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Exit Interviews – A Great Opportunity for Employers

Exit Interviews – A Great Opportunity for Employers

By Craig Wolfson, Esq.

Once an employee gives you notice that they are leaving your company, this should not be the end of your communication with them.  There are many benefits of spending time with a departing employee and having an exit interview with them.   

Departing employees are generally much more forthcoming than those still in their jobs.  They feel that they have nothing to lose and can speak their mind.   

Departing employees often offer constructive feedback about your company.  You should not hesitate to learn what is really happening in and around your business.   

Often you will learn the real reason why an employee is leaving. What an employee tells their supervisor about why they are exiting is frequently not the real story.  An exit interview can be a perfect setting to hear all of the details. 

An employee who is exiting feels listened to and will leave your company on a favorable note.  Creating goodwill with the employee may lead to them leaving a positive online review about your company, or encouraging others to work there.   

You may learn about the culture of your company, any misconduct occurring, and any management issues.  This will afford you the chance to take swift and immediate action to remedy any problems.   

You can also gain insights about your processes – recruiting; onboarding; and training.  Again, there may be opportunities here to learn about and improve your internal systems.   

Consistently doing exit interviews and then taking any needed action will help to improve your overall employee retention.  You will have established a better performing company that is more employee- friendly.   

Exit interviews allow you to discuss with the leaving employee any ongoing responsibilities they have such as a non-compete clause.  You can tie up any loose ends and make sure that your expectations and contractual obligations are clear. 

Finally, you can compile data and use the metrics to learn about trends and ongoing issues.  Additionally, you may spot repetitive issues with a certain supervisor or in a specific area of the company that might require extra attention and training.   

Exit interviews typically last less than a half hour, and are time well spent. While they can be conducted in-house, a more prudent approach is to have a neutral third-party do the exit interviews.  Employees are often more willing to talk to an outsider with whom they have no prior relationship.    

Wolfson and Klein-Wolfson, PLLC, a Syosset New York law firm, can assist with your exit interview needs.   We have many years of experience conducting exit interviews, and as attorneys we have the discretion and knowledge to know what can legally be asked during an exit interview.