Making the Most of Exit Interviews

When a legal support professional leaves, it’s natural to wonder “Why?”  And it is vital to ask.

Exit interviews can be a powerful tool for determining why good people leave, identifying the weaknesses in your current structure, and addressing them in the hiring process for the person’s replacement.  Here’s how to make the most of exit interviews.

Take a step back.

Most exit interviews start with the question “Why are you leaving?”  Instead, take a step back in the process; ask “What made you start looking for a new job in the first place?”

You may hear about the new job’s compensation, its location, or other problems or plans in the employee’s life – none of which help you improve your hiring for the next legal support professional.  When you know why they started looking, however, you begin to focus on issues that you can address in the hiring process.

Ask how the job matched their expectations.

While this question is valuable to ask any legal support staff member who is leaving, it is particularly useful if the employee who is leaving was on your team for only a short time.  Often, those who stay for a short time do so because the job that was described to them in the posting and interviews does not match the tasks they were actually asked to perform on a day to day basis.

If this is the case, you can work to rewrite the job description and clarify the daily responsibilities before placing another job ad or posting an opening – increasing the chances you will find someone who expects the job they get and has the skills to do it well.

Ask if they had what they needed to do the job well.

Workplace stress most often results when employees feel as if the resources they have to perform a task do not match up to the task’s demands.  Without the right training, legal support team members may not feel they can do their job adequately.  Worse, they might feel the lack of support signals that their work is not valued by the organization.  This question helps you focus on specific ways to onboard and support new team members so they can focus on their jobs.

Exit interviews are a valuable source of information to help you refine your hiring strategy. To ensure you get the best results for your staffing strategy, be sure to communicate this with your recruiter. These takeaways can help them in their search for your next legal support employee.

At Kent Legal, our recruiters place legal support professionals with organizations throughout the greater Toronto area.  For help finding your next legal support candidate in Toronto, talk to us today.

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