It’s always sad when an exemplary employee gives his or her notice that they’re leaving the company. You hate to lose such a productive team member, but after years of dedicated service, you owe it to great workers to write an equally great letter of recommendation.
However, the road to human resource hell is paved with good intentions, and even the best referrals can actually hurt employees if worded poorly.
A report on the effects of gender in letters of recommendation in academia found that while men are identified as being more assertive and proactive, women are typically described as having communal traits, qualities that are less valued in the hiring process and can negatively affect an employer’s decision.
To avoid giving your dearly departed workers the HR kiss of death, write the kind of letter you would want to read when making a hiring decision. Scroll through records stored in your human resource management system to draft letters about the employee’s skills that speak to the specific job for which he or she is applying. Keep copies of recommendations that you receive when building a new hire’s file, as they can also serve as a point of reference when conducting reviews.
What are the features of a particularly strong or weak recommendation?