It Begins at the End

To get an accurate picture of your recruitment process and its failings, you need to take an honest look at the above pitfalls and determine whether they apply to your workplace. This isn’t an exercise just for the C-Suite. Instead, you need to run it throughout the organization to create a perpetual feedback loop. Exit interviews help leaders dial into their company’s current direction. Plus, they generate questions that recruiters can use in the hiring process to discern whether a candidate is a good fit.

Exit interviews can uncover a multitude of issues that help you improve your processes and procedures. Our company has experienced these benefits firsthand. After hearing from a few former employees in their exit interviews that they had felt blindsided by sudden companywide changes, we instituted mid-quarter updates. Their answers helped reveal a shortcoming we hadn’t previously identified and indicated we needed to have more care and concern for our internal employees. By holding these check-ins, we improved our culture of open, consistent communication even in a virtual organization. Employees were able to submit open questions, allowing circles of healthy feedback among the entire team.

However, constant change is inevitable at our company, so we knew that new hires needed to welcome it—at least on some level. To that end, we also used their exit interview answers to develop interview questions that would help us gauge someone’s appetite for change. Our recruiters started asking questions like: “How did you handle the last big change in your life?” and “How do you stop yourself from falling in love with your own ideas?”

Additionally, we reverse-engineered prompts like: “Tell me about a time when you felt like you had the right plan but things went south. How did you identify the problem, and how did you course-correct?” It’s about formulating questions you can ask upfront to prevent the wrong person from filling the wrong seat.

When looking for ways to improve your hiring and recruitment process, exit interviews might not immediately spring to mind. However, they’re an excellent opportunity to hold up a mirror to your company and see what’s working and what isn’t. Then, you can adapt your business for the greater good of your team and the customers you serve.

By Kelly Knight and Mark O’Donnell