quit job

How You Quit Your Job – Things That Make Me Go Hmmm…

Kris Dunn Always Be Closing, candidate experience, Communication, Compensation/Cash Money, Counter-Offers, Giving Notice, Kris Dunn, Making Offers, Onboarding 3 Comments

I love the dance that begins once someone has accepted your offer and you’re now talking about a start date in the new role. Especially if they’re employed. Here are the usual intervals and what they mean to me. I’m sure you’ve got some adjustments to these definitions:

For Those Currently Working:

No Notice Needed, I can start in under a week – Your employer is either walking you out because that’s their policy for a position like yours, or your position in the company is so damaged that walking out without notice won’t harm your reputation further (old school note – back in the dot.com days, it could have meant an option grant at your new company was being issued that week…).

One Week – Your employer doesn’t have a “walk them out” policy, but everyone thinks it better if you wrap things up and get out at the end of the week. No reason for you to hang around and tell everyone about your new gig.

Two Weeks – Because that’s what everyone has been told by Ms. Manners that it needs to be. Both your candidate and the current employer. Usually, a good thing from your perspective for the candidate, because they are picking honor over expediency.

Three Weeks – For a professional involved in a lot of stuff, it’s almost impossible to wrap in two weeks. That’s why three weeks is the new two weeks for professional positions with a lot of responsibility. This means your candidate is doing the right thing by their current employer. Your hiring managers won’t like it (ASAP please), but they’ll respect it.

Four Weeks – This means your candidate is pretty attached to their employer, and it’s 50/50 whether they’ll show up on the report date.  Touch base early and often, because the probability is abnormally high they’re not coming.

For Those Currently Not Working:

Report Immediately – They’re ready to work. The expected response.

One Week – They’re catching up on past seasons of “Lost” via DVD sets.

Two Weeks – They really aren’t ready to go back to work, but know they need to. To delay it as much as possible, they ask for the norm…

Three Weeks – They’re going to cram in a trip before they change their lifestyle of sleeping until 10 am.

Four Weeks – Hey Nostradamus, they’re still actively interviewing, hoping they can land a better gig before they have to report… Nice…

3 weeks is the new 2 weeks for those currently employed.  Like C&C Music Factory, anything else makes me go hmmmmmm.

Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.

Comments 3

  1. In corporate finance, accounting, SEC reporting, etc. start dates are often negotiated so that the candidate can get their current employer through the quarter-end or year-end that they are nearest. These heavy-work times can last a month in the case of a year-end, and if the offer is given before the end of the accounting period the start date can be up to 8 weeks out. This isn’t a warning sign at all, but an indication that the candidate does not want to leave her current team in the lurch.

    But your point is well taken that the start date can be a preview of the attitude your new hire is going to bring to his next employer (you).

  2. Hahaha, great bit. Though, I will say I’ve never given less notice than a full month; that is really reasonable and common in my contexts (DC, mostly nonprofit). One place I worked even made vacation payout contingent on giving a month notice.

  3. William Wiggins

    Spot on Kris! I have found the more extended the notice the less chance they will show up. They are using the offer(s) for leverage with their current employer. When we’ve hired with a week or less notice to the current employer, inevitably there is drama. I never fails.

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