Exit interviews are usually the last official point of contact that an HR team will have with an employee. While many people question the value of these interviews, they can be used as a powerful tool to help the organization make stronger hiring choices in the future.
Why Hold Exit Interviews?
Exit interviews give the company a chance to pinpoint the reasons why an employee is moving on. They can also provide valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of managers and the organization as whole. The information gathered in an exit interview can be harnessed to help improve communication and processes for current employees, and to help guide decision making when it comes to hiring future employees who will be a better cultural fit for the company.
In order to conduct effective interviews that will have a positive impact on the organization, the interviewer should foster an environment where the interviewee feels comfortable providing honest feedback, whether that feedback is positive or negative. The employee should be reassured that there will be no negative consequences for honesty, and that the interview will be used to help improve the company’s future performance.
What to Ask in an Exit Interview
The questions asked in each interview will vary depending upon the circumstances of the employee’s exit. Regardless of those circumstances, an effective interview should focus on gathering feedback that will improve company operations and the quality of future hires. Some questions that can help accomplish this include:
- What prompted you to begin looking for a new position? Remember that when an employee references a “last straw”, that there were plenty of other “straws” before that. Dig deep to determine if it was truly a single event, or if there was an ongoing pattern of events or circumstances that led to the exit.
- Why are you leaving the organization? Ask how the new position differs from the old one. Is the employee taking the next step in her career? Is she going for more money? Does she feel there are more opportunities at the new company?
- What did you like about working for our company?
- What did you dislike about working for our company?
- How would you describe your relationship with your supervisor at our company? People leave managers more than they leave jobs. Ask follow up questions as needed to help determine whether there was a personality clash, or if there are things the manager can do to improve relationships with current employees.
If you are creating an exit interview process or you are looking for new ways to improve your hiring process, specifically in the enterprise software sales industry, talk to the team at Strategic Search Solutions. As a nationally recognized recruiting firm, we have developed a proven process for attracting, hiring, and retaining a strong core of enterprise software sales professionals. For more information on how we can help your organization, contact us today.