How To | Conduct an Exit Interview

Exit interviews can be an incredibly useful exercise for any business, yet not all HR departments carry them out. Here’s why exit interviews matter.

Here are just ten reasons you should be carrying out an exit interview every time a staff member leaves, and how they can help your organisation improve.

Departing employees speak their minds

An employee who is already halfway out the door is far more likely to speak their mind than one who is still in post.

While you might not like what they have to say, frank and honest feedback is the only way a business can learn and improve. Let them know they can talk openly and show you’re listening to what they say.

Learn the reasons they’re leaving

Maybe there’s a pattern emerging and this leaver is just the latest in a string. Sometimes their reasons for departure can be unexpected, but you’ll never know unless you ask.

Look at continuing obligations

Staff may have signed non-disclosure agreements or have had access to sensitive information. An exit interview is a good chance to gently remind them of their continuing obligations, to protect your organisation in the future.

Let them leave on a positive note

Carrying out an exit interview is a good chance to heal any rifts and see they’re not leaving with bad blood towards you.

Former employees who felt their voices weren’t heard are far more likely to make complaints, offline and online, potentially undermining your business. This is a chance to let them get things off their chest in a private and more constructive way.

Better understand the office culture

When you work in HR, you don’t always get a clear understanding of the workplace culture and environment throughout the whole organisation.

An exit interview can provide real insights into what is working and not working within your company.

Reduce risk

If there’s a single, major reason an employee is leaving, then you need to know about it. Exit interviews are a good chance to pinpoint open risks within the company, so you can address them swiftly and firmly.

Insight into employee engagement

Sometimes an employee might be leaving because they don’t feel they’re challenged and stretched enough in a role, or not given sufficient opportunities for training and career development. An exit interview can give you greater insight into hiring and training a new team member.

Improve management development

Employees on the way out can often provide more candid feedback about their managers and the management style in your organisation. This can help you plan management development opportunities to improve how the company is being led.

Improve retention levels

Whether they’re the first to walk or just the latest in a raft of resignations, the only way you can stop more people quitting is by learning from those who already have.

Sometimes the constructive criticism you get back in an exit interview can stop you from losing more people.

They can help you choose a successor

If one person is leaving, that means you need to bring one person in. Don’t make the same mistakes twice!

Whatever their reasons for leaving, the person on their way out can help you decide what you do and don’t want to see in their replacement.

They can often give solid feedback on the role and where their expectations were and weren’t met. That can help you when it comes to wording a job ad, during interviews and when training the new starter.

About A and D Recruitment 

A&D Recruitment is a vibrant, independent employment agency specialising in Renewable Energy & Building Services sectors. 

Founded by recruitment experts Alessia and Darren Williams, A&D Recruitment has successfully placed candidates in a diverse range of roles over the last 14 years.  

To get in contact call 01743 247774 or email on 

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