An employee’s tenure at your company should start and end with the same feature – an interview. You use the initial interview to determine if they’re a good fit for the job. You use the exit interview to find out why they’re leaving. It is tempting to dismiss the exit interview, especially as it adds to your HR burden, but it’s actually a very important and informative exercise. Discover what you can learn and how that benefits you moving forward.

The Quality of Your Teams and Culture

It’s always hard to criticize yourself accurately, especially in professional settings. Sitting down with a departing employee allows you to get direct feedback about the quality of the positions you offer, the culture in your office, and your overall aptitude as an employer. You might presume to understand these qualities perfectly, but a second opinion is always worthwhile. Plus, departing employees tend to be more honest than current ones, helping you to get real, unvarnished assessments. If there is a problem you were oblivious to, you can make plans to fix it.

The Effectiveness of Your Recruiting and Retention Strategy

You hired this person expecting them to thrive over the long term, but clearly something sent went south. Exit interviews reveal a lot about the way you search for talent, invite them into your ranks, and then encourage them to stay. The employee might be moving on because she felt misled, under- or overqualified, stuck in place, or received a better offer elsewhere. In every case, you can use this info to revise and improve the way you engage with talent in the future.

The Factors that Impact Your Growth and Prosperity

An exit interview is also a great setting to get opinions, impressions, feedback, and ideas about your company as a whole. We mentioned earlier that departing employees tend to be more honest. They also tend to be surprisingly convivial due to the fact they are moving on to a place they would rather be. You can take advantage of this unique atmosphere to get invaluable information about the way you do business. Some of this will be praise and much will be criticism, but all of it will be insightful. Avoid the instinct to contend or contradict and focus instead on digesting as much actionable information as possible. It could lead to your next great idea.

If you’re in the position of conducting an exit interview, it means you’re also in the position of making a new hire. Find resources to help you throughout the recruiting process by working with the team at RennerBrown.

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