Exit Interviews

Are You Conducting Exit Interviews?

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The life cycle of an employee within an organization normally will consist of the following stages:

  • Application

  • Candidate

  • Vetting

  • Hire

  • On-Boarding

  • Career Development

  • Advancement

  • Resignation or Termination

  • Exit Interview

This cycle is relatively standard across most careers in multiple verticals whether it be professional or unskilled.   

Vetting and Exit Interview:  Both stages are vitally important to the employment cycle. A careful examination of employee turnover rates in multiple industries reveals that vetting and the exit interviews both serve similar purposes and share similar components.   Part of the Vetting process that is often overlooked is reference checking.  Reference checking is nothing more than gathering data on a candidate from multiple sources.  Methods used for reference checking are:

  • Phone

  • Face to Face

  • Email

  • Mobile Texting

Technology has advanced in such a way that reference checking can now be automated to save time and gather more in-depth data on the candidate.  

The exit interview is similar in purpose to the reference check and can be carried out using the same methods.  The exit interview normally takes place as the last stage when a current employee transitions to a former employee.   There are many possible reasons why an employee leaves a position. Whether leaving voluntarily or involuntarily, the key issue is WHY the employee is leaving.   It is vitally important that the employer discover why the employee is leaving. This information is a must for an employer to collect and process in order to identify any patterns in turnover.   Of particular interest is the possibility that the employee and the job were a mismatch from the very beginning. If so, the employer can use information learned from the exit interview to tweak the hiring process. Perhaps the employment interview didn’t target the needed skills, or there was a fail in the vetting stage.

Common methods used for conducting exit interviews are basically the same as those used for Reference Checking:

  • Phone

  • Face to Face

  • Email

  • Mobile Texting

Phone-  historically the most common method.  Issues include:  time suck, cooperation of the former employee, information often limited because of the very nature of a phone conversation.

Face to Face-  historically the second most common method used for interviews.  Issues include:  awkwardness on both the interviewer and interviewee. There is always the possibility that the interviewee’s responses are less than honest.

Email-  becoming more popular because of potential increases in time savings and candid feedback; therefore, may get more transparent or real data. Email also offers the interviewer an opportunity to ask more questions.  Issues include the acceptance and participation of the exiting employee. There is also the possibility that emails can get lost in the volume of emails received.

Mobile Texting-  Just now becoming acceptable by business standards. It is exceptionally accessible because texting reaches the former employee “where they live” i.e. their mobile phone.  

The common theme in Reference Checking and Exit Interviews is:  DATA.   The increase in amounts of data that can be collected in an efficient manner is vitally important in making informed decisions both the hiring and exiting processes. Automating these processes can lead to increased amounts of data which will, in turn, lead to much-improved processes.