What is an Exit Interview?

What is an Exit Interview

There are different types of exit interviews. Let’s look at the aims, relevance and different formats to answer ‘what is an exit interview?’

What is an Exit Interview?

Exit interviews take place when an individual is separating from an organisation. It’s a survey that can be used to reduce staff turnover.

These results can prevent early attrition and lower overall employee turnover by improving employee commitment and staff engagement. This in turn lowers costs to the organisation.

Companies invest large amounts of resources on recruitment and training. By improving employee retention rates, the company can save capital and keep top talent.

Organisations can calculate staff turnover with the exit process cost calculator.

Organisations can also learn the strengths and weaknesses of their company, managers and line managers. Getting the most from exit interviews can keep organisations competitive in their industry.

Focusing on recruitment and retention is all the more important in these turbulent times. Yet, exit interviews are often conducted as a mere formality.

Exit Interviews Best Practice

Face-to-Face vs. Online Questionnaires

Traditional exit interviews use a face-to-face employee survey technique. These continue in use out of the habit of using this staff engagement initiative.

Face-to-face exit interviews may also seem less time consuming and more personal. Then there’s no need to come up with a new employee engagement strategy and they can allow for more qualitative findings.

This system, however, takes up more time and resources than an online survey, for example. Organisations use exit interview questionnaires because they know how to deal with facts and statistics.

Exit surveys are simply easier and you can include some free-form sections. Whereas, only qualitative results can be difficult to manage, time consuming to deal with and record.

There’s even the possibility that qualitative responses can be contradictory. This is one person’s opinion after all.

Moreover, there may be a degree of bias. The interviewee may be disgruntled due to an involuntary departure from the organisation and a face-to-face interview can exacerbate the situation. Similarly, they may wish to edit their responses in the hopes of receiving a good reference.

By conducting an online survey there’s less emotional attachment, objectivity and a degree of anonymity. This can help employees give more honest and level responses.

Interviewers and managers can also experience bias. They may take answers personally and underestimate or overestimate results.

Read: Why HR Doesn’t Understand the Real Reasons Employees Leave.

Internal vs. External Exit Interviews

Internal exit interviews allow a company to personalise their surveys and deal with the results themselves. Though, this is not always the best course of action.

Interviewers may ask leading questions that are based on what they think the problems in the organisation are. The questions may also have ambiguous wording.

A third party has experience in the correct wording. They are also objective and can help introduce questions which are specific to the organisation and industry.

Additionally, a third party reassures participants that there’s a high level of anonymity. Yet, they can also offer added benefits to a company, such as prioritising the results and needs of leaving top talent.

great{with}talent offers this service because these are often the employees which companies want to keep and prevent leaving in the future. Organisations usually invest the most in these individuals too so the exit interviews can have the most beneficial effect on the company.

Lastly, third parties can offer a fast turnover of results. Therefore, other employees can focus on recruitment and possible cover of the leaver’s work, in the example of an abrupt departure.

Contact great{with}talent and find out more about their LastOpinion exit interviews.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UJ1B36TuqA](Main image from Entreprenomics)

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