What Exit Interviews Can Do For You

Added on 03/06/2019 by Ashley Sanchez

Employee retention continues to be one of the main concerns for HR departments. According to Forbes, The Work Institute’s “2018 Retention Report” predicts that one in four employees will leave their job this year.

Employing the use of exit interviews in the offboarding process can serve as a strong HR tool when planned strategically. Feedback obtained from exit interviews can help develop better retention strategies, improve employee satisfaction, and boost the overall company brand. Research conducted by Burke Incorporated found that 91% of Fortune 500 companies conduct exit interviews.


Common topics covered in exit interviews are job satisfaction, job expectations, career goals, quality of supervision, and feelings about the company overall.

If exit interviews are not already part of your offboarding process, you may want to consider these potential benefits:

  • Reduces costs of hiring: High turnover rates can be costly. If retention rates are improved, employers can save on the high costs associated with hiring new employees.

  • Minimizes employee turnover: Retention rates can be enhanced by improving on the weaknesses identified in exit interviews. From our experience, exit interviews helped identify areas that needed to be done differently to improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

  • Lowers risk for future litigation: Exit interviews give employees the opportunity to voice their experiences and concerns relating to their treatment from a discrimination or harassment point of view. This allows employers to take action before an employee decides to pursue legal action.

  • Reveals “hidden” problems: Employers may not always be aware of all the issues that employees face in the workplace. Exit interviews can bring to light issues that contributed to an employees decision to leave. Additionally, it can also identify what your competitors are doing to attract the best talent.

Making It Count

Take full advantage of the benefits of exit interviews by being mindful of the following:

  • Useless Data: Employees who voluntarily resign from their position may be reluctant to provide their completely honest opinions about the company - they may not want to burn any bridges! As a result, employees may sugarcoat their answers which could render the data useless.

  • Develop a Strategy: The raw data derived from exit interviews are only useful if companies know how to interpret them and have a plan to put it into action. A formal structure and process should be developed to follow up on the feedback received - otherwise, they will yield little value.


Conducting exit interviews takes time, so why not outsource it to a third party? While exit interviews are a core HR function, outsourcing it to a third party has its benefits.

Departing employees may feel more comfortable sharing their honest insight about the company with a third party rather than their supervisor or HR department. An atmosphere of neutrality is maintained as the third party is unaware of the company culture or its issues. Furthermore, reports are created from an unbiased point of view.

At Hire Performance, we let employees know that the exit interview process is completely voluntary and non-confidential as all information will be shared with HR. We ensure that transparency is instilled from the first point of contact. We also let our clients add customized questions that are more relevant to their industry.

Making exit interviews part of the offboarding process provides positive closure between the employer and the employee. Exit interviews are a powerful tool when you want to improve your retention processes to make your company an employer of choice!


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