Professional Staffing Blog

stay interview

Retaining Top Talent through Stay Interviews

Frequent voluntary turnover can negatively impact employee morale, productivity and company revenue. Recruiting and training a new employee requires a great deal of staff time and money.

According to recent studies, it costs upwards of 50% of a mid-level employee’s annual salary to replace him or her. And for high-level employees, the cost is much higher; in fact, it’s close to 400% of his or her salary.

Just as the name suggests, stay interviews are intended to elicit information from top performers about factors that would drive them to remain with your organization. Through periodic one-on-one retention interviews between managers and highly valued “at-risk-of-leaving” employees, your organization can:

  • Identify and minimize the “triggers” that might cause employees to consider leaving
  • Help you understand why employees stay, so that you can reinforce these factors

Key Benefits

Stay interviews have positive consequences for both the organization and the employee. Because they are personalized, they provide an ideal opportunity for identifying potential pitfalls—and also for exploring new opportunities to retain top employees. They tend to motivate and encourage employees by lowering negative emotions and focusing on positives. Stay interviews are inexpensive to conduct and often include direct actions.

Stay Interview Questions

Stay interviews don’t need to be constrained to an exact script—many good ideas come from the natural flow of conversation between the interviewer and employee. Additionally, it’s good to have a list of questions prepared to ensure that you guide the conversation in the right direction.

Some potential questions include:

  1. What is it about your job that makes you want to jump out of bed each morning?
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What is your dream job?
  4. If you completely changed your role, what would you most miss?
  5. If you won the lottery and didn’t have to work, what would you miss?
  6. What did you love about your last position that you’re not doing now?
  7. Describe what makes a great day at work?
  8. If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about your work, your role and your responsibilities?
  9. What do you think about on your way to work?
  10. What bothers you most about your job?

Stay interviews offer an opportunity for open dialogue; they can help an organization understand what motivates a person in their job, and also uncover frustrations or issues. After the conversation, develop action items to make it far less likely that you will lose your top performers.

To learn more about keeping great employees at your company, download our free e-book: Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent.

Want to speak with the author? Email Heidi Hoyt or call her at 440-449-6800 to learn how Skoda Minotti’s Professional Staffing services can help your company bring in top talent.

Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent E-Book

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