You just learned that a long time employee will be leaving the team. You know you need to find someone to take her place—and soon. You also know that this a marvelous opportunity to reflect on what you truly need.
On the occasion of a potential new hire, this question deserves to be approached at two levels. First, focus on the individual who will be moving on:
- What has gone well?
- What do you need to be sure will continue?
- What areas of frustration or tension have you experienced and how has the incumbent contributed to those?
In other, words, a new person with a different style and different skills will change the mode and effectiveness of this role. In the best case scenario, what would you really like to see in the new hire?
Secondly, this may be an opportune moment to review your organizational chart and to refresh specific job descriptions:
- When was the position description for the anticipated opening designed?
- Have there been significant changes in the field or in your organization that call for adjustment in the expectations of that position?
- If so, what needs to be done to present a clear understanding of the responsibilities and requisite skills of the empty post?
- How can making these adjustments not only clarify the parameters of the search but strengthen your organization in other ways?
The search to replace a key member of the team is a time of urgency. But it can also be an opportunity for reflection and adjustment. Take the time to do it carefully, and consider getting professional assistance if needed.