19 Exit Interview Statistics To Transform Your Company


Exit Interview Statistics

Exit Interviews. They’re a pain, right?

You’ve got to find the right person, get them in a room, and then make sure you ask the right questions. And then you have to make sure you write down everything that’s said, so you can analyze it later.

But then what happens? You get home and realize that you forgot to ask something important… or maybe you’re just not sure how to analyze what was said. Or maybe your boss wants to know why they should keep paying for exit interviews when they’re not getting much out of them.

It’s enough to make anyone want to throw their hands up in frustration! But don’t worry: we’ve compiled the most relevant exit interview statistics for you to peruse, use and share with your network.

Whether you’re a marketing professional looking for data to help inform your next campaign or a human resources manager trying to make sense of the results of your last exit interview, we’ve got what you need.

So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and get started!

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Exit Interview Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

Though 75% of all companies are conducting exit interviews, only 1% are making them the right way. Yet, those are the ones that also learn valuable information from the exit interviews.

If you want to learn more mind-blowing stats and facts about exit interviews, here is our research at a glance!

  • Exit interviews are used by about 75% of all companies.
  • 91% of Fortune 500 companies conduct exit interviews.
  • Almost 99% of companies with exit interviews are doing them wrong.
  • Only 15% of departing employees accept an exit interview.
  • Barely 28% of HR managers act on exit interview data.
  • The most likely action from an exit interview is updating the job description.
  • There is no known evidence that exit interviews reduce turnover.

As you can see, these statistics are not looking good. Exit interviews can be such a powerful tool for many companies but rarely do they use them right. Make sure to read our comprehensive research to learn more about the benefits of exit interviews.

General Exit Interviews Statistics

1. About three-quarters of all companies use exit interviews.

While not all companies prefer to use exit interviews, most have them as mandatory. According to some data, about 75% of all businesses use exit interviews. They analyze the data to understand better why their employees are leaving. They also discover whether employees feel heard and valued.

(People element)

 

2. Almost 99% of companies with exit interviews are doing them wrong.

Even though 75% of companies have conducted some exit interviews, most fail in the process. The biggest problem with exit interviews is that they are led by the company’s HR or the departing employee’s supervisors or managers.

According to Harvard Business Review, 70.9% of the companies in their study had HR handle the exit reviews. About 19% assigned the task to their direct supervisors. An additional 8.9% asked their immediate supervisor’s manager to do the process. Only 1% asked external consultants to handle the process.

The reality is that most departing employees are not truthful with their superiors. That is understandable because they want references. They are also being dishonest with the HR team. That is especially true if they are running away from a toxic environment. Even though most companies conduct exit interviews, they rarely gain valuable information. The reason for this is that they don’t know the whole story.

(Harvard Business Review)

 

3. Only 1% of the companies are doing exit interviews correctly.

Only 1% of all companies asked external consultants to handle their exit interviews. Yet, those are the companies that are doing these interviews properly. Since they include third-party providers, they help create a safe and confidential area. That leads to the departing employees being more honest.

Moreover, the exit interview is conducted by professionally trained interviewers. They know how to ask the right questions. The study also showed that external consultants are more equipped to analyze the exit interviews. They know how to identify underlying issues.

(People element)

 

4. Second or third-line managers conduct the most successful in-house exit interviews.

Second-line managers (direct supervisors’ managers) are also a good choice for exit interviews. They can provide much more honest feedback from the departing employees. Unfortunately, only 8.9% of the companies leave this process to their direct supervisor’s manager.

Still, according to Harvard Business Review, it’s a much better option than dumping the job to your HR team.

(Harvard Business Review)

 

Geographic, Industry, and Company Size Statistics

5. Most Asian-Pacific companies conduct mandatory exit reviews.

Asian-Pacific companies have the highest percentage (92%) of mandatory exit reviews. Researchers believe that the reason for this is the unprecedented tight labor market in Asia. That said, Asian-Pacific companies are least likely to implement any changes after learning the data from the exit interviews.

