When Talent Moves On, Ready Your Employee Offboarding Checklist

Are you giving offboarding the attention it deserves? It is a crucial aspect of the employee journey and has implications for your business.

When Talent Moves On, Ready Your Employee Offboarding Checklist

As an HR practitioner or hiring manager, an employee offboarding checklist may often be the furthest thing from your mind. After all, while you are in the process of sourcing talent and conducting interviews, a potential employee’s eventual departure is the furthest thing from your mind. But should it be?

Forward-thinking companies have begun to realise that efficient offboarding is an indispensable aspect of the employee journey and should be treated with the same care and attention as the vital onboarding process, if not more so.

Why Is Efficient and Compassionate Offboarding Essential?

Job tenure has undergone a radical change over the course of the past three decades. Today, the approximate duration at a single company is in the vicinity of 4.6 years for the average employee. This is not an indictment of the new generation of workers. In fact, it shows that the employment landscape is healthy and dynamic. The onus lies with employers to get on board and adapt their hiring strategies.

There could be any number of reasons why an employee might decide to seek greener pastures. Not all point these point to unhappiness with the company. Some people may be moving to a different city or country with their spouse. Others may take up the role of caregivers to children or elderly relatives, or they simply step out of the employment space for a while to address their mental health or rethink their career trajectory.

Why Offboard Formally

Whatever the case may be, not every person who walks out your door is ready to sever ties. Handling their offboarding with care provides you with the opportunity to lay the groundwork for alumni engagement and potential collaboration down the line. Boomerang hires are picking up the world over, and mentorship programmes are all the rage. These are just a few drivers for staying in touch.

Additionally, departing employees are an excellent source of information regarding your company's internal workings and prevailing culture. They no longer have a proverbial horse in the race, so this is a great time to get honest insights into aspects of your company culture that may be leading to unwanted employee churn.

As such, it only makes sense to tailor a seamless offboarding process that leaves departing employees with good memories of their final days at your company. To this end, here is a checklist of everything HR practitioners and recruiters should bear in mind when offboarding an employee in 2021 and beyond.

Your Fool-Proof Employee Offboarding Checklist For 2021 and Beyond

1. Get Everyone On The Same Page

When a resignation comes in, ensure that everyone who needs to know is aware that the employee in question is moving on. This includes their manager, direct team members, payroll, and IT.

It might also include certain customers if they were employed in a customer-facing capacity. Be courteous and share the reasons for their departure if suitable. Also, explain who will be taking over their responsibilities.

Process For Departing Employees

2. Arrange For A Handover

Ideally, you want the departing employee to be on hand when their successor steps into their role. This is a great way to smooth knowledge transfer.

However, if this is not the case, and their position remains unfilled by the time they depart, handover documents will need to be prepared. This includes 'how to' documents, process explanations, and contact lists.

3. Facilitate Asset Recovery

Company assets like cell phones, laptops and other digital equipment need to be recovered before an employee leaves. In big organisations, things like this can fall through the cracks, so be sure to put someone specific in charge of this process.

4. Get Organisational Info Updated

Update your organisational charts and directory immediately once the employee had departed. This avoids bottlenecks in internal communication. Also, be sure to remove reference to the employee from any brochures, website content, etc.

5. Sever Systems Access

Notify the IT department of the exact date, and time the employee will be departing, so they can be sure to revoke system access at the right time. This way, the individual in question should have access up until the point they need to, and no further than that.

6. Tie Up Loose Ends With Payroll

Communicate the employee's end date and notice period with payroll to ensure that their final pay process proceeds without a hitch. There will be certain factors to bear in mind, such as unused leave for which they may need to be compensated, etc.

Tie Up Loose Ends With Payroll

7. Schedule The Exit Interview

Schedule a time for the exit interview, and be sure to keep it very informal. Encourage honesty and keep your questions to the point. It also helps to gather this information in survey format so you can use the data to promote employee retention.

8. Draw Up Exiting Documentation

Departing employees may need letters of reference or certificates of service. Arrange to have it prepared and handed over at the right time.

9. Communicate Your Thanks

If an employee is leaving your company on good terms, make sure to give public appreciation for their contribution to your enterprise. Many businesses choose to have a small goodbye ceremony as a send-off. Even just coffee and doughnuts make for a nice gesture.

10. Pave The Way For Alumni Engagement

Invite the departing employee to become part of your alumni platform. For this to work, you'll need a value proposition (e.g. they get access to industry resources, benefit from referral incentives, etc.). Get the information you need to stay in touch and use it effectively.


Having an offboarding checklist in place is a great way to ensure that you tick all the important boxes when a valued employee is ready to move on.

Start by getting everyone on the same page and arranging for handover. Facilitate asset recovery, get organisational information updates and revoke systems access. Tie up loose ends with payroll and schedule the exit interview. Remember to draw up departing documentation. Finally, say thank you and pave the way for alumni engagement.

For more tips and insights on total workforce management, check through our blog. If you would like to know more about &Team and find out how our product can help you hire, onboard, and keep a finger on the pulse of your employees, get in touch.