When an employee announces he or she is leaving, many hiring managers turn immediately to the task of filling the now-open position. Before you pick up the phone to call your recruiter, however, it’s important to spend some time focusing on the exit interview with the departing employee.
Why Conduct Exit Interviews?
Whether an employee is leaving of his or her own accord or has been let go, exit interviews matter. During an exit interview, you can:
- Discover whether any unknown, correctable issues prompted your employee’s departure – and implement changes,
- Identify problems early, including problems that can be fixed before they lead to litigation,
- Gather information that helps your company decrease turnover in the future, avoiding hiring costs and encouraging steady productivity.
How Can Exit Interviews Improve Hiring?
Asking the right questions during the exit interview can provide valuable insight into why an employee is leaving. Knowing why the previous holder of a position left can help you find prospective employees who are a better fit or help you fix problems that prompt turnover.
Use the information gleaned from an exit interview to “hire smarter” by:
- Updating job descriptions with the feedback you receive from an employee who is leaving. Accurate job descriptions help you and your recruiter find the best “fit” for the position, cutting down on the time you spend sifting through resumes or conducting interviews. They also help prepare new hires for the job duties they will actually face, decreasing the chances they’ll leave because the job “wasn’t what I expected.”
- Using negative feedback to screen new candidates. For instance, if a departing employee describes the job as “stressful”, look for a replacement who thrives in a fast-paced environment. If a departing employee struggled due to lack of training or experience, look for candidates who have this training or experience.
- Sharing feedback with your recruiter. Comments about the nature of the job or the culture of the organization can help your recruiter create strategic staffing plans that work for your organization.