Top 5 Ways to Enhance your Recruiting with Exit Interviews

Burke Incorporated reported in a recent study that more than 91% of Fortune 500 companies conduct exit interviews. Typically, these interviews are conducted under the Human Resources umbrella, but rarely is this information shared with talent acquisition departments or used beyond an HR protocol.

In reality, exit interviews provide so much insight to the employment brand, internal retention strategies as well as unique external market data. RiseSmart reported in an HR and Branding study that 84% of employees would consider leaving their current job to work for an employer with an excellent reputation, even if the salary was below their current base.

Your brand needs to be intact and understanding your strategy is directly linked to exit interviews. Read further to learn the top 5 ways you can enhance your recruiting strategy with efficient exit interviews. 

1. Actionable Data 

In far too many cases we see the role of an exit interview placed on a junior level human resources coordinator who is more than likely going through the motions versus understanding the deep and rich data at their fingertips. The data that is found through a thorough exit interview can have an immediate impact on the direction of the recruiting team and of the business. Use the data from your exit interviews to create a bridge with talent acquisition and track the data both short and long term to find trends and patterns. From this data, make immediate action to your recruiting strategy to shore up loose ends or ebb from your course of where you are targeting potential new recruits. 

2. Discover Process Failures 

Somewhere along the employee life-cycle an employee went off course. The employee’s needs were not being met and all of the robust retention strategies you had in play failed. We call this a process failure. Your exit interviews will tell you where you lost your employee.

It could be with their manager, or a failed project, resentment or lack of employee engagement. Finding out this critical information will enhance your recruiting since retention is so closely tied. Recruiters work incredibly hard to find employees that will fit in an organization and stay. Allowing the process failure to come to light will allow senior leadership to influence internal changes to reduce further turnover. 

3. Determine a Promoter Score

If your talent communities are built well, you will have set up a strong alumni group through strategic social networks, texting campaigns and events. Your alumni can be your greatest brand ambassadors for future referrals for your company.

During an exit interview, determine how likely that employee is to refer their friends or family to the organization. Have a packet or outgoing email ready to immediately plug them into text communications, your alumni community, and an external referral source. Your exit interview is yet another time to encourage referrals, engagement and excitement. Not all exit interviews have to end on a low note. Stay positive and encouraging their further engagement will lead to an increased brand and an active promoter. 

4. Evolve Your Retention Strategies

Use your exit interview to understand which retention strategies met the needs of your now exiting employee and those that lacked muster. Finding what makes your employees tick and what drives their motivation is ever-changing. During an exit interview, ask questions that discuss how engaged the employee was with cultural events or who they connected with as their peers. Did they connect with their manager and were they compensated accordingly for their role? Based on this feedback, you can create deep internal change and adjust your employer value proposition as well. Not all organizations stay the same and therefore you will need to adjust your short term and long term retention strategies. 

5. Prevent Poaching and Legal Issues

The not so glamorous side of exit interviews is reminding employees of their legally binding obligations to their employer. Most have side confidentiality agreements and non disclosures among others. The ugly side of exit interviews is realizing that many people who leave the organization may be severely unhappy and jaded. A solid exit interview will can allow for a peaceful and cordial closure, prevent legal issues and also prevent unnecessary poaching of critical members of your organization. 

Exit interviews are an overlooked HR tool that can be used to enhance your recruiting and communication strategy today. Past data and trends are future predictors of how your recruiting and retention will play out. Use the data to make smart and well-timed decisions while also honing your employment brand along the way.


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