It's inevitable. You're going to lose a great employee, whether you're an amazing leader or kind of hated.

Maybe it's already happening.

You might have a suspicion--a sense that someone has kind of checked out, or maybe they're just not really into the work anymore.

Are You About to Lose Them for Good?

Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a way to know for sure, rather than suddenly being blindsided by the news?

Actually, there is! I've used a crazy hack to figure out with near 100 percent certainty when an employee is planning to leave my company--even before they announce it to me.

Should You Check Their LinkedIn Profile?

You're in the right ballpark, but it's not quite that obvious. Just because someone updates their LinkedIn profile doesn't mean he or she is necessarily looking for work elsewhere.

I update my LinkedIn profile periodically. But that doesn't mean I'm necessarily looking for a new job.

A great LinkedIn profile can be a powerful personal branding tool that will help make your networking efforts more effective and help grow your influence. But it won't tell you with a very high degree of certainty whether an employee is about to quit.

What will? Is there a "smoking gun" kind of way to tell whether one of your employees is looking for work elsewhere?


Check Recent LinkedIn Connections

Rather than looking at an employee's profile, look at their recent connections section. Who they've recently connected with will give you some important clues.

This is how I know with certainty that someone is on the verge of leaving. I look for:

  • Recent connections with recruiters. Check within the last few weeks. While this may give you a strong hint that something is up, connecting with recruiters doesn't mean they have a job offer.
  • Two or three connections from people at the same company who are the hiring managers or supervisors for the new role.  You can figure out what that new role is by going on LinkedIn and searching through the company's job listings. You can probably easily guess which job they applied for. 

What Should You Do With This Info?

OK, Sherlock. You've solved the case. You have the smoking gun and proven that your employee is about to leave for a role with another company.

What Should You Do Now?


Earlier in my career, when I figured this stuff out I got really stressed about losing employees. I wanted to figure out ways I could make them want to stay.

It never worked.

Once someone has made the decision to work for a different company, it's nearly impossible to change their mind. Anything you do might result in that person staying on for a few months longer. Maybe. But ultimately, it's a lost cause. They will leave.

Focus on You, Not Them

You're much better off investing your time and energy improving your company culture and keeping your employees happy.

Focus on being better to the people who are still with you, to keep them with you.

And knowing about a departure a bit earlier than their giving their notice gives you a head start on finding the best candidate to fill the position.

Published on: Jul 11, 2016
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