How to Ensure Offboarding Goes Smoothly


A lot of people understand the importance of onboarding, but many forget about offboarding. It’s not uncommon for an employer to assume that it doesn’t matter as much, as the individual is leaving and moving onto other things, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Offboarding is actually just as important as onboarding, and ensuring a smooth transition between someone handing their notice in and their last day at work is key.

How to Effectively Manage Employee Offboarding

Managing an employee leaving can be difficult for an employer, as there is a lot to think about. You need to find a replacement and manage the handover, whilst also trying to navigate the possibility of staff shortages. You might also have to think about the employee disengaging or becoming less interested in the business, which can have an impact on the wider team.

  • Determine Their Notice Period - Once an employee has handed in their notice, you need to determine when their last day at work will be. If they have been continuously employed for at least one month, the statutory minimum notice period is one week, but for contractual positions this could be longer. You need to check their contract of employment and ensure that the correct notice period has been given. Usually, the notice period starts the day after an employee hands their notice in.
  • Working Their Notice Period - You also need to decide if you want the employee to work their notice period, if you would rather than receive payment in lieu of notice or go on garden leave. Their employment contract will provide an insight into which route is the right one for you to take.
  • Handing Over Duties and Responsibilities - Before the employee leaves, decide who they should hand over their duties and responsibilities to, or if you will need to recruit someone to fill their position. This is something that should be done before their last day, as a handing over period of training and transferring knowledge might be necessary.

What to Cover in an Offboarding Exit Interview

One of the last things that happens during offboarding is the exit interview, which is likely to be the last time that you will have to discuss an employee’s reasons for leaving. A lot of employees are hesitant to discuss their reasons before the exit interview, so make sure that they feel comfortable to be open and honest with you.

The information you learn in an exit interview can be used as a learning tool, especially if the employee has anything negative to say about working for the business. You should try to get as much information as possible during the exit interview, as GDPR restrictions could prevent you from contacting the employee further down the line.

During this interview, you should remind the employee of any restrictions that will impact them once their employment contract ends For example, restrictions relating to the use of intellectual property and sharing confidential information. Once an employee has completed their final day of work, you need to organise terminating their access to emails, staff passes, computer systems and keys to the workplace. To ensure that nothing is missed, redirect their emails to another monitored mailbox. You will need to organise the return of company property, such as laptops and uniforms.

Though an employee is leaving the business, offboarding shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only does offboarding result in a smooth transition for both parties, it leaves the employee with a good lasting impression of you as an employer.

We pride ourselves on getting it right, and with over 25 years’ experience, our team of legal recruitment specialists are all REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) qualified and have a wealth of knowledge to help and advise our clients.

Our consultants have chosen to work within the legal sector. They are passionate about understanding the issues that face lawyers, and motivated to solve recruitment and staffing issues and offer innovative solutions in today’s challenging legal marketplace.

Get in touch today: Call 01279 464455 / 07867 339139 or email:

Posted by: Branwell Ford