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CW 127: Chris Heinz

Time if your most precious resource, right? What if you could make it exponentially more valuable? In this episode from recruiting expert Chris Heinz, learn about utilizing the time of others to help you reach your goals in hiring and retaining talent.

During our Mindset Moment, BTG Contributor Chris Heinz, Managing Partner of Westport One, discusses not burning bridges and the impact it can have on your and your company.

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Welcome to the Contributor Wednesday series on the Bridge the Gap Network. This series is sponsored by Peak Senior Living by Functional Pathways. Each week you’ll hear from a thought leader discussing topics that are relevant and impactful to the senior living industry.

Chris Heinz 0:28

Welcome to Bridge the Gap Contributor to Wednesday. I’m Chris Heinz. I’m sure you’ve all heard the same, time is your most precious resource. Well, that saying is only partially true, at least from a hiring standpoint. Because from a hiring standpoint, I believe your most precious resource is actually other people’s time. After all, you’re only one person and as one person there’s only so much that you can do by yourself. But if you utilize other people’s time wisely throughout the hiring process, you can exponentially increase your capabilities. Along with your own time resources, you can use the resources of others that give you an edge when working to identify, hire, and retain talent. So let’s dive into a variety of things that can best help you utilize other people’s time as preciously as your own. First, follow a process. When it comes to hiring, you cannot maximize the time of others if you don’t have a process in place. If you’ve listened to any of my previous podcasts, you know that I’m a big proponent of having a process and holding your team accountable for that process. The reality is they need to understand who will be responsible for what and when.


They need to understand the why behind the process and what you’re trying to accomplish with it. Second thing is communication. Communication can be incredibly easy or amazingly challenging, dependent upon how you utilize it. Now, when it comes to maximizing other people’s time, communication is probably the single most important element. Do you want to keep a candidate excited about your opportunity? Well, communicate with them. Do you want to get feedback from one of the hiring managers from a recent interview? Well, communicate with them. Do you want your leadership team to understand where you are in regards to the current process? Well, you kind of figure it out, right? Communicate with them. Don’t give vague answers. Be clear and concise. If you do so, others will understand what you’re saying. I know, I know it’s a crazy concept, but communication is the key.


Third element. Do what you say you’re going to do. If you really want others to get behind you and ensure that they are willing to help you accomplish what needs to be achieved, then do what you say you’re going to do. Now, I’m a parent of two amazing kids. One is in college and the other is a junior in high school, and I don’t know about you, but when my wife and I knew we were going to have kids, we personally committed to each other that we were not going to do what other parents did. We were not going to use the threat of a timeout. We’d actually put them in one if they needed it. We were going to answer every question our kids asked, every single one of them. And we were even going to do it with detail and intention. Now, why are we trying our best to not be like other parents?


You probably know how that story goes, right? There’s only so many times you could answer the same question over and over again. But in our professional world, if you say you’re going to do something, actually do it. If you say you’re going to follow up by a certain time, get a particular report turned in, make a certain phone call, actually do it. Those that you ask for help will be more inclined to give you the help if someone they’re working with follows through on what they say. Don’t be one of those parents, I mean, one of those professionals, that says, “Do as I say, not as I do.” The fourth thing that you can be aware of when it comes to best utilizing other people’s time, particularly when it comes to a hiring process, is remembering about vacation time. Because the reality is, if you are working on completing a process, such as that little tiny detail of getting somebody hired, a big challenge is to ensure the process will be followed in a timely fashion.


And as I’ve discussed in previous episodes, if you don’t follow a process that is thorough, yet time compressed, you will lose out on the best talent. This is not a sales pitch by a recruiter. It is a pure and absolute fact. The best talent has other opportunities and they won’t wait around for you without a clear and concise timeline. The problem is a big ole’ metallic wrench that you can throw into the middle of messing up a process are time gaps in that process, particularly long ones. One of those time gaps are the vacations and time off by key decision makers.


Now, please do not interpret me saying this as actually implying that I don’t think the decision makers should take a vacation. They absolutely should and they need to in order to recharge as well as to enjoy life. My family and I love vacations, but what I am saying is that when the key decision makers are taking these well earned vacations, they should plan for them in relation to the hiring process. While they are gone, other needed interviews should be staged during that time away. Others should be empowered to make the necessary decision whether to hire or not. This would be the definitive example of the decision maker using other people’s time wisely. The other great part of it is it eliminates those gaps in the process that risks you losing the best talent. Number five, share the accolades. When things go well make sure to share the love.


Don’t take the credit for all of it. Make sure the leaders that are above you know who else was involved in how instrumental they were in the project (that being a hiring process being completed). Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is one of the most powerful ways of gaining complete buy-in and loyalty from those that you will need assistance from again in the future. I know you are working as hard as possible to achieve your goals, I know that you are consistently trying to improve yourself. After all, you’re listening to this podcast, so there’s proof right there. But there’s only so much that one person can do. If you can utilize your strengths and those of others to achieve the desired tasks, processes, and goals, you will do so in a quicker, better and with a greater sense of accomplishment because you did it as a team. This goes well beyond a hiring process. It could benefit you in every part of life.


