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7 Things You Should Know About ‘Stay’ and ‘Exit’ Interviews

Summary: The exit and stay interview can prove invaluable to you and your company. Find out the reasons why in this article.

7 Things You Should Know About ‘Stay’ and ‘Exit’ Interviews
  • Management tools such as the stay and exit interviews can bring many benefits to employers.
  • The stay and exit interviews can give insight into not just a company but how you as a manager are thought of by your employees.

Whenever an employee leaves a business, an opportunity presents itself to get the opinion of that soon-to-be ex-employee of his or her work experience within your business.

Well, we all know the general thought behind opinions – that everyone has one – and given this, not much stock is put in opinions, at least not as a whole.

For businesses, though, opinions, particularly those of exiting and existing workers can be invaluable.

Keep reading to find out what a recent ERE article feels are the greatest assets of stay and exit interviews.
  1. What is an exit interview?

Many organizations, of all sizes, ask employees to participate in exit interviews as part of the out-processing checklist. There are a number of valid and legitimate reasons for doing so.

These may range from hearing about deficiencies in training; staff/managerial issues, and any other afflictions that can either make or break a business as far as its employees are concerned.

Mind you, this sort of interview is traditionally conducted as a person leaves a place of employment. And while an exit interview can have a lot of value depending upon, of course, the type of employee who is being interviewed, it is the quality of the questions that really shape how informative or not the interview will be.

You just can’t ask, “How did you like working here?”

What you instead would ask for are suggestions for improvements that you can utilize in the future.

Beyond someone complaining about the refrigerator in the breakroom being dirty, try to seek out formidable complaints and/or proposals that you can see as helpful and positive even as some feedback, especially the complaints might at first be difficult to swallow.
  1. What is a stay Interview?

According to the ERE article, the same logic should apply to employees who are still in your organization. You should be curious about your existing staff: What they like about the organization and why they stay. How they view leadership and growth opportunities. If or why they would consider a job or career change in the near future.

This is a great time for you in talent acquisition to get your pulse on employee engagement and retention, and use that in recruiting.
  1. The atmosphere of the stay and exit interviews.

A baseline honesty needs to be established between the employer and employee in stay and exit interviews.

The key to this is the creation of an environment where the employee feels safe to be candid with responses and assured the information will remain confidential. The response shouldn’t lead directly back to the person who said it.

The person(s) conducting the interview needs to be a familiar face to the employee. An HR professional who never leaves the office to interact with the line staff is going to have much more difficulty building rapport and trust.
  1. How to respond to the data from these interviews.

Most managers and leaders respond to data. It is hard to argue with figures in black and white.

While compiling the data, aggregate it in a way that will not point to a particular person.

If possible group the interviews in such a manner as they can maintain confidentiality of both colleagues and individuals in other departments.

The more anonymous information that can come from a stay or exit interview, such as an employee’s feeling about the company’s employee retention rate can be utilized with greater ease even though that person’s identity, whether they are staying or exiting, should never be revealed.
  1. The types of questions asked in stay and exit interviews.

Your questions for a stay or exit interview have to be worded very carefully depending upon the type of interview it is; stay or exit.

Also, consider the atmosphere of the interview; will there be just one or multiple people conducting the interview?

Consider to yourself if the questions will be open-ended or hinged on the type of queries that begin, “Based on a scale of 1 to 10,” etc.
  1. Avoid predictable or snowball-like questions.

It is important that these interviews be taken seriously simply because you’re taking up someone else’s time not to mention your own.

Therefore stray away from the “Did you like working for us?” questions. Offer pertinent business-centric queries which make the exiting or staying employee think meaningfully about their answer.

In the end, the more straightforward and thoughtful your questions are, the more straightforward and thoughtful your soon-to-be-ex-employees’ and existing employees’ answers will be.
  1. Use these types of interviews as recruiting tools.

If your employees are genuine about participating in these interviews, their answers will be well received.

And if those answers are well received, and they make a strong argument for themselves, use them as recruiting tools by correcting whatever an employee suggests, or continuing with what your employees enjoy about working with you.

The exit and stay interview can immeasurably improve a business.

Take up this type of interview as soon as possible to keep your business on the right track as well as to help you recruit strong job candidates.