Bridge Insights

How Exit Interviews Help You Hire Smarter

Jul 16, 2020

Hiring the right talent for your team is hard work. In spite of your best efforts to carefully evaluate the talent pool and thoroughly vet your applicants during the interview process, sometimes your top pick will pull the rug out from under you by resigning shortly after. Leaving you to ask, “What went wrong?”

When an employee resigns from a position, your first thought may be to utter a four-letter word (or two) and say, “I guess it’s time to start the hiring process all over again”, but if you don’t reflect on why you are prematurely taking another dip in the talent pool, can you really expect to have a different outcome with the next all-star applicant you find?

Repeating the same process only to expect different results is, after all, insanity.

Fortunately, there is a way to take a pause and conduct a post-mortem on your organization’s recent resignation: offboarding.

[blockquotes color=”accent” logo=”yes” quote=”no”] Conducting a successful exit interview is the first step in improving the effectiveness of your recruiting strategy [/blockquotes]

The Importance of Offboarding

Offboarding a departing employee is just as important as onboarding a new one. Typically, most of our HR efforts are spent on the front end and not enough time is spent once an employee gives their notice.

We all know that employees may choose to leave their employer for a variety of reasons, but understanding why they made that decision is the first (and best) opportunity to gather feedback to improve your current hiring process; the best way to understand why it happened is conducting a structured exit interview.

Gathering Employee Feedback

We must first acknowledge the inner workings of our businesses are constantly changing. Often, the best way to understand how changes affect a company and its culture is through the eyes of your employees. Even though an employee resignation is generally an operational loss, it does not mean we can’t learn from this and improve our businesses going forward.

Conducting exit interviews can provide a company with valuable insight on important topics such as:

  • Compensation (Do you pay your employees competitively?)
  • Training (Do employees feel they are well equipped and trained to do their job?)
  • Management issues (Have multiple resignations come from one department?)
  • Work environment/culture (Do new employees feel welcomed when they join the team?)
  • Lack of career growth opportunities (Often a company and employee’s viewpoint on growth can look different)

The exit interview can also help uncover unresolved employee concerns or trends in employee dissatisfaction and help further clarify what changes need to be made to your recruiting process.

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Conducting and Effective Exit Interview

One important aspect of conducting a successful exit interview is being able to stay openminded. Constructive criticism is hard for departing employees to give, and, sometimes, even harder to hear. It is important not to take the feedback of an exit interview personally, and instead, remain objective. During the interview, be sure to have a structured process that makes the interviewee feel comfortable and that asks open-ended questions to help determine where there are opportunities for improvement.


Conducting a successful exit interview can be the first step in improving the effectiveness of your recruiting strategy and raise overall organizational performance. If you want to become a premier employer, be ready to analyze and act on what you learn throughout your exit interview and apply them today.