How to Conduct Exit Interviews with Employees

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The cost of an employee leaving can be expensive – £5K to £8K on average, excluding recruitment costs, in terms of the weeks or months it may take for the replacement to become fully productive. So, finding out why staff leave your organisation can help to avoid these costs. The way to do this is to carry out exit interviews. If done well, they can be a valuable way to highlight trends or problems that can then be rectified. The exit interview gives you the opportunity to obtain feedback which you are unlikely to get at any other time as in most circumstances employees who are leaving are more likely to be open and honest. The interview may be used to:
  • Uncover hidden reasons for leaving
  • Remedy high staff turnover
  • Discover problems with work, management, morale
  • Update the job description and person specification to assist in replacement
  • Monitor the effectiveness of your recruitment process
  • Assess salaries and benefits offered by competitors
  • Leave the employee with a positive image of your Company
The employee’s manager may be too close to ask the right questions of a departing employee so the job would be better done by another manager or outsourced. Employees should be given advance notice of the interview and told that their assistance in agreeing to the interview would potentially benefit the Company and the remaining employees. Interviews should be conducted following an agreed structure to promote consistency. Information can be sought on the following areas: The factors which influenced the employee’s decision to leave
  • Workload – too light/too heavy
  • Adequacy of training
  • View of pay and benefits
  • Assessment of line manager’s capabilities
  • Any suggested improvements
  • Any changes to the job description or other factors which would affect the type of person recruited as a replacement
  • Details of the new job and factors which seem more satisfying
The interview may well be the employee’s last contact with your Company and present an opportunity for the departing employee to give positive feedback about you and can allow the employee to leave feeling good about what they have done for you. If you would like further advice on the type of questions to ask or would like to outsource exit interviews to Crispin Rhodes, then please contact us.

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