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The importance of a vendor Offboarding policy

Following an established offboarding checklist ensures consistency and a clear path to who needs to do what in a scheduled timeframe. By doing so overall confusion is reduced to a minimum. Communication during this offboarding period is key for legal and security threats prevention.

Whether you are outsourcing talent or working on a project with an IT partner you will find a positive influence on your employer brand when an offboarding policy is established and followed. We gathered 12 key points to follow when doing your next vendor offboarding strategy:

  1. Prevent knowledge gaps – important information needs to be communicated to the remaining team members / direct manager. Knowledge has to be transferred to another employee whether it is a current one or a successor. Preparing a checklist with tasks that need to be completed is a good practice to keep useful resources.

  2. Improve employer branding – every employee, whether he is directly hired by the company or a contractor, is a potential point of contact to other interested parties that might be willing to do business with you.

  3. The power of a referral – if every employee is your brand ambassador as stated in the previous point then new talent can be pointed your way by current or ex-employee which might turn out to be a valuable part of the company for a long period.

  4. Legal and security threats – in the offboarding process many questions might occur that can lead to potential legal action. From the security point of view – an offboarding employee may decide to share intellectual property insights with one of your competitors. This example of a data breach could be prevented by setting in place an offboarding policy.

  5. Ending every permission given – revoke access to every single platform or resource the employee/vendor had to protect data leak or loss of information. Ensure you have a list of all employee’s accounts and delete them or change their passwords. Every level of access to systems, (including and not limited to VPNs, telecommunication systems, internal applications) needs to be protected.

  6. Exit interview – yes, that’s right. Interviews are also organized when leaving an organization. After all, communication is key when it comes to honest and constructive feedback. When people are leaving they are more likely to share what they have been holding up in themselves during their stay.

  7. Increase your chance for a boomerang employee – after receiving candid feedback of an offloading employee a company can start working on improving and in a matter of months or more an ex-employee might be willing to come back to your organization if a significant change has been reached.

  8. Keep everybody informed – misunderstanding why employees are leaving might start gossip or false rumors which leads to low morale. By keeping every team in the loop all of these scenarios can be prevented. Offboarding an employee is a good occasion to show gratitude and respect to the remaining team members.

  9. Ensure a return of all company properties – equipment has to be returned till the last day of work. Employees usually possess physical properties such as computers, keys, access badges, other cards like credit cards, discount cards, health insurance cards, etc. It is a good practice to inform the security personnel that the vendor/employee is no longer part of the organization and is permitted to have physical access to the facility. The same information has to be given to the cyber security manager and system administrator.

  10. Review the contract – what has been planned and agreed at the beginning of the partnership is most probably changed in a way that needs to be reflected in the final contract. The terms and the scope of the engagement can change over time due to unplanned circumstances. During the offboarding process make a checklist of what the vendor did and did not deliver upon the initial agreement.

  11. Final payments – Pay all your vendor invoices, and ensure that any outstanding debts or refunds owed to you are paid as well.

  12. Update vendors info – upon the end of the partnership engagement be sure to update your database with the vendor’s profile accordingly. Collect the latest changes of the primary point of contact, legal changes of name, or address. As well as any other information that needs to be accurate by the end of the contract.

When it comes to finalizing a large project with outsourced talent or project-based engagement with an IT partner it is crucial to clear out of the way every little detail when wrapping up the whole project at the end. This checklist covers the 12 core points for a positive outcome. Keeping the professional tone till the end is a good practice for ensuring a smooth offboarding. Following an established process makes your team feel assured that they have thought everything through.


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