Only 64% of Central-South American companies have mandatory exit interviews. Still, the researchers discovered that companies based in the United States are most likely to make a change based on the data learned.

(Harvard Business Review)

 

6. Professional service firms are unlikely to conduct an official exit review.

Professional service firms seem the least likely to conduct mandatory reviews. But they are most likely to study the data and act on them if and when they have them. Because their employees are giving them a competitive advantage, they tend to listen to their needs more than the rest of the industries.

That said, they are not the only ones to take action after exit reviews. For example, 65% of management consulting firms are proven to do the same. We can also see 57% of nonprofits and 20% of utilities making a difference after an exit interview. Lastly, 11% of educational entities study the data from their exit interviews. And they also ensure higher levels of employee satisfaction.

(Harvard Business Review)

 

7. Mid-sized companies are most likely to have mandatory exit reviews.

Regarding the size of the company, mid-sized businesses are taking the lead, with 87% conducting mandatory exit reviews. But, compared to those, only 77% of large and 66% of small companies have implemented mandatory exit interviews.

While mid-sized businesses are more likely to put in place mandatory exit reviews, the small ones are the ones that will act on them the most. On the other hand, the large ones will rarely make any changes based on the data from an exit interview.

(Harvard Business Review)

 

8. Over 9 in 10 Fortune 500 companies conduct exit interviews.

We have already learned that 75% of all companies have conducted some exit interviews in the past. But, this number is different for Fortune 500 companies. According to a Burke Employee Survey, a staggering 91% of Fortune 500 companies conduct regular exit interviews.

That said, while the companies are asking their deprecating employees to participate in the exit interviews, they are not forcing them.

(Recruiter)

 

9. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies consider their exit interviews good.

Many Fortune 500 companies have mandatory exit interviews. That said, only 44% claim this process leads to valuable information. About 44% also say it helps them make better future decisions. Furthermore, less than half of the companies grade their exit interview process as “good” or “very good.”

(Recruiter)

 

Usefulness of Exit Interviews Statistics and Facts

10. Most exit interviews are done during the employee’s last week in the company.

Researchers have discovered that most exit interviews are conducted during the last week of the departing employee’s time in the company. That is the most common practice, but according to the research, it’s not the most effective. The closer the departing employee is to the end of his tenure, the more checked out mentally they will be.

To gather more information, an exit interview should be taken halfway between the announcement to leave and the departure. If this is not possible, it can also be done after the employee has left the company. Even a month later would give better results than during the last week of the departing employee’s time in the company.

(Harvard Business Review)

 

11. Telephone exit interviews are more honest than face-to-face meetings.

Most interviewers prefer face-to-face exit interviews because they believe it’s the best way. While this may be true for some of the most valued employees in your company, it’s not the same for everyone.

It seems that telephone interviews result in more honest answers than face-to-face meetings. Even web surveys are proven to give more candid responses from departing employees. This way, employees don’t have to face their superiors or the HR team in person after quitting their job.

(Harvard Business Review)

 

12. Former employees answer more honestly several months after their exit.

A study published in the Wiley Online Library gives us an interesting perspective. People tend to answer more honestly on a questionnaire mailed months after quitting their job. In fact, about 59% responded much more honestly after a few months than those who had exit interviews before their official departure.

Researchers recommend sending the questionnaire three to six months after the former employee’s departure for best results.

(Wiley Online Library)

 

13. Only 15% of departing employees accept an exit interview.

The average response rate for exit interviews used to be between 30% and 35%, but now the number has fallen to 15%. In other words, only about 2.25% of the total employee population takes part in exit interviews.

There are many reasons why departing employees are not completing their exit interviews. Here are the most common ones:

  • The exit interviews are too long.
  • The exit interviews are confusing or make participants feel personally attacked.
  • Feeling that the exit interview will not help them feel heard.
  • Being afraid of repercussions or bad references.
  • The departing employees are trying to leave a toxic environment.

