Pathway in the woods

Interviewing – Development, Retention & Exit

How can the way you interview as a business impact an employee’s development, Retention & Exit from your company?

The quality of your organisation’s interview process can have an effect on your retention levels and how soon someone might exit your business. A well-defined interview process can impact retention hugely. Here are some things to think about when defining your interview process with development, retention and exit in mind:

Development: An individual’s development should be discussed as part of the interview process. Ok, so you are not going to be able to get into the nitty-gritty of a candidates’ career aspirations during the first stage interview – after all you do not even know whether you want to hire them yet. But their development goals should be a natural topic of conversation and form part of your interview process. This is your first opportunity to show that your organisation; 1. cares about individual future development and 2. has a plan in place to take the candidate to the next phase of their long term career goals.  Have some success stories to share about the development other employees have experienced within your business.  You will create a sense of buy in to your business and further reasons for that individual to accept your offer over and above any other opportunity they might be considering.

Retention: A clear pathway for development set out or discussed during the interview process and the buy in to your business that this creates will mean that an individual has a more deep-rooted reason to embed themselves into your business for the long term. Of course, setting it out during an interview process is one thing, but it goes without saying that the intention to deliver on it once the person has joined is key. Otherwise it will have the direct opposite effect.

Exit: Given that you have such a well-designed career pathway for your employees, which have had such a positive effect on your retention levels, an individual’s exit from your business is going to be much less likely. However, we would be naive to think that individuals would never leave a business – so how can an interview help you when it comes to a person exiting your firm?

Do you conduct exit interviews? If not, why not? If we do not understand our employee’s motivations for leaving our organisation how can we make changes or learn and evolve to become better? Surely you want to build a business that people want to work for, so the exit interview is arguably as important as all the efforts you went to back at the beginning of the hiring process. Building in an exit interview process for anyone leaving, if done in the right way, can only lead to more knowledge and potentially give you the evidence you need to make changes – especially if there seems to be a recurring theme or pattern to people moving on. You can use this exit interview as a learning tool, a development tool for you and your brand moving forwards which, if the learnings are implemented into change, will create a cycle that in turn increases your future retention levels.


Never conducted an exit interview? Or find your exit interviews are a waste of time – click here for some tips around how you might go about making your exit interview beneficial to your brand.


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