Friday 29 April 2011

#HREvolution, Nobscot and Exit Interviews


Nobscot  I’ve posted several times here that, even though I strongly support their use, engagement surveys should only ever be seen as part of the picture.

Firstly, engagement is only one part of the broader contribution of human and social capital that employees can tell their employer about.

Secondly, there are a variety of ways in which