How to Prepare for a Job Handover? (with Handover List Template)

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Preparing a Successful Job Handover

Employees come and go all the time. However, when they do, it is vital that the job handover is well orchestrated to avoid disruptions to business operations. Regardless of the circumstances under which an employee leaves, a poorly handled job handover can be detrimental to your organisation.

As a business leader/manager, you should ensure whoever takes on the workload has a detailed account of the job duties. A successful job handover will help the new representative taking on the responsibility to settle into their position and feel more comfortable adapting to their new role.

A Guide to the Job Handover Process

What is a Handover Note?

A handover note is a document written by an outgoing employee for the successor that details the daily tasks and responsibilities of their position. It should be used as a guide for the incoming person on how to perform the job duties.    

Discussing the Procedure with the Leaving Employee

Before starting the handover process, make sure the exit of the employee is conducted on the best possible terms. It ensures professionalism in the job handover process as they detail their standard daily job duties and any other important information the next employee will need to know. Although a handover can vary between roles, generally speaking, a good job handover should include information on:

  • Day-to-Day Tasks
  • Ongoing Projects & Deadlines
  • Reoccurring Meetings
  • Work Schedule
  • Login Information to Software/Tools
  • Guide to Using Software, Tools & Systems
  • Access Location of Important Files
  • Terminating IT & Confidential Information Access
  • Contacts of Close Working Staff
  • Customer & Client Contacts

Managing Your Time

It is best to start the process as early as possible as unexpected situations can occur. By starting early, you can ensure everything is covered and revisit areas that need further clarification. Although the notice period can vary in every situation, aim to start the process in the first week of notification and have the handover note ready during the week of the employee’s last day. This allows the team to review the document and ask about missing elements before the staff leaves.

What to Do If the Outgoing and Incoming Employee Don’t Meet?

Ideally, the new employee should have joined the team before the departing employee leaves so that information can be passed on directly. However, this may not always be possible, making the handover note even more important. The handover note must be extensive and provide an easy-to-follow guide.

Another member of staff should be briefed clearly on their responsibilities. If possible, have someone shadow the leaving employee for a period of time to understand their schedule, so they can explain to the new employee accurately and in detail. Ensure that the departing employee has completed all the necessary tasks and tied up loose ends before leaving.

Providing Long-Term Development Plan

Communicating the responsibilities clearly and clarifying your expectations to the newcomer is vital, as it keeps them motivated, provides them with a disciplinary structure, and identifies future areas of development. With a concise construct of expectations, the employee will know their goals and how to succeed in the role.

The Importance of Smooth Operations

The purpose of a job handover is to ensure the transition to the new employee is smooth and business operations are not affected. In light of the growing economic uncertainties, business leaders should consider outplacement as an option to smooth out redundancies. To learn more about our outplacement services contact our professional team now!

Download Our Handover List Template Now!

At Links, we aim to assist business leaders by providing simple solutions to HR issues including payroll services and outplacement services. Our experience has shown that a proper job handover requires attention and forward-thinking. Download our job handover list template to ensure a smooth job handover process.

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Event Rundown:

  • China Labour Law & Compliance
  • China Payroll Basics
  • Q&A Session


Angie Xu
Director of HR Outsourcing at
Links International
Wing Wang
Payroll Manager at Links International

Event Details:

Date:Friday, 26th April 2024
Venue:Online (Zoom) Webinar
Language: English

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Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationPEO/EOR Secondmentoutplacementrecruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.