The rise of the stay interview

We’re all familiar with exit interviews but, according to CNBC, these discussions focus on the wrong people: the people leaving, instead of the people staying.


Stay interviews seek to redress the balance. They examine what motivates employees to stay, how their employee experience could be improved, and how they envision the next stage of their career within the company. They focus on making remaining staff feel better understood and more committed to the business. To a backdrop of the Great Resignation, HR professionals are increasingly tapping into stay interviews as a valuable retention tool.


Please see below for a synopsis of CNBC’s guide to the mighty stay interview:


– The stay interview should be informal and conversational. Managers should share their perspectives in the spirit of encouraging a genuine, open exchange. They must accept that they’ll make themselves vulnerable in the process, but view this as a valuable learning opportunity.


– Focus on how the employee feels about their daily work, the value of their contribution and how they feel within the organisation. What excites them about coming to work? Do they feel good about what they do? What would they like to do less/more of? Do they see a long-term future for themselves at the company?


– Ask what would make your employee jump ship. Would they leave for a promotion, a pay rise or better growth opportunities? Armed with this information, you can start working on plugging the gap.


– Employee motivation fluctuates, so stay interviews should happen periodically throughout the year and not be tied to performance season.


– Close your interview by thanking the employee for their time, summarising their feedback and providing a clear sense of what they can expect to happen next.


Sometimes it’s not practical for HR to host stay interviews with all staff. In this case, you will need to ensure that managers are trained to do so effectively. They need to understand that the purpose of the stay interview is to show employees that they matter, and to follow up with appropriate action promptly.


The team at ABL, your trusted recruitment partner, wishes you every success with all your retention activities. If you’d like to tap into our expertise and support for the recruitment side of things, please get in touch. We are the UK’s leading multilingual recruitment agency and we cannot wait to match our fantastic candidates to your great roles!