01 September 2011

Recognition and trust: Alive and well in the recruitment agency world

In the world of agency recruitment, it's very rare that a recruiter or a leader can land the trifecta of leaving at the top of their game, leaving on their own terms and leaving with a level of acknowledgement and recognition appropriate for their contribution to their colleagues and employer. 

When I left the company I had been employed at for just over ten years, I did so in awkward circumstances. After a turbulent relationship with my new boss, I reached a point where I asked him to ‘back me or sack me' and he chose to do neither. Although I chose to resign, I was put in an untenable situation that left me with little choice if I was going to be true to my values.  

As one of the highest billing consultants and most successful leaders in the company's short history, I had clearly delivered many years of very profitable results for my employer.  

Given the circumstances of my resignation, I wasn't expecting the company to put on a grand farewell event but even my very modest expectations were not met.  

It was an incredibly disappointing way to finish what had been, for 99% of my ten years and six months of employment, a wonderful experience. 

Of course, as I have since discovered, my experience is very common in the recruitment agency world. In such a results-driven and ego-fuelled sector, the departing employee who has either ‘failed' in some way or is leaving to take a position with a competitor, rarely experiences a dignified and appropriate departure.  

Having said this, I was very happy to hear, last week, of a completely opposite experience. Earlier this month, my former colleague and close friend, Nicole Underwood, resigned from her role as General Manager of Entrée Recruitment in Adelaide.  

Nicole established Entrée just over ten years ago as a separate division of Hender Consulting. Nicole built the Entrée brand into a premium one in the Adelaide middle market. Over the past decade, Nicole has provided both outstanding leadership to her team and excellent financial results for her employer. 

Although Nicole's employer, Mark Hender, was obviously disappointed to receive her resignation, during her notice period he provided Nicole with the respect her contribution deserved. 

More importantly, at Nicole's leaving drinks, in front of the many assembled Hender employees, Mark provided a warm, humourous and generous tribute to Nicole's ten years of outstanding achievement while in his employ. 

Well done Mark for the way in which you have ensured that Nicole has treasured memories of her entire employment at Entrée. Mark's maturity, decency and thoughtfulness has provided Nicole with the farewell she deserved. And one which many other similarly deserving employees throughout the recruitment industry rarely get to experience. 

In this day and age of instant communication and high employer brand awareness, the exit of any employee, regardless of the circumstances, deserves just as much thought and attention as their induction.

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