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Do You Conduct Exit Interviews?

Exit Interviews: Why They Work:

Sure you have a great company to work for and a great team, but let’s be honest – hardworking people you hate to see go will occasionally find work elsewhere.

A good company conducts exit interviews with all departing workers as a matter of standard practice, and these conversations can sometimes reveal patterns in employee turnover. Try to see these interviews as an opportunity to get some real insight into your business.

First of all, exit interviews should be conducted as private one-on-one meetings between the employee and someone who isn’t their direct supervisor. What you’re looking for here is honest answers, and the departing employee will be much more truthful if they feel they are speaking to someone who is impartial and genuinely interested in what they have to say.

1.) Start from the beginning

The best way to kick off an exit interview is to have the employee describe their experience working for the organization. Having the person talk about themselves and their experiences can put them at ease and can answer some of your questions upfront.

Then, instead of asking them why they’re leaving, ask why they started looking in the first place. This can get to the heart of their decision to leave, and the answer they give could provide insight into what other employees may be thinking.

Next, ask a series of questions focused on how the company can improve its culture, production or employee retention. It’s perfectly fine to ask if their new employer provides any perks or other conditions of employment that caused your employee to take the plunge.

Finally, see if it’s okay to keep in touch and see how the person’s career is progressing. You may be able to gain even more beneficial information with the benefit of hindsight.

2.) Track Exit Interviews for Patterns

Hopefully, exit interviews are few and far between at your company, but you should still review notes from them regularly to see if any patterns emerge.

If you do see a glaring reason why people are leaving, you need to decide if you should make the change that may be required to boost employee retention. For example, if people continue leaving for higher pay, you may want to reevaluate the compensation structure for the appropriate positions.

If a pattern points to something that can’t be changed, this information can still help when it comes to the hiring process. For instance, if the job doesn’t have much room for advancement, consider hiring someone closer to retirement for the position.

3.) Handling the Ugly Exit Interview

You might see it coming or it might come out of left field, but sometimes you’re going to get an ugly exit interview. There’s no way around it.

If you sense things may get ugly or the conversation takes a dark turn, ask the person if you can bring someone in to take notes or take notes yourself. These notes can not only be used to document complaints, they can also serve as protection if, god forbid, the person takes legal action.

Remember to stay objective during the ugly exit interview and share any criticisms in a tactful way with the appropriate personnel. Exit interviews aren’t all pretty, but they can all be informative.



At CAREERXCHANGE, our job is to minimize your exit interviews and provide hardworking talent that will provide long term value for your company. Reach out to us and we can begin you talent acquisition dialog.

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