Recently, I read an article about turnover rate on IT and how tech companies have the highest turnover rate. The article brings in a theory indicting that Generation Y individuals are just not “Loyal” and will keep looking for better opportunities. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/career-management/tech-companies-have-highest-turnover-rate/. I would venture to say that companies are hiring the best, just to perform uninteresting work. With so many opportunities out there, they keep looking for their dream job; I do not have the data to conclude so.
When a large number of employees leave soon after they join a company, it is necessary to analyze the hiring process. We all want to hire the brightest off all, a candidate that shows positive attitude, technical expertise and the desire to create and innovate. But then after we hire these very high potential individuals, we ask them to perform mundane activities. Either because we have an immediate need, the role we hire this person for requires repetitive activities or they are so busy there is no time for innovation. Whatever the reason is, we have to ask ourselves: Are we being honest with candidates during their interviews? Are we setting clear expectations? Are we over promising?
Depending on the industry or department, different factors might need to be considered. Identifying those factors and crafting the exit interview towards getting clear actionable data is essential to a successful analysis process
Once factors are identified, the next step would be to decompose them, finding the main elements within that factor. For instance, some of the elements on the hiring process mentioned above could be:
- Did not possess the correct skills for the specific job
- Individual thought he was performing one role but when join a different role was assigned (not on title but on responsibilities and activities) this is more common than you might think
- Interesting job? We hire the best but she was bored to death doing simple tasks
- Were expectations clear? Did we make an effort to clarify schedules, flexibility, location, learning opportunities, team atmosphere?
- Did we consider soft skills and evaluated their compatibility with the team?
Once all elements have been identified, we can start writing the specific questions and structure. Depending on an answer, additional questions might or might not be asked. For instance, if it was answered that leadership was not an issue, why go deeper? But if it was, it would be a lost opportunity not to investigate further.
Next step would be to select a method to perform the interview, face to face, electronic? Both? Each method has pros and cons, but our goal should be to collect numerical data as well as comments or notes in order to have the complete story. Confidentiality has to be addressed and reassured since most of us do not want any bridges burned.
As important as it is to collect the data, the analysis and communication processes are fundamental. Consider these factors when selecting a method to obtain the answers.
While creating a solid exit interview process is not an easy task, it is an effort that will pay off by understanding the underlying factors and making the necessary changes to mitigate loosing companies most valuable asset, their people.
Does your company have a solid exit interview process? What challenges you have? Do you think exit interviews are really worth it? The more we share, the more we all benefit.