Exit Interviewing Offers Fresh Viewpoints

April 13, 2010Articles Workplace HR & Safety

Exit interviews are a useful tool for any company, big or small. Employers can strategically utilize these interviews not only to improve their recruitment and retention policies, but also to protect the company against potential litigation. If implemented properly, strategic exit interviewing can reduce the trauma and difficulty for the separated individual, create a continuing positive relationship with the individual, ensure proper documentation of the reason for the separation decision, and protect a company from preventable legal challenges.

The exit interview should take place in a private room, away from the individual’s normal work area. Exit interviews should typically be conducted by HR staff members, who are often detached from the inner-workings of the exiting employee’s department. Because of this detachment, HR staff is often more effective in obtaining information regarding problems with supervisors and co-workers, and any alleged harassment or discrimination. The interviewer must create a sense of openness and candor, as many employees believe that providing critical observations will result in a poor employment reference or negatively impact any potential opportunity for reemployment.

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