5 Reasons to Conduct Exit Interviews

For some firms the process of conducting an exit interview is firmly ingrained in their HR, recruitment and retention policies. But for others, staff come and go without anyone taking the time to glean important information that can help them grow and develop as an employer and avoid making costly mistakes.

So let’s start by explaining what an exit interview is.

It’s super simple. An exit interview is a meeting, can be formal or informal, where an employer seeks to understand the reasons that an employee is leaving and to gain invaluable feedback about their experience as an employee.

There’s a few important motivators for having a formal policy and standardised series of questions for an exit interview.

1. Having an exit interview policy will support your business to reduce staff turnover.


Because over time you’ll be able to identify any common themes as to why employees are choosing to leave their post and/or your business. Perhaps your system of reward is flawed in some way. Maybe staff don’t feel supported to progress in their careers. You need to understand these themes so that you can either seek to fix them or understand them and build your organisational structure and succession plan to accommodate them.

2. An exit interview policy will ramp up your recruitment process and ensure your new vacancies are fit for purpose.


If you take the time to really understand an employee’s motivations for leaving as soon as they tender their resignation, you’ll be able to make good, informed decisions about how to backfill that post. Perhaps they’ll tell you that their workload was too great or that the support system in place isn’t working. You can use the opportunity of a vacancy to rejig your structure and create a recruitment plan quickly that will serve your firm for longer.

3. An exit interview policy will increase staff happiness and reduce sickness and levels of absence in your firm.


If your staff know that they have an opportunity to be heard and that your firm takes meaningful action when problems in their workforce are identified, they will be happier in their roles and less likely to suffer with the effects of ill health caused by stress or being unhappy at work.

4. An exit interview policy will enhance your firm’s productivity and profit.


A workforce culture that is open and blame free is a more engaged one. If staff know that there are forums and processes embedded within the firm, they will feel confident in their employment, safe to speak truthfully and be more loyal to their employer. And loyal staff are productive. And productive staff create better turnover and higher profits – plus everyone is happier so it’s a complete no brainer to operate in this way.

5. Exit interviews will help keep your firm on the right side of employment law.


For similar reasons to 3 and 4 – you have provided your staff with a safe place to express their thoughts and opinions. For instance if a staff member felt bullied by their line manager and they chose not to speak out but instead tendered their resignation, the exit interview offers them a safe space in which they can open up about these problems. And should they then choose to take legal action against your firm for constructive dismissal or similar, you’d be able to showcase that they were asked to tell you about any problems that led to their resignation. This is a really important reason why you should use standardised questions and forms and keep great records.

We hope these 5 reasons why we firmly believe that your firm should conduct exit interviews are helpful. As well as being your trusted advisors on all matters associated with accountancy recruitment, we really want to help firms to retain the brilliant staff that we help them employ.

To work with the recruiters that value a partnership with their clients beyond the initial job offer, work with the best in the UK, work with Public Practice Recruitment Ltd.

You’ll find plenty more supporting articles, guides and case studies in our Employers’ Hub and we’d be delighted to arrange a chat with you soon to see what more we can do to help.



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