Why would you ever want to do an exit interview?
Just recently, a client of ours had a senior member of the team resign and we are assisting them with the replacement of this role. We have just conducted an independent exit interview with the employee leaving the role – you might ask ‘why?’
You might also say ‘good riddance!’ Or ‘what would be the benefit of that?’ Well, I’m glad you asked:
- Recruitment – in the case above, the employee had faced some challenges in the role and before recruiting for this role again, we were able to obtain detailed information that will help us recruit the best possible candidate for our client
- Information – employees are generally more forthcoming when they have resigned. You often find out ‘gems’ of information that would otherwise be withheld. Is this perhaps an opportunity to restructure the team or reduce headcount at a low cost point?
- Rehire – ever lost an employee that you wished that you hadn’t and wished you could get them back? An exit interview is an opportunity to reiterate the fact that should they ever wish to return they are welcome to approach the business to see whether there is a suitable role available. People need reassurance after resigning to ensure that there are no hard feelings or misunderstandings
- Stats – why are your team leaving you? Is there one team or area that has particularly high turnover? Is this telling you that there is another, bigger problem that you need to deal with to stop the drain of skills & talent? Healthy unmanaged attrition should be between 10-20%
- Alumni – ex-employees can become future clients, advocates for your business, rehires or just great sources of information. Take a longer term view of the resignation and the opportunity that it might bring rather than the gap it creates
You should have someone other than their direct manager complete the interview – either HR or a manager from another team or division. You should have set questions, so that you can develop data over time for analysis.
Do you conduct exit interviews in your business and, if so, what have you learnt from them?