Member Jen Munkner Speaks: Combing Through Exit Interviews? You’re Already Too Late.

The Challenge:

The case at hand was brought by a principal in a professional services business. He was lamenting his company’s inability to retain key talent in a competitive labor market and compete on compensation. Despite pouring over reams of exit interviews, he was unable to create a winning recruitment strategy.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

Were I captaining your ship, I’d focus on learning about why your employees stay. Develop your understanding of what keeps them happy, and thereby you will articulate your company’s distinct values. Use these revelations to power your recruitment and turn your current employees into informed evangelists.

I’ve seen you bring up this problem in several meetings. I’d suggest you reframe the issue in a more positive, progressive manner. The strongest way to recruit effectively is to understand what is retaining your current workforce. One easy way to gather this information is fun, quick surveys for your employees. For example, “What should we keep doing? What should we stop doing? What should we start doing?” Your goal is to better understand why people stick around and give you their best work.

By building clarity on what retains your employees, you are essentially distilling your corporate culture and values. Once you have identified a handful of key values, you have built a common language for recruitment that is sincere to your company’s unique DNA. Your current employees will also become primed to evangelize the company and articulate why it’s a great place to work. Even if you can’t compete on high end compensation, you can now describe the intangible benefits of working at your company and drive a more persuasive recruitment campaign.