The exit interview used to be a mere formality. The workforce would contribute to a leaving present, and the employer and HR would chat about their time at the company.
However, all this is changing. Speaking to HR Grapevine, Liza Bennigson, Business Development Director at KonnectAgain, said the process should be radically different. Departing staff should be good brand ambassadors, while their new employer could be a potential client.
Rehiring in the future should also be considered. These “boomerangs” cost half as much to acquire as a new hire, can hit the ground running twice as fast, and often have higher retention rates.
"Boomerangs are uniquely valuable because they offer an outsider perspective combined with an insider’s knowledge of company process and culture," says LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman.
Bennigson gives her tips to redefine the exit interview below.
“Your employees should be well aware of the alumni network long before they become alumni. In fact, utilisation of the network by current employees may even boost retention rates. Research shows that access to mentors, a culture of inclusion, and professional development opportunities all impact an employee’s tenure, all of which can be leveraged by the alumni network.”
Make the exit interview count
“Assuming your employees aren’t part of the network already, this should be standard procedure at the exit interview for those who leave on good terms. Instead of the uncomfortable ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out’ conversation, establish an open-door policy where former employees feel welcome to return. It’s quite possible that your alumni are moving on to achieve big things (on someone else’s dime) and they could eventually come back even stronger than when they left.”
“An ex-employee will be more interested in returning if the company stayed in touch and maintained a relationship in the interim’, says Hoffman. But simply having an alumni network isn’t enough. There needs to be unique value to your former employees in order for them to participate. People have plenty of professional and social networks already, and are inundated with opportunities to connect. You need to stand out.
The top four reasons former employees stay involved are networking, reconnecting with old colleagues, professional development, and jobs. Make sure your offering includes all of the above.”