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In the Press

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Exit Interviews: An Essential Part of Your Talent Attraction Strategy?

by Paul Murphy
Exit Interview

So, your employee has quit.

And it's probably a bit hard not to take it a little personally.

But in our current candidate-driven market, it's no surprise.

Employees are not afraid to look elsewhere if their job doesn’t quite hit the mark.

In fact, according to Business Insider Australia, one in seven Australian workers are currently seeking a new role.

While there are many reasons why employees leave, and plenty of ways to increase your retention rates, conducting exit interviews is one of the most important steps in improving your candidate attraction AND retention levels.

Why are exit interviews important?

It’s highly likely your exiting employees are leaving to join a competitor, so it’s important to find out what word-of-mouth they might spread there. If you regularly action step one above you should have nothing to worry about.

Conducting an exit interview is, however, a great way to garner any final feedback from the leaving employee. You may not be able to do anything to retain the person leaving, but you can take something valuable from them going.

Try to uncover what they think you could change to make your workplace better, thus be more attractive to future candidates (and retain your current ones).

When should you conduct your exit interviews?

The ideal time to conduct an exit interview is at the start of the employee’s final week. By then, any emotion surrounding handing in their resignation, or having been let go, has dissipated.

Who should conduct your exit interviews?

When it comes to choosing someone to conduct your exit interview, direct managers are not a good choice. Choose a neutral party so your employee can open up and speak honestly. Opt for someone who has seniority in the company so the employee feels their views are valued. A HR manager is a good choice if you have one, but you can also engage an independent external consultant.

Some key exit interview questions you can ask...

1. What attracted you to your new job and company?

2. What is the main reason for you leaving?

3. Before you decided to look for a new job, did you look at other opportunities here, or speak to anyone about changes that might have made you stay?

4. What have you enjoyed about working here?

5. What haven’t you liked?

6. Were you satisfied with your job’s:

  • salary
  • work/life balance
  • conditions such as work hours?

7. Do you feel your everyday tasks and responsibilities aligned with your expectations of what the job would be? If not, how did they differ?

8. Do you think you had enough training and support to do your job effectively?

9. Did you have access to the right resources to be able to complete your tasks?

10. Do you get enough support from your direct manager? If not, please provide some insights about what they didn’t get right.

11. Do you think your efforts were recognised by your peers and management? If not, how can we improve this?

12. Did you get along with your manager and peers? If not, why?

13. Do you feel there was a clear career path defined for you?

14. What could we have done differently to encourage you to stay?

15. As a company, what specific areas could we improve upon (i.e. client briefing, client experience, project management etc.)?

16. Do you have any other concerns about our company you’d like to share? 

If you’d like some assistance enhancing your employee attraction and retention strategies or choosing the right people for your company, we’d love to help.

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