General Business

Ask the Experts: Ghosting, Name Changes & Succession

In the latest installment of New Jersey Business Magazine’s Ask the Experts column, HR professionals working with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association respond to executives’ inquiries on three interesting workplace issues.

We know we need to plan for our leaders to leave the organization. How do we start succession planning?

It’s wise to think about succession planning before you need to fill leadership roles. This will make a potentially stressful time easier to manage. Here are a few steps we recommend taking to get started with your succession planning:

  • Consider the future needs of the organization by identifying your short- and long-term goals, as well as what roles you will need to achieve those goals.
  • Analyze the expertise, skills and institutional knowledge these roles must have to be successful.
  • Create career roadmaps to facilitate developing employees into these positions. These roadmaps would include training and time spent with someone currently in the role. This is an opportunity to share the institutional knowledge that isn’t always passed along when a role changes hands.
  • Share these roadmaps with supervisors and the employees selected to grow into the roles.
  • Update career roadmaps as needed.
  • Periodically check in on employees’ progression to provide them with feedback and updates.

It seems like we’ve had a lot of candidates ghosting us recently. Is there anything we can do to prevent this?

Nothing you do will prevent ghosting altogether, but there are steps you can take to keep candidates engaged and discourage them from just disappearing on you:

  • Start with a clear, descriptive job posting.
  • Have a transparent recruitment process. Provide an outline of the interview process on your website and an estimated timeframe.
  • Communicate frequently throughout the process, especially if your process gets delayed. Even if you don’t have an update about their advancement, candidates appreciate knowing your timeline.
  • Encourage questions from candidates and answer them as quickly and thoroughly as you can.
  • Confirm with the candidate that they are still interested in the role as they move through the process.
  • Remove unnecessary steps that aren’t adding to the overall experience or won’t affect the final decision.

If an employee changes their name, do we need to complete a new Form I-9?

Except for certain government contractors or some situations involving the use of fraudulent documents, employers do not need to update or complete a new Form I-9 when an employee changes their legal name or address. That said, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends keeping correct information on Forms I-9 and taking steps to ensure a name change is legitimate.

To update the employee’s original Form I-9, enter their new legal name in Box A of Section 3, and then sign, date, and print your name on the final line.

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