Recruitment & Hiring

It’s time your business stopped replacing people

Sue-Ellen Watts /

One of the first things that usually happens when someone resigns is the business immediately starts looking for their replacement.

If all is well, we ask the departing person to help with the recruitment and then conduct the handover, hoping that the change is as smooth as possible with minimal impact on the business.

However, this is not the best approach to ensuring that we are constantly improving our businesses. No one likes receiving a resignation, however, this is actually the perfect time to take a moment to look at your team and workflow and see what has changed since you last recruited for this role.

Before you jump into replacing the person moving on, ask yourself these seven questions:

1. How is the business/department different to when you last recruited this role?
2. How is the team different to when you last recruited this role? For example, what skills do you now have in the team that you didn’t have before or vice versa?
3. What does the current incumbent spend more than 50% of their time on now?
4. What skills did the current incumbent not have that you now need?
5. What is happening in the business in the next 12 months that you will need this role to undertake?
6. Do you still need this role or could the relevant work be spread amongst the current team and resources be invested elsewhere?
7. Could you utilise the gig economy and break down the role to use freelancers for specifics tasks?

As you can see, I focus on the role, not the person in the role. We rarely succeed in replacing people because no one is the same, with the same experience. We need to be looking at the roles within our business and then find the best way for the task within the roles to be completed effectively.

Next time you receive a resignation please stop and assess what you actually need right now. I guarantee that it is highly likely that the role you are recruiting for is different to last time you looked!

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Sue-Ellen Watts

Sue-Ellen Watts is the founder of wattsnext, specialists delivering relevant HR for the modern world to SMEs across the globe.

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  • helma Parkin

    Ask how many are using Social media or Ebay instead of doing the bosses work????