Don’t Conduct Exit Interviews With Contingent Workers | DCR Workforce Blog

Don’t Conduct Exit Interviews With Contingent Workers

Don’t Conduct Exit Interviews With Contingent Workers

When an employee’s tenure comes to an end we conduct exit interviews. This is an accepted practice – in fact, most would say that it’s a best practice. But when it comes to contingent workers, an exit interview can actually have damaging results.

An exit interview, by definition, marks the end of a relationship. As the worker departs, a typical interview includes a review of termination paperwork, a reminder to the worker of ongoing obligations regarding intellectual property protection and non-compete agreements, verification of the return of all company-owned assets, and a general discussion of satisfaction with the relationship from the vantage point of all parties. In many cases, the person conducting the exit interview merely checks the boxes needed to close out and file away the worker’s personnel data.

When a satisfactory temporary assignment comes to an end, smart companies recognize that the interview should sustain the relationship, not terminate it. Particularly in areas requiring scarce talent, companies should view contingent workers as extensions of their work population – individuals held in reserve until needed again. It took time and effort to find the worker in the first place; why repeat the process when you can be assured of tapping into that proven talent when needed? Each time the individual is re-engaged, the worker requires less time to be p

roductive. Conduct a worker transition interviewed that is structured to encourage redeployment.

As the interview is intended to serve a different purpose, it should be conducted as an introduction into the start of the next phase of the relationship. Specific points of discussion should include:

  • Recommendations for enhancing your company’s reputation within the contingent worker community. Ask for suggestions for making it easier for temp workers to come up to speed, and test whether your corporate culture is inclusive of contingent workers. Test the effectiveness of your onboarding process, orientation procedures, and handling of issues.
  • Feedback on the supplier who is serving as employer of record.
  • The worker’s interest in future assignments with your company. Ask for specifics regarding the type of assignment that would be of interest.
  • Effectiveness of knowledge transfer initiatives. Identify any open issues, an, if applicable, discuss who will take responsibility for any open items.
  • Referrals for related positions. The worker may know of other contingent workers who possess the skills needed for other temporary assignments.

Consider an alumni management system in which workers who satisfactorily complete an engagement can maintain their profile, keep you up to date on their availability, and automatically be considered for positions that match their capabilities. If you have such a system in place, the interview should include an introduction to the system, and the benefits of participation should be emphasized.

Document the transition interview, and tie it to a continuous improvement feedback loop. Each interview can contribute to your understanding of your Company’s market reputation, and provide insights into ways to win when competing for scarce talent.

Now, as in all things, common sense must prevail. If the contingent worker prematurely is leaving the engagement, or if you are not satisfied with a worker’s performance, an exit interview (often accompanied by a “Do Not Rehire” notation in the worker’s file) is appropriate.

Has your company implemented an effective process for sustaining relationships with great temporary talent? Tell us about your program.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
An industry veteran, Debra draws on more than 25 years of experience in corporate operations, strategic planning, marketing, sales and management. Her prolific work experience includes service at top computer technology, management consulting, and workforce management companies.