What is a good leaver and why is it important?

By GSR2R Admin | 14th November 2022

One thing to note is that change in your business will happen, and your recruiters will leave.

But what is a good leaver and why is it important?

While some people leaving can be a blessing, almost every resignation that is a shock to you will affect your business. This could be:

  1. internally, if they were part of your successful culture or
  2. your bottom line, if they were hitting or overachieving targets

The actual pain of losing a recruiter can last months, as the market is candidate short, and good recruiters are in high demand. Therefore, this can throw you into an emotional spin and leave you feeling bitter towards the recruiter leaving.

At GSR2R we hear horror stories all the time, of high achieving, well thought of recruiters, resigning. When their companies finally acknowledge that they are leaving, after several counter offers and many meetings, they turn from ‘we want you to stay’ to making their lives difficult when leaving.

Why does this happen?

The effect of a “bad leaver” is far more negative to the company, than it is to the recruiter leaving.

What happens when a recruiter leaves on a sour note?

  • They tell other people; it’s reported bad news spreads 12 x more than good
  • Your competitors hear an inflated side of the story
  • The leaver can affect your attraction of new recruiters (negative PR in the market and on social media)
  • It unsettles the culture of the current team
  • You have zero chance of the recruiter returning or referring you as a business
  • Their loyalty to you as a business stops that second which could affect a handover

What’s the impact of a recruiter who is a good leaver?

  • The recruiter feels valued for their time at the business and what they have achieved
  • Higher chance of them coming back to the business in the future
  • Will recommend fellow recruiters to work at your brand
  • Will talk highly of you and give positive PR to your competitors, clients, and candidates
  • Internal culture is embedded by seeing positive behaviour
  • Promotes staff retention as the brand is perceived bigger than the recruiter

Attract and retain

Recruiters leaving will happen and you have the choice to decide if you will make it a positive or unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, I hear about the unpleasant all too often.

If a member of your team has resigned or you are asking a recruiter to leave, leaving on a positive note matters.

I know of just one recruitment company that doesn’t counter offer at all. Because it is their company policy,  anyone that resigns will leave the business.

This promotes a positive culture internally and stops a recruiter from resigning on a whim or for a financial gain. Due to this policy, they retain their staff and over the years they have had a high percent of recruiters return to the business.

Having good leavers is good for your business, every time.

How to have good leavers?

Have a company policy around leavers

Have a policy that outlines what happens if someone resigns and stick to it. This would be helpful to the leaders in the business to have a process to follow. Because a high performing recruiter resigning on a Wednesday morning, can really throw businesses off their stride, triggering the negative reaction.

It could include:

1. Think before acting

Taking all the information down around why the recruiter is leaving, without reacting. This shows that your first thought is to listen and you want what’s best for the recruiter. Therefore, not just highlighting the pain it will cause you.

2. Counter offers given and a decision within 48 hours

Of course, sometimes you can solve the problem by listening and producing a counteroffer. The counteroffer can be around so many things, like change of desk, leadership, development not just money. Having a standard time in which you do this, and would like a decision by, creates a positive experience. Companies that counteroffer over a week or longer, can run the risk of losing the recruiter’s respect. As a result, it comes across like you are not listening, and the recruiter gets frustrated.

3. Communication

Open and honest communication is important. Giving over timelines, who will be involved, and what happens next, will build trust and a positive experience.

Pay commission

Most recruitment contracts state that if you leave a business, commission is either not paid or it’s at the company’s discursion. When a recruiter leaves, 99% of the time companies don’t pay commission for deals that have been invoiced. This is the biggest negative for a recruiter when leaving. Because they have done the work so why not be paid? Even if it’s not the full payment, a token on leaving will be a big part of creating a positive leaver.

Know when it’s time to let recruiters leave

When it’s time for them to leave and progress somewhere else, let them go. No recruiter likes handing their notice in. Regardless of whether they are totally in the wrong company and desperately unhappy. If they are not in the right company, being empathic and understanding will reward you with referrals and positive PR moving forward.

Celebrate their time with you

Having a leaving do or being able to say goodbye to their colleagues, maybe even clients and candidates, will make a positive impact on the recruiter’s departure from the business. I still hear of people being asked to leave the minute they resign or decline a counteroffer. This has the most negative effect on your internal culture. Because no one wants to hear that a team member has left, by email.

Final take-away

The truth is that recruiters will, at some point, leave your business. The takeaway for you is to take time to decide what a leaver’s experience is in your company. Because the positives highlight outweigh the negatives.

If you want to start working on your attraction or retention plans, we offer masterclasses to empower you to attract and retain your own talent.

Get in touch with GSR2R today to open a dialogue.

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