Found co-workers resume on Monster

I recently found an employees resume on Monster. Their position plays a vital role in our accounting department and replacing them (if only given two weeks notice) would be very difficult.  We recently gave this person a very large salary increase and a very large bonus so renegotiating compensation is not an option.  

 As head of HR, should I approach this employee and let them know that I am aware that they are job hunting or should I tell their supervisor and let them deal with it directly? 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance. 


  • 11 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • compensation may not be the problem.  it could be recognition, benefits, commute, relationship with the manager, etc.. i'd try to find out what the issue for the employee is. you don't even have to mention that you saw their resume online.  you can just talk with that person about how valuable they are to your company and that you want to know if there is anything the company can do to make them happier. say your company places a high importance on keeping it's best employees and wants to know where it can improve.  if you haven't done so already you may want to survey all employees to find ways you can cut turnover.
  • I agree with regdunlop about the compensation.  In my experience the majority of the time it is about something other than compensation.  I do think you should be the one to talk to this person.  Take the approach that regdunlop suggested and then if you don't get anything out of the conversation I would say that his/her resume came up when you were searching for candidates to fill open positions and you are concerned.  You want to find out what you can do to keep this person on the team.  The company has made it clear through the large salary increase and bonus that this person is a vital member of the team and you want to find out what the issues are so that they can be resolved.
  • It also may be the case that there's nothing going on here.

    Many, MANY people keep their online agents and resume postings up to date even though they are not actively searching for work.


    Let's say for a minute that the search is real.  If your compensation plan is competitve, you can always do an environment analysis or survey of some kind to find out if there's something else making this person unhappy.

  • I agree with TXHRGuy on this one. 

    Make sure you check the date it was posted. Monster holds on to resumes for a very long time unless the poster remembers to go out and delete it.  I would not read any intent into it unless it is a very fresh posting.  And even then, there are a lot of employees who post it out there because they can and it is free. They are doing the "just in case" scenario from their side too.


  • Thanks for the responses thus far.  To give a little more detail:

    1. The employee has a new supervisor who was hired only 2 months ago- they do not get along with each other. Employee has been here almost 2 years. 
    2. The resume was posted on January 2, 2008
    3. Employee just requested to leave early this afternoon, Wednesday and Thursday (says it's Parent/Teacher meetings at school)

    I have a good relationship with this employee but I know my first responsibility is to the company. 

  • I still wouldn't mention to the employee that you saw the resume; it will make the situation uncomfortable and may push this employee's hand in  making a decision to leave.   Perhaps you can talk with the supervisor and find a way for one of you to have a casual conversation with the employee on "how things are going" that may bring up some issues that are bothering him that can be resolved.
  • I would watch the interaction between the employee and the new supervisor from the sideline, and  I would also look into whether or not the employee had difficulty with his/her previous supervisor.  Something must have changed the employees impression of his workplace.  It's often times difficult to approach either person involved as you may not get the exact truth of what is going on.


  • I agree that compensation is often not the reason that people look to leaving a company.  If this employee has been with the company for two years and is vital to the department, could it be that they expected to be considered for the supervisory position?  The conflict that they have could be related to the employee feeling passed over for a promotion and resentful of the new supervisor. (Especially if they were brought in from the outside)  The employee maybe looking at their long term growth with the company and feeling like they are coming up short.  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    Posting their resume may be a way of testing the waters.  They may be interested if others feel they have the ability hold a higher position then what they currently have.  Though it's not what you want to hear, in the long run if the employee is unhappy it will be better if they move on.


  • You should be able to balance both your relationship with the employee and the responsibility to the company. 

    A few months ago I also found a resume of one of our leadership team posted on Monster.  I was the one that recruited them into the company and we also had a good relationship.  I found myself doing two things, trying to prevent the departure of a very valuable employee and preserving the relationship.  I had to bring them in to speak.  I started by letting them know that part of my job was to source candidates for the company and while doing so I noticed their recent posting.  I assured them that our conversation was confidential and no one else knew of their posting.  The most important thing to me was understanding their situation.  I made sure they understood that I was there to help.  They were honest with me in that it was not money but about the hostility they felt from another employee.  We talked the situation out and addressed the problem as a company.  The employee is still here because we were concerned.

    You need to know if there are more problems than just money.  Because, if the employee leaves and you have not addressed the "real problem," you may be in the same boat with your next hire.  "Cure the disease, not the symptom."

  • I agree with the way this conversation is going. It is all about retention, right? How about ignoring the Monster post and going right to the heart of the matter -- how is the employee doing, and what can the employer do to make sure that employee knows he or she is valued. If you want the employee to stay, do what you can to alleviate the problem with the supervisor. If the employee still elaves, at least you tried.
  • Pam and HRDir1 both raise interesting points.  Pam's point that the person may be resentful for having been passed over is critical.  HRDir's point that the monster posting is a symptom and can be ignored while you get to the meat of the issue is also a good point.

    The date of the posting may actually be the refresh date and it's possible the resume has been up for years.  Either way, the person is signaling an interest in testing the market waters and your hope for saving the situation lies in addressing the problem not addressing the resume.  The resume is your problem, not the employee's problem, so addressing it doesn't help them at all and bringing it up may only galvanize their interest in moving on.

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