No one likes exit interviews, well most folks don’t.  The employee is departing  the interviewer is checking off the boxes.  But, from the employer’s perspective they can be invaluable if handled correctly and I recommend them. Some considerations:

  1. Who handles the interview?  It doesn’t always have to be someone from HR.  If the departure is unpleasant perhaps there is someone that does have a good relationship with the employee that handles the discussion.  The goal is to get information.  Just make sure the interviewer asks the appropriate questions, listens to answers/tone, and follows up appropriately.
  2. What information should the employer be seeking?  To start with find out the who/what/where/when/and why of the departure.  If there are issues with the atmosphere at the company let’s here them.  The employer should be looking to improve things and avoid departures and turnover.  Would also be nice to know where they are going, how they can facilitate transition, will they be available for questions if need be.  The employee may want to vent, let them, ask open questions that seek information.
  3. Besides extracting information this is also the opportunity to provide the employee with information.  This includes any benefits they are entitled to, final paycheck information, and other nuts and bolts information.
  4. Use the interview to retrieve any company property.
  5. Most importantly – remind the employee of any post-employment covenants they have signed.  This could be non-disclosure agreements, non-competes, non-solicitation agreements etc.  Provide them with copies of the agreements if need be.  If appropriate get a written acknowledgement.  Remind the employee the company takes these agreements seriously and will enforce them.
  6. Finally, find out if they have any questions.