Hiring Hack: 3 Steps for Replacing a Rockstar

Every organization has them – rockstar employees. They may have unique skills, exceptional professional networks, or many years of institutional knowledge that help things run more efficiently and effectively.

Unfortunately, here’s another reality: at some point, these prized employees may find another opportunity, and leave their existing company with big shoes to fill. While that will be no easy task, employers can increase their chances by following these three steps as they begin the hiring process.

1) Identify key attributes. To start, hiring managers should give careful consideration to what made the departing employee successful. Was it their talent in a particular area(s), their contacts, or their experience in handling certain job duties? Perhaps it was their desire to learn, their ability to handle complex tasks, or their motivation to help others? Or, did they have people and/or time management skills that were off the charts? 

Whatever the case, once you identify what made this employee so valuable, you can map out a profile of the qualities your next great employee should possess.

2) Create a targeted hiring plan. As the hiring process gets underway, use those key characteristics as guideposts to finding a replacement. Rather than developing a standard job advertisement, tailor it to include the most important aspects being sought. Then, as candidates are brought in for interviews, steer questions around those areas. For instance, rather than simply asking about core skills, dig deeper into how a candidate has used and grown them. Ask how they’ve learned new functions and taken on new responsibilities. And this is critical: ask for specific examples. 

Armed with this information, you should learn quickly if a candidate has the aptitude to perform as needed. 

3) Plan for training. It’s not reasonable – nor fair – to expect any new employee to jump in and succeed right away. This is particularly true when someone replaces a rockstar. Not only do they need time to get up to speed, they also need training. Consider it a necessary investment, not only in your newest worker, but also for the success of your team. As the new employee begins to gain traction in their role, the entire organization stands to benefit.

There is lots of movement in the job market these days, making it more likely than ever that top employees will find new career opportunities elsewhere. Is your company ready to face that inevitability? Are you dealing with that situation now? The experts at Alaant have the knowledge and experience to help your organization through the challenge. Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Tom Schin Director, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services for Alaant Workforce Solutions

Tom SchinDirector, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services

When he’s not working, Tom is an avid board game enthusiast, from Catan to Canasta, who makes sure game night is fun for everyone (even though they’ll probably lose). He’s also fond of celebrating his status as a child of the ‘80s by watching Star Wars, listening to U2, and reminiscing about his (gone-but-not-forgotten) Andre Agassi haircut.