?” or, “What should I look for in the replacement?” are good ways to receive feedback from current staff members.
If this is a role that requires more than one interview, it is also a good idea to introduce the candidate to the team that the new hire would be working with after the initial meeting. Not only will this ease the mind of the team once they meet the possible replacement, but it was also give the candidate an idea of who’d they would be working with before they move forward in the interview process.
Replacing an employee is a tough process, with many things to consider as executives look through applications and interview candidates. The process of replacing an employee should start almost immediately, but should not be rushed. Hiring the wrong replacement could result in multiple unwanted consequences and could further hinder the organization’s momentum. Taking all of the candidate’s information into account and meeting with current employees that would be impacted by the replacement will increase the chances of finding the right employee replacement.