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If You Want Your Employees to Stay, Maybe You Should Do This

April 28, 2016, 6:11 PM UTC
Businessman pushing through revolving doors
Businessman pushing through revolving doors
Photograph by Sean Justice—Getty Images

We all hear about the revolving door of engineers and programmers constantly changing jobs in Silicon Valley and other tech hotspots. The exit interview cycle in these companies (if they give exit interviews) must be a truly frustrating process from a human resources point of view.

As a result, more companies are starting to use “stay interviews” to retain employees. These interviews help employers figure out what employees like (or don’t like) about their jobs and the work environment while there is still a chance of keeping them, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas,

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The problem with exit interviews is that while they may provide great insights about what employees think about their work, their colleagues, and their bosses, they do little to retain the employees who, after all, already have one foot out the door.

“As talent becomes more scarce, it is critical that companies be more proactive when it comes to retaining their best workers,” John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement.



Of some 100 human resources executives surveyed last month, more than one quarter (27%) said their companies already conduct stay interviews. Another 24% said they plan to do so. The rest said they had no plans to do so.

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Challenger also provided sample questions to ask during stay interviews from the Society of Human Resources Management including:

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What do you like most or least about working here?
  • If you could change something about your job, what would that be?
  • What talents are not being used in your current role?

While there have been lots of layoffs across industries, including technology over the past year, the number of employees who quit is far larger than the number of those who get cut. Finding and training new employees is an expensive and time-consuming process compared to keeping the right employees, so companies may want to give stay interviews a shot.