How do you get the Truth from Leavers?

I read recently about an organisation spending 600 HR hours a year on face to face exit interviews.  The end result, however, was that they had no hard data and really didn’t know accurately why people were leaving.

They teamed up with a specialist organisation who provided them with an online exit questionnaire that leavers could complete anonymously.  Amazingly about 90% of leavers completed this.  This resulted in hard, reliable data which could be used to target the areas causing the attrition.

Another option to a sophisticated online system is to have an external third party conduct the interview – even if it is over the telephone.  One organisation who did this after conducting their own in-house interviews found that over 80% of people actually changed the reason they had originally given for leaving.

If you don’t know why they are leaving you are never going to plug the gaps.  Talent retention is critical today and it is far better to stop them leaving in the first place than try to find good replacements.