If your company has a low turnover rate for exit interviews, the chances are that these are some of the issues. But it takes little to improve once you know where the problem lies.

That said, the same study showed that 65% is the best turnover rate for exit interview participation. You can collect valuable information and make better future decisions if you achieve this percentage. Both for your current and future employees.

(nobscot)

 

14. The ideal exit interview survey length is between 36 and 60 questions.

One of the biggest reasons why departing employees decide not to take an exit interview is when they feel the process will take too long. Studies have shown that the right amount of an exit interview survey has between 34 and 60 questions.

Less than 34 questions may not provide a lot of data to research. Anything more than 60 questions will make employees feel uncomfortable. That will also lead to them not completing their exit interview.

So, any company that wants to get relevant information and not exhaust the person taking the exit interview should consider asking a number of questions within this range.

(nobscot)

 

15. Only 28% of HR managers regularly act on exit interview data.

A 2016 survey shows that less than one-third of HR managers regularly act on exit interview data. That isn’t very encouraging, considering how valuable these interviews are for the company’s growth.

Moreover, the same survey revealed that 35% of HR managers somewhat often act on exit interviews. The remaining 24% do not act often, and 13% never act on their exit interview data.

(Robert Half)

 

16. The most likely action from an exit interview is updating the job description.

Out of those HR managers who decide to take action based on the data from the exit interviews, 29% update the job description, 24% discuss the management’s feedback, and 22% make changes to the work environment. In sporadic cases, the HR managers review employees’ salaries (19%) or their benefits (5%).

As you can see, updating the job description is the most often seen action based on data learned from exit interviews. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do much for current employees. No wonder many departing employees feel that these exit interviews don’t make them heard.

(Robert Half)

 

17. A successful exit interview can help you discover what your competitors offer your employees.

An excellent exit interview will help your employees feel their voices are heard. It can also help you learn how other companies inspire them to leave your team and join theirs. Besides, with the data discovered from an exit interview, you can better understand the benefits your competitors offer their employees. That can help you create a better work environment for your employees.

According to Pew, most people leave their jobs due to low salaries (37%), lack of opportunities (33%), and feeling disrespected (35%). A strong exit interview could potentially help the employer spot these weak links and work on improving them.

(GALLUP, Pew Research Center)

 

18. There is no known evidence that exit interviews reduce turnover.

While many studies show the benefits of exit interviews for the company and its employees, no known studies show if they reduce turnover.

However, we do know that engaged employees who feel heard and appreciated in the workplace are less likely to leave. That is especially true for companies offering an excellent work-life balance.

(Harvard Business Review)

 

19. Exit interviews may have a hidden purpose.

An exciting study provides a unique perspective from a before unresearched benefit of exit interviews. Plus, based on a new theory, exit interviews could leave one last good impression on departing employees. With the help of a good exit interview, there are high chances that the company can benefit from a long-term relationship with an employee that no longer works there.

Glassdoor research revealed that three-quarters of job seekers want jobs with brands that have a good reputation. An impressive 86% of people wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation.

An exit interview often helps companies part on good terms with employees, meaning they may get good reviews from them. Therefore, employers improve their chances of hiring top talent.

(ResearchGate, Glassdoor)

 

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap!

Exit interviews are an important part of any business, and they can be a huge help in improving your company. They help you get feedback from the employees who know your company best so that you can make changes and make sure that everyone is happy with their job.

You don’t have to be afraid of getting negative feedback either; if there is something that needs fixing in your company, then using exit interviews will give you the opportunity to fix it before someone else leaves their job too!

We hope that this article on exit interview stats has given you valuable insights into why exit interviews can be so valuable for your business. By conducting exit interviews early in your company, you can identify problems and issues before they become too big to fix.

So, if exit interviews aren’t already part of your company culture, we encourage you to start instituting them today – they are definitely one of the tools at your disposal.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send us an email. We read each and every email from our readers and will respond as quickly as possible.

Thanks for reading!

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