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Terminating an employee is never a pleasant experience. Even if your chemistry clashes with theirs or they’re toxic to your team, the actual act of firing someone – and the time leading up to it – are no fun. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s necessary. How do you prepare for such a transition while discreetly recruiting someone to replace an outgoing team member who has failed to make the grade?

Depending on the specific circumstances involved, your options include:

Terminate the Employee First

Is there really any reason to postpone the inevitable? You can still plan ahead to some extent, which will minimize the time frame during which a position remains open.

  • Get your recruiting firm started early, behind the scenes, to begin sourcing and preliminarily vetting candidates. Of course, all this happens outside the physical walls of your company.
  • Identify someone who can cover the essentials during the time the job is open. You should have a back-up strategy in place in case of an emergency anyway. If not, this is a good time to initiate cross training as part of your long-term talent management plan.

Lay the Cards on the Table Ahead of Time

Working with the right employee in the right culture, it can be effective to have a frank discussion with an individual, let them know that their job is not working out and mutually set a date for their departure.

  • Provide flexibility. If the individual is devastated and wants to leave right away, honor that request. Ideally, set a date in the not-too-distant future that gives both parties time to adjust and take action.
  • Be thoughtful and respectful. Conduct interviews and carry on related tasks at times when the employee to be replaced is out of the office.
  • A word of caution: This will not work with employees who may become hostile or those who could threaten the well-being of your workplace. If such things happen, be prepared to have the individual leave immediately.

Partner with a Recruitment Professional

Your recruiting firm is an essential partner at a difficult time like this. They are masters of discretion and can step in to help handle the myriad issues, situations and business hurdles that may need to be overcome as you transition from the old employee to the new. As you make the right decision and take the best possible follow-up action, an industry expert with the added benefit of objectivity and impartiality can be a godsend.

To learn more, contact the executive search consultants at BrainWorks today.


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