- Exit interviews are fairly common when an employee decides to leave, but the tightening labor market is giving employers reason to start doing “stay interviews” as a proactive talent strategy, according to a new survey.
- The survey of 100 HR executives, from global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., found that more than 50% of respondents said their companies were already conducting stay interviews or planned to start doing so soon.
- While exit interviews help employers determine what they are doing well (or wrong), stay interviews look to provide all the same insights before an employee leaves, helping the employer figure out why talent stays and what might compel them to leave.
Stay interviews may start getting even more attention, as labor markets get tighter around the country, according to Challenger. In February, there were 63 metropolitan areas with an unemployment rate of 4% percent or lower, according to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There were 97 more with a rate below 5% percent. Among Americans 25 and older with a four-year college degree, the unemployment rate is just 2.6%, Challenger reports.
Exit interviews can be "enlightening," Challenger says, but such interviews are completed too late to keep that person from leaving.
Mary C. Shinsako, manager, HR for ArcelorMittal USA, a global steel and mining company with North American operations headquartered in Chicago, says that the stay interview process has had a positive impact on retaining key employees.
“The most critical step in the process is the action planning phase," she says. "After conducting the stay interview, the manager identifies the action steps that will be taken based on the feedback received."