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The employee that's leaving has a request and that is to observe the interview process as part of his professional development. Is this something commonly asked? I haven't heard of it.

Please share.

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Is the employee leaving on his own or was he downsized? (I'm wondering why the employer would want to contribute to the professional development of someone who's leaving.) –  Monica Cellio Jun 25 at 18:55
    
are they leaving the company or just the office? –  mhoran_psprep Jun 25 at 18:55
    
Is this the interview process for his replacement? Top answer assumes so, in which case it might be worth including in the question. –  starsplusplus Jun 26 at 0:06
    
Can you provide some more details about what they're requesting? What kind of role is it, and what are they wanting to sit in on the interview panel? Did they mention what they're wanting to get out of it? –  geekrunner Jun 26 at 1:05

2 Answers 2

I can think of two answers...

1 - Is it common to be a part of the interview for one's replacement?

Sometimes. I've seen this done when the employee was either highly trusted, or had a key skill set that wasn't well represented by anyone else. If someone like that is leaving on good terms, it's not a bad idea to ask for their input on the interview process, as they are in a unique position of knowing EXACTLY what their job entails. This is far more likely in a small team, or in a team that has specialized functions. A team of 10 software engineers, where everyone is simply implementing something different is less likely to bother.

2 - Is it common to spend any effort at all on the professional development of someone who is leaving?

Nope.

In general, my experience has been that the obligation to develop an employee for a long term relationship ends on the day that the employee informs you that this is no longer a long term relationship. If they valued the mentoring and insights of this company, they should have stuck around.

For the most part, the expectation is that an outgoing employee will spend his final days wrapping up work and taking work that doesn't have a long term impact. Hiring a new employee is very much a forward looking activity, and as such, no longer is a likely responsibility of the employee - unless we are talking about case 1 above.

3 - One more rule of thumb

If you wouldn't have offered the opportunity BEFORE the employee gave notice, do NOT offer it now! If this employee viewed other interview processes before he gave notice, then he's already HAD this learning development opportunity, and clearly he didn't value it highly enough to stick around. If this employee didn't, then it may be that it's not common practice or not part of what his manager thought was useful for him to do - in which case, it did not become more relevant after he gave notice.

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An addtional reason not to let him sit in on interviews is that this person has reasons for leavng the company that may make him present the company in a less than favorable light to potential new employees even if he doesn't intend to. –  HLGEM Jun 25 at 20:13
    
I think the second part of your answer is a bit too strong. It does not make sense for the company to invest significant effort or money at this point, that is true. But if it is a low-cost opportunity like sitting in at a interview or listening to a guest lectures, I think it is more professional to still let him partake of the opportunity. He'll leave happier and this can only ever be good. –  Erik Jun 26 at 13:54
    
The cost of sitting in the interview may be cheap, but the cost of giving unique experience to the guy who's leaving is not the greatest morale boost the guys who are sticking around. I care less about the guy who is leaving being happy, vs. the guys who are staying being happy. That's why I made point #3. –  bethlakshmi Jun 26 at 14:55

It's unusual but it's certainly helpful to the employee's development as team lead or manager.

I have done my share of hiring but I am surprised that no one has asked me to be part of the team that would hire my replacement - It's probably the two-week notice requirement, which is too short a time frame for doing hiring my own replacement. I would certainly have looked out for my firm if I had to hire my own replacement.

I would say that the employee should take advantage of this opportunity and make the most of it. I certainly never looked at my resume the same way again, after being confronted with having to go through a pile of 300 resumes and cover letters, and I never looked at the interview process the same way again, after I interviewed the 8th candidate for the same position. While I learned a lot from candidates whose work experience was different than mine and who were exposed to technologies I had never heard of, I approach the hiring process with the same enthusiasm as going to a dentist for a root canal. I am conscientious, diligent and careful about my participation in the hiring process but I can't even fake enthusiasm for doing it :)

And yeah, I have learned to be very careful not to ask the kind of questions that will get me to be at the receiving end of canned answers. Canned answers are like junk food - tastes good but low nutritional value. And you just wasted your time eating it :)

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