Are Exit Interviews Really Necessary?

When an employee announces their intent to leave the company, you have the opportunity to hold an “exit interview.”  While many companies do these, many hiring managers ask whether they’re really necessary – or useful.

The answer is yes!  Done well, an exit interview can:

  • Help pinpoint problems that lead to absenteeism, lack of productivity or high turnover.
  • Reduce potential litigation issues.
  • Shorten the “time to hire” for the next person to fill the position.
  • Improve the effectiveness of your recruiting process.

In order to reap the benefits of an exit interview, however, you’ll need a strong exit interview process that focuses on these goals. Here’s how to get more out of your exit interviews:

  1. Start at the beginning. For the exiting employee, the decision to leave the company wasn’t the beginning of their exit – it was the end. Asking them, “What made you start searching for a new job in the first place?” will tell you more about potential problems in your organization than “Why are you leaving?”
  2. Ask someone other than the person’s immediate supervisor to conduct the interview. Because the relationship with one’s boss is a key factor in most decisions to stay or leave, it’s best to have exit interviews conducted by someone else – such as a human resources employee. The exiting employee will find it easier to talk about any boss-related issues in this setting.
  3. Keep it confidential. Explain to the departing employee that the goal of the interview is to help the company find any problems that need to be addressed. Clarify that any specific comments the exiting employee makes will be kept confidential – only the general information provided will be discussed or acted upon.
  4. Ask the employee to evaluate their experience. Questions like “What did you like best about working here?” and “What would you change about your job if you could?” help the employee think about their experience with the company and evaluate it with a focus on the issues. Share this general information with your recruiter to help your staffing firm refine the candidates they recommend.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you craft exit interview questions that yield the information you need to make smarter staffing choices.  Contact us today to learn more.

Share it