Why New Hire Surveys and Stay Interviews Lower Employee Turnover Rates

There are two completely opposite, yet distinctly constant feelings in recruitment. The high you get when you make a perfect hire who is going to fit into your company well and the painful feeling when your best staff member tells you they are leaving. While those feelings are different, both can be harnessed to lower your turnover rates with new hire surveys and stay interviews.

The New Hire Survey 

It seems obvious that when you make a great hire, chances are that there is more “water” to be had in that “well.” However, studies like the Korn Ferry Futurestep Survey show that very few companies are taking advantage of this “hydration strategy.” In fact, many are dying of proverbial thirst. Per the Korn Ferry, “The survey found that less than one-third of respondents (29 percent) say their company surveys new hires about the recruiting experience.” That means that 71% of hires aren’t being listened to and that is a big mistake.

The solution is simple; recruiters need to follow up with their new hires to find out what sold them on taking a job with their company. Was it the company culture? Was it the benefits package? Was it the location? Learning what candidates want is the first step to making better creative that will attract other ideal candidates.

It should also be noted that such a survey should cover where candidates found out about your open role. Learning where your candidates are seeing your job postings matters. If they saw a post on Facebook and decided to do more research about roles within the company, you’ll want to allocate more dollars to social media promotion. If the candidate found you on a niche job site, you’ll know that a dedicated e-blast or longer job posting on that particular board produces results. If they found you via organic search, what term did they use? These dialed in insights will help you be far more effective.

The “Stay Interview”

Many companies and employees are familiar with the exit interview. In theory, it’s the time when staff members can express why they are leaving, suggest company improvements, express gratitude and even air grievances in a professional manner. Of course, the reality is that by the time an exit interview is conducted, it means that you are losing an employee. It also means, if you are taking the time to conduct such an interview, you are probably losing a long-term, helpful team member.

The sad thing is, it’s very possible that this conversation doesn’t need to occur as regularly if you conduct what is coming to be known as a “stay interviews” with existing staff on a routine basis.

Back in March of 2016, Jan Johnston Osburn published a piece called Today's HR: Replacing Outdated Exit Interviews with Stay Interviews on LinkedIn in which she stated, “If you wait until the last day of work to ask why someone is leaving, that’s reactive. It’s too late. And employees have been taught not to burn bridges (I say sometimes you have to blow the bridge apart!) so they are careful with the information they give. Why not rethink your exit interview and make it a stay interview?”

So what exactly is a “stay interview?” It’s a meeting of the minds where employers can talk with employees about why they are choosing to stay with their company. According to Osburn stay interviews provide the following benefits:

  • They foster and reignite employee engagement
  • They help to isolate and ultimately remediate areas of improvement within the company so as to negate ongoing employee frustration
  • They give you as an employer positive areas to hone in on that are based on real employee responses (which ultimately Osburn states that you can use to “reinforce those factors throughout the organization.”

And, this sort of interview doesn’t need to be done one-on-one! Osburn suggests that any of the following formats are possibilities to consider: “a focus group covering a small group of employees, a one-on-one interview with HR, a one-on-one interview with their manager or questionnaires / surveys.”

We strongly suggest you check out the rest of her article here where she provides question ideas for this sort of interview.

In Conclusion…

Conducting new hire surveys and stay interviews and making appropriate, insightful changes to your recruitment and retention strategies will help you be a better employer and will lower employee turnover rates. The reason? It means that your company is listening to its employees. That’s what every employee wants, right?

Did you enjoy this article? Consider subscribing to our blog.

Subscribe to the Blog!