How to Leverage Insights from Exit Interviews

Sep 4, 2019

Exit interviews are important tools for HR because they provide insights into company operations and culture that would otherwise be impossible to get from current employees. To make the most of the process, HR stakeholders should develop consistent processes that aim to collect valuable, measurable data.

Create an exit interview policy

To ensure consistent insights, it is important to develop a standard procedure for conducting exit interviews. Your policy should specify which stakeholders are responsible for conducting the interview, when the interview should be held, and which questions will be asked. In organizations with multiple departments, there may need to be some customization of each part. The important thing is that each team have a repeatable process.

When your organization is able to achieve a regular exit interview process, you will be able to glean more valuable insights from the data each interview generates. If questions are inconsistent, it will be difficult to spot patterns and make meaningful change within your company. From this base, you can develop a list of key questions and topics that will drive your strategic goals.

Create a list of questions

The questions you ask departing employees can help you develop strategies for reducing turnover, improving the company culture and creating consistent operational improvements.

Successful Culture CEO and Inc. magazine contributor Marissa Levin recommends asking questions similar to the following:

  • Why are you leaving the company?

  • What did you enjoy about working at the company?

  • How do you think the company can improve?

  • Is there anything about your position’s duties that management should know?

  • What should future hires know about your position before starting?

All questions should pertain to the existing employee’s relationship to the company. Questions about other employees should always be avoided. Likewise, you should not ask any questions about the employee’s personal life.

Put your data to work

Collecting data from exiting employees is only the first step. The next move stakeholders should make is to use the data to improve processes. For example, a report from Gallup recommends using exit interview data to add market intelligence to your organization’s recruitment strategy.

For instance, your data will let you know which competitors are driving talent away from your company. Then, you can find out what aspects of those other companies is attracting your employees. Having this intelligence will help you craft future recruitment strategies.

If you’re unable to beat the competition in terms of salary or benefits, look for other ways to increase your appeal to potential employees. Optimizing your employer brand will help your company stand out from the competition.


To summarize, you can get the most value from your exit interviews by:

  • Developing a consistent exit interview process.

  • Creating a list of questions that provide measurable data.

  • Using the data from interviews to inform your recruitment strategy.


Allie Kelly is the vice president of marketing at JazzHR, where they’re on a mission to make recruiting and hiring easy, effective, and scalable no matter what growth looks like at your company. The Jazz Performer Platform doesn’t just help your company grow, it can help your recruiting process grow up, putting you on the path to hiring “Performers Only.”

Written by: Allie Kelly

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