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Ask the Advisor Roundup – From Offer Letters to Exit Interviews

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Offer Letters to Exit InterviewsLisa Salcido, Director of Balance Point’s HR consulting service (BPHR), fields numerous requests daily related to all stages of the employee lifecycle.

BPHR’s team of experts are busy ensuring clients’ compliance with all labor laws and advising them on HR best practices – from hiring to separation.

In her bi-weekly series “Ask the Advisor” Lisa recently addressed the following questions related to offer letters and exit interviews. If you too need help with these topics, or anything in between, schedule an appointment to see if BPHR is right for your organization.

Letter-Perfect Offer Letter

Question: “Business is growing and we’re getting ready to hire a new employee. Do we need to provide the candidate with an offer letter?”

Answer: Congratulations on your success! Although not required by law, providing a letter that outlines the job offer is best practice. It should include job title, full-time/part-time and exempt or non-exempt classification, benefits offered, start date, and whether the offer is contingent upon background/drug screening results.

In the state of New Jersey, employers must notify new hires of their rate of pay and regular payday. By always providing an offer letter, you can be sure this requirement is met.

To avoid creating a contractual agreement with your offer letter, add a statement that the employment is at will and avoid language that classifies the candidate as a “permanent” employee or guarantees length of employment (unless temporary or fixed-period project).

Separation Anxiety

Question: I have an employee resigning in two weeks. How do I conduct an exit interview?

Answer: Conducting an effective exit interview can provide insight into where your company needs improvement to reduce turnover. This is a rare opportunity to hear honest feedback. Even if you think you know why your employee is leaving, you’d be surprised what an exit interview can uncover.

Schedule an in-person meeting with the departing employee at the end of their notice period, such as the morning of their last day. An experienced interviewer like HR, or a Manager that did not directly supervise the employee, should conduct the exit interview. Meet in a confidential space and encourage an open, productive conversation where the employee can be candid. Advise the employee that you wish to gather information about their experience working for the company and why they have chosen to leave.

Your discussion should cover several areas of the employment experience: orientation/onboarding process, training, management and other working relationships, compensation and benefits, working conditions and culture. You may be able to immediately apply some feedback to increase productivity in the departing employee’s position. Of course, if the employee mentions hostility or harassment issues you will need to address it as any other complaint and fully investigate.

Take notes during each exit interview so you can look for patterns. What you do with the information discovered during an exit interview is vital to making your organization stronger. Commit to using the constructive feedback to improve your workplace and increase job satisfaction. End the exit interview meeting on a positive note by thanking your employee for their participation and honesty. Share the employee’s good and bad experiences with your management team and discuss actions that can improve retention.

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