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Use Exit Interviews to Help With Future Hiring

Some supply chain managers wonder, “Are exit interviews a waste of time?” They are if you ignore the information you receive. Further talent loss can be prevented, and future hiring can be more successful, if management takes the time to analyze the information they can gather during the process.

Why Survey Exiting Employees?

First, jumping to conclusions about why an employee is leaving your supply chain organization is a mistake. If you ask for their reasons, you may see a pattern, which can help you make informed decisions and specific improvements regarding what employees see as negatives and positives.

You can also use exit interviews to determine what knowledge, skills, or attributes may be needed for the position replacement. For example, if the employee says he is leaving due to stress, note that the next person you hire should be able to handle a fast-paced environment and a heavy workload. If the worker is honest and says he was overworked and underpaid, you may need to look at your current job description and compensation package to see if they are accurate and competitive.

What’s the Best Way to Gain Helpful Insight?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when going through the exit interview process:

  • Many companies have an employee’s supervisor administer the exit interview.  Not a good idea. What if the employee’s issue was with the supervisor? Most likely, they won’t mention that fact to the person who caused them to leave.

 Some companies ask the HR department to do exit interviews. Also ineffective. Since HR is usually the place future employers will call for references, employees don’t want to say anything that will make them look bad.

 If you really want employees to provide open and honest feedback, consider asking a neutral third party to conduct the interview.

  • Conduct the interviews after the employee leaves, not anytime before. Try waiting for a couple of weeks.  Time allows employees to gain perspective.  If the departing employee was upset with the company or their manager, they’ll be able to be more objective and offer constructive criticism after time has passed.
  • Drill down to the employee’s real reason for leaving. Their first answer will probably be one of the following: I need more money, a flexible schedule, less driving time, more benefits, etc.  And all of that might be true.  But there’s always a catalyst that started them looking for a new opportunity in the first place.  You need to find out what that catalyst was.

If you want to improve your workplace and increase engagement, then create an exit interview process that yields good results.  Include plans to review and act on those results.  With solid information, you can incorporate positive change and, hopefully, reduce the need for exit interviews.

And if you’d like to use the feedback you received to craft a strategic staffing plan, contact the experts at ZDA. We’re happy to use our expertise in the supply chain industry to help you avoid costly turnover.

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