HR to Hold Stay Interviews

Reports indicate that big tech players and top financial services organizations are finding it a challenge to retain talent. Experts recommend conducting stay interviews to retain talent. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), stay interviews “are conducted to help managers understand why employees stay and what might cause them to leave”. Recording interviews and getting them documented with the help of business transcription services can help managers extract this vital information and use it to devise strategies to stop attrition.

In a recent survey of 6,802 tech professionals, anonymous professional network Blind found that:

  • 80% of professionals are considering looking for another job in the next three months.
  • Nearly three out of five professionals (57%) said they had applied for a job in the past month.
  • About three out of four workers (74%) reported they had communicated with a recruiter in the last month.

Even popular employee friendly workplaces like Apple, Bloomberg, Google, Facebook-owner Meta, Twitter and Uber that offer great pay and benefits are not immune to attrition. Conducting stay interviews can help managers understand what it would take to retain talent.

What is a Stay Interview?

First, a stay interview is different from an exit interview in which employees who are leaving the organization are asked why they decided to leave. A stay interview is conducted to prevent the potential exit. In a stay interview, an HR representative or team leader has an informal conversation with employees to understand what keeps them happy and what’s not going well at work. The goal is to find out what needs to improve and what it would take to maintain a good relationship with high-performing employees – with the goal to retain them.

Specifically, stay interviews aim to identify what motivates employees and collect precise information about how they feel about their salary, benefits, and professional development opportunities. To uncover this data, the interviewer needs to ask the right questions.

Stay Interview Questions

At a stay interview, employers need to ask questions to understand the employee and their perceptions about the job, the company culture, the work environment, and the technology used. Well-executed stay interviews can:

  • Provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of an organization
  • Understand what it would take to keep existing talent longer
  • Improve employee retention
  • Provide valuable employee feedback
  • Uncover pain points and areas of improvement
  • Avoid repeated issues
  • Boost employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Help build a branding strategy and attract new talent

Let’s take a look at kinds of questions that experts say companies should focus on asking at a stay interview.

  • What made you take up this position?
  • What do you like most about the company and your job?
  • What do you look forward to most when you come to work every day
  • If you could, what would you change about the company, the culture, and/or your position?
  • What are some of your current challenges at work?
  • What keeps you here?
  • What makes you think of leaving?
  • Do your talents valued and being used in the company?
  • Are you getting clear goals and objectives?
  • Do you have the tools and resources you need to do your job properly?
  • What can make you feel more engaged at work?
  • Do you feel that you have a good work-life balance?
  • What can we do to make your job even more satisfying?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Do you think you can achieve them within this company?
  • How can we recognize your work and efforts?

In addition to helping employers remedy a situation before losing talent, staying makes employees feel valued. A recent Forbes article refers to the process of wooing existing employees as re-recruiting and notes that allocating resources to retain existing talent can help companies avoid expensive time-consuming recruitment. According to Gallup, replacing a single employee can cost up to two times the employee’s annual salary. When done the right way, stay interviews can reignite employee inspiration and motivation about their role in the workplace, and ultimately induce them to stay.

However, experts caution that stay interviews are not a substitute for a continuous dialogue with employees about what’s working and areas that need to improve. Also, stay interviews would be effective only if the management pays attention to the feedback given by the employee and takes action to implement change.

Effective communication and active listening are critical to understanding exactly what employees are seeking. That’s where interview transcription services come in. Companies can use professional transcription services to ensure that recorded stay interviews are accurately documented. HR can share the information with executives, management, leadership, and other decision-makers so that they can review the feedback, identify patterns, and strategize ways to improve the employee experience and retain existing talent.