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When a Team Member Resigns It’s Like Unleashing a Tasmanian Devil

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When a Team Member Resigns It's Like Unleashing a Tasmanian Devil

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We’ve all been there, a team member resigns. We go into a state of panic. It’s as if we’re looking out into the street and someone has unleashed a Tasmanian Devil. You know that cute cartoon character from when you were a kid. Cute until he starts spinning and destroying everything around him. At first you’re happy for the team member, they are off to a new adventure. Then like a light switch it turns into complete chaos.

How are we going to back fill? Who’s going to write the job ad? What’s their last day? The questions seem endless.

A long time ago I was looking for an assistant manager. We were in a crunch staff levels were already low and this right before busy season. After an initial review of resumes head office encouraged me to get the position filled. The Tasmanian Devil was loose and it was my job to get it contained. But my concern was getting the right person.

My boss, the Regional Manager approached me about a referral from a team member. This was a friend of a team member. They encouraged me to reach out and hire them if they can start right away. This is the equivalent trying to bribe a Tasmanian Devil with a deep-fried Snickers bar hoping that it stops their reign of terror. This is a mismatch. Sure, the Tasmanian Devil might eat the Snickers bar but it certainly wouldn’t slow it down. Hiring the first employee referral would be easy and reactionary.

I was hesitant to this. After all, hiring someone just because they are a referral, and for no other reason, can be disastrous.

I did reach out to the person and they were very approachable and eager. I felt a bit reserved about the hiring so held off and waiting for applications to come in. Head office and the regional manager were standing on the sidelines panicking because from their perspective, a Tasmanian Devil was loose and we had a solution. I had to consider longevity, reliability and more. They did too, but if it didn’t work out, it would have been added stress on everyone.

I hired someone but not the person who was referred. They worked out, they were a team player and was flexible to help out whenever needed.

We solved the Tasmanian Devil mania by selecting the right candidate in the right amount of time. Not by rushing to just contain them.

Holding out was the right decision in this case. Five weeks later the person who was referred moved out of town.  If we had hired quickly, using that deep fried Snickers Bar, it would have been a waste of time and resources. After training and onboarding we would have in to the busy season. When they quit to move out of town the Tasmanian Devil would be back to wreak havoc. It was worth the wait.

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