Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Exit Interviewing by Catbert?

When is the academic community going to learn that HR has no intention of using what you say in an exit interview against you?

In an article in the Washington post, an Associate Professor from the University of Maryland warns departing employees that if they say negative things in an exit interview then the company might in turn say bad things about them in a reference or bar them from future employment.

I'll ask one more time -- why would a company do that? It's the most ridiculous claim and I would really like to know on what this is based. The HR Manager is asking - begging - employees to be honest about their work experience. Do you think they do this so that, like Dilbert's Catbert, they can have the evil pleasure of using it against the employee?

Exit interviews are used to find faults in the organization not to find faults in the employee. I have never, ever, heard of an HR practitioner that has retaliated on an ex-employee for pointing out negative things in their exit interview. In fact it's the opposite. They get frustrated with employees who don't open up and speak the truth about why they are leaving or problems in the company.

Next time I hear someone make this crazy claim, I'm going to ask them to provide some specific examples and data. Otherwise let's put this nonsense to rest.


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