Why Are Exit Interviews and Staff Handover Periods Important?

Author: Kristina Proffitt

8th March 2018

The time between leaving an old job and starting a new one is awkward. Employees can’t take on any more work, but they can’t just abandon ship, either. Once they’ve tied up their workload as best they can ready for the new person to take on the role, what are they supposed to do next? How can you ensure that they make the most of the time that they have left?

The onboarding process is one of the toughest parts of an employee’s journey. Employees are much more likely to leave if they suffer from a poor onboarding process. It’s therefore important that the transition process is as seamless as possible.

Exit interviews and handovers help to ease the transition process for everyone. Here’s how.

Exit interviews

An exit interview helps companies to work out why an employee has chosen to leave. This then helps companies to work through any issues that may have led to the employee deciding it was time for a change of direction, and if necessary, to take further action to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

If the employe has big issues with the role, teams can seek ways to fix them before their replacement starts so that the pattern doesn’t repeat itself. This is particularly useful for roles or companies with a high staff turnover. If departing employees’ concerns aren’t addressed, this high turnover can cost the business thousands of dollars for every employee that they need to replace. This quickly adds up to money lost that could’ve been spent on new product development or growing teams instead of replacing them.

Exit interviews also ensure that departing employees still have a voice despite their decision to leave. This shows them that they’re still valued by the company, and may lead to them one day returning in a different role.

Handover periods

Handover periods are one way for departing employees to make the most of the time that they have left. They can train up their replacement during the overlap so that the loss of productivity the company experiences is reduced. This only works if a company has an efficient hiring process, though.

During the handover process, the departing employee can talk their replacement through all the necessary processes required for the job. This makes the transition process smoother for everyone involved.

Getting departing employees to train up their replacement also ensures that the person who’s best qualified for the job passes the baton. Managers then don’t lose time from their own schedules to train the new hire in a role they may not be familiar with. Handovers also ensure managers don’t neglect other employees because they nee to spend longer getting the new hire up to speed.

Should the company not be able to fill the role before the employee leaves, the employee can use this time to create or update any guides on how to make the most of their role. This could include how to use a particular service or software, company processes, or background information on the role.


When an employee hands in their notice, it can be a nerve-wracking time for their line manager. An efficient handover and exit interview process helps to ensure that everything goes smoothly. It also ensures that departing employees are useful right up until their last day, helping to ease the transition between their leaving and their replacement starting.

A streamlined, effective hiring and onboarding process takes this even further because replacements can be found faster and are more likely to stick around. Find out more about how you can speed up your hiring process with Real-Time Scheduling.

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Kristina Proffitt

Date: 8th March 2018 | Category: HR Tech