How to Tell If One of Your Employees Is Interviewing For Another Job

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Oct 23, 2014

A few weeks back, HR master Kris Dunn, fellow TLNT blogger Laurie Ruettimann and I did a series for SumTotal called HR Hangouts.

The concept was to get on a Google Hangout for 20 minutes and just talk about real HR things — basically, water cooler conversations for the modern world.

It was quick and easy. You can see the actual video below (it’s about 20 minutes, if you have the time).

Signs employees are looking to leave

We called this one the FOT Turnover Predictor, which was basically what things do your employees begin to do to start showing you they are getting ready to turnover?

We all had different ones, but here are some of my favorites:

  1. Parking lot calls — It doesn’t haven’t to be the parking lot, it can be a back stairwell, out a back door at the picnic table behind your building, etc. Basically, when an employee feels the “need” to start taking calls away from their normal work area, for privacy, something is going on! Usually, that something, is another job. As an HR Pro I always address it right away, because it’s obvious and everyone sees you in your car for an hour talking during your lunch, when you usually sit at your desk and check Facebook.
  2. Banana Republic wardrobe update“Hey look, Tim has skinny jeans!” Wait, isn’t Tim like 40? No, Tim isn’t going through a mid-life crisis; Tim is interviewing! Work clothes are like a uniform. No one really wants to spend a ton of money on a uniform, so you tend to wear work clothes way too long. When you see your employees doing some major updates to their “uniform” there’s a reason – newly divorced, having an affair, interviewing.
  3. Crisp white button-down shirt, dark dress slacks — No one normally wears just black or navy dress slacks and a white, freshly pressed dress shirt to work. Want to know why? It’s a jacket and tie away from being an interview suit! The only other time you see this is when someone will be attending a funeral that day. So, finding out who is interviewing is usually pretty easy.
  4. Professional LinkedIn updated headshot — You know we all get emails when our LinkedIn connections do updates to their profile, right? “Oh look, Tim just updated his LinkedIn profile photo from the one of him at the tailgate party to one of him with a jacket and tie that looks like it was taken in his dining room with a sheet hanging on the wall…”
  5. New, more professional personal email address — Hey everyone! I just wanted to inform you I will now be using timsackett@gmail instead of RecruitingGod@gmail. Thanks!

Yes, everyone in the office knows

It’s funny how employees really think they are being covert about looking for a new job, when usually everyone in the office knows.

Our worlds are so interconnected now that it becomes really difficult to try to go through a traditional job search, when you already have a job, without anyone knowing you’re doing it.

This was originally published on The Tim Sackett Project.

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