One of the first things that usually happens when someone resigns is to immediately start 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 7 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 (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!

This article first appeared in Smart Company. To view the article click here

Author: Sel Watts
Sel, the Founder of wattsnext Group, is a visionary and inspiring business leader. With a deep passion for small to medium business (SMB), Sel brings gutsy honesty and commercial realism to the table. A true entrepreneur, Sel is committed to disrupting the way business owners utilise HR and increase performance and engagement. She is also curious about technology and the future of work, using her business as an experimental lab of forward-thinking methodologies to help her clients achieve peak performance. Sel is also the Co-Founder of multiple businesses and spends time coaching other business owners, keeping it real with her vast tactical experience of growing businesses. She also has a pretty interesting life story which you can check out at her personal website