It’s now time for our mindset moment. For this mindset moment, I want you to think about another saying, “Don’t burn a bridge when you resign from a job.” There are many, many articles written about things to avoid so that you don’t burn that bridge if you’re the one leaving the company, whether it be not giving proper notice or giving your notice and then using the rest of your PTO time to burn through it, effectively, leaving them high and dry. Or recruiting other employees to your new company. Or stealing supplies to fill your new office. Or causing a scene when you leave and creating a Tik Tok moment. But there’s another side to that bridge. As an employer or a leader within your company, you should be incredibly careful not to burn the bridge with your employees. It does not matter if they are leaving you or if you’ve asked them to depart. You should still be conscious of how you treat them. Remember that reputations, or in this case, your company’s reputation is at stake. There are several important things to consider when separating from an employee.


Remember that they’re human just like you. We are not robots or forms of artificial intelligence, at least not that I know of. We’re human beings. Understand that if someone is resigning, many times it is incredibly difficult for them. They care about the people they’ve been working with and they care about the company. On the flip side, if you are terminating them, this is incredibly difficult for them because rarely were they expecting it. Regardless of the situation, treat them with dignity and empathize with their situation. You know, that is how you would want to be treated, isn’t it? Also realize that they might be making a mistake, but don’t rub their nose in it. If you follow the first tip of treating them like you would want to be treated, there is a chance that they may come back to you. The grass is not always greener on the other side. You just don’t know until you go look. Things may not work out with their new gig. Now, in previous episodes, I’ve talked about the boomerang employee, someone who is left and then they come back. So if this person who is resigned is one that you would wish did come back to you, then how you exit them out of the company will make a significant difference in the possibility that they would even want to come back. Sounds like a bridge not worth burning, right?


Remember, they have a virtual microphone and they can do damage or they can sing your praises. In the technological world that we live in, everyone has a virtual microphone, and through social media, they can either say good things about you or they can say very, very bad things about you. How you separate them will go a long way determining which message is spread. In the same respect, if they’re resigning from your company and you believe that it is purely an opportunistic move for their career, not that they are thinking poorly of the company or of the people that they are leaving behind, ask them to write a recommendation message about their time with the company. First, ask them to send it to you, which will give you an opportunity to read it and if it’s good, ask them if they would mind posting it on indeed, Glassdoor or even Yelp.


Those reviews are important for future employees, and if their review isn’t good, well, thank ’em for writing it and ignore it. Don’t go speaking negatively about them. Now, I get it. You might be hurt when they leave. It might be putting you in a very difficult position. Some of your team may have to work more in order for the job that’s needed to get done, but five minutes before they resigned, you probably thought they were a good, heck, even great asset to your team. Just because they resign does not make them a good-for-nothing-son-of-a-beach. Beach, yes, intended play on words. Even if you are exiting them out, doesn’t mean they are a bad person, at least not 99% of the time. So there is zero need to speak negatively about them to, to their peers or to your fellow leaders. If you speak negatively about them to their peers, those very same people may wonder what you really think of them. It may give them thoughts that they should be looking around as well. You will gain absolutely nothing by talking negatively about them. All you will do is make yourself feel better for a fleeting moment.


Next thing to think about, of not burning that bridge, be professional and warm on their final days. Now, I’m not saying you have to throw them a going away party for every single person who leaves your company, but if they are serving out their final days, be professional and nice to them. Not just because of the reasons mentioned already, but because they’re people. Of course, if they were truly a valued employee who may have been with you for several years, could even consider having a luncheon or a mini happy hour for them. We do this for people who are retiring from the company and have limited reason to come back because they’re retiring. But we don’t think of doing it for those people that could possibly come back? Think about that for a moment. Show them some actual appreciation. In those final days that we’re just speaking about, make sure to let them know how much you appreciated the work that they’ve done for you. If possible, highlight a couple of things that really stood out. You’ve kept them with you for so long, or at least up to this point, and they hadn’t resigned, or you haven’t had to terminate them, so they must have done some things good, right? You should be very deliberate in showing your appreciation for them. After they have left, and either before they’ve started or recently after they’ve started at their new place, create a follow up schedule so that you could see how they’re doing. Check in on those special occasions that you know, and in all likelihood, the new company does not. Birthdays, kids, birthdays, anniversaries, as well as a 30, 60 and 90 day touch plan, so to speak, after they’ve left. These follow ups may be the very reason why they would either consider coming back to you and whether they would speak favorably about your company.


Now, these are just seven things that you can do to keep that bridge intact with those that are leaving your company. That golden rule, treat people the way you’d want to be treated is so vital. Now, as an extreme example, you never know if you might need to reach out to that former employee to learn about an opportunity with their company where they’ve landed. So you never have the need to burn a bridge with an employee who’s leaving or you’re asking to leave. I totally get it. This is a little bit different of a mindset moment, but I want you to be thinking about this because we’re all people. Whether we’re in a position of power and of leadership within an organization or whether we are  an employee working our way up, we’re still all people. All right, gang! I hope you got at least one thing from this discussion. If you have and you’d like to talk about it, shoot me a message on LinkedIn. And of course, if you have any comment, questions, complaints, or even conundrums on any of these points, I want to hear about those as well. Stay tuned next month for the next chapter in our recruiting and mindset adventures. Again, this is Chris Hines and thanks so much for listening to this week’s BTG Contributor Wednesday. Please make sure to connect with me as well at

Thanks for listening to the Contributor Wednesday series on the Bridge the Gap Network, sponsored by Peak Senior Living by Functional Pathways. For a full library of episodes, visit

CW 127: Chris Heinz