Off-boarding & Exit Interview

Like any HR system, offboarding checklists and exit interview templates are part of a suite of tools used to streamline HR and capture employee feedback. 

Exit interview questions can be complex, and implementing them can be challenging. Here are answers to common offboarding and exit interview questions

1. How many employees until we should get a separation management system?

The more accurate gauge is how often an employee separates. Once you have more than 1 person leave per year, it is time to review your termination procedures and offboarding process. By the time you have 1 employee termination or resignation per quarter, not having at least an employee exit checklist is costing time, money, and likely increased risk. At 1 employee per month, you will benefit from offboarding software like ExitPro or others.

2. Why should companies involve the separating employee in offboarding?

Companies should involve the separating employee because selection, recruitment, and re-training are time-consuming and costly. Capturing the critical success factors in a job will save time and money for remaining staff and the new hire. Specifically, replacing a single employee costs 20 to 200% of his or her annual salary. Once themes for resignation are established with feedback from an employee exit form, you can prioritize precisely where to best invest your time to streamline current operations and reduce future turnover.

3. How do exit interview answers affect retention?

An exit interview process is an integral component of an employee retention strategy. Exit interviews are a great preventative measure, allowing the company that is losing employees to gain more information on why their talent is leaving and make action plans to better retain the top talent that remains. Are employees leaving because they are unhappy with the working environment? Do they lack opportunities to develop and grow? Is the company hiring the wrong people? A company can find the answers to these questions through exit interviews, and ultimately decrease turnover.

4. How can exit interviews play a role in reducing cost?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. voluntary turnover rate is 23.4% annually. Extensive research supports that rehiring, retraining, and replacing an employee costs from 20% to 200% of that employee’s annual salary. So, at only 20% employee turnover, and the average pay is $42,000 (US average), the turnover cost for a 500-person firm is between $840,000 and $8.4 million per year. These costs come from candidate interviews, employment advertising, lost customers, new hire orientation and training, etc. You can find more information on cost of turnover here

5. With whom should knowledge from exit interview answers be shared?

In your offboarding tasks, information collected from exit interviews should be shared with the human resource department and also with the organization’s leadership. If managed internally there should be a protocol or sample exit interview checklist in order to ensure equal treatment.  If managed by a third party you should expect monthly, quarterly, or a semi-annual report that analyzes the input from exit interviews. This report should show trends in both negative and positive feedback.

6. Who should conduct exit interviews?

The employee’s direct manager should not conduct the exit interview. Select an individual, or preferably a third party, who can provide a non-biased perspective. Third parties are less intimidating and have less influence on the departing employee’s responses.  If voice based exit interviews are cost-prohibitive, one of the most cost-effective offboarding tools is exit interview software.

7. Why would exiting employees participate in exit interviews?

Even though employees may not benefit directly from participating in an exit interview, most exiting employees will want to focus on constructive comments to help make the work situation better. Ultimately exiting employees can find a sense of closure by voicing their opinions about their previous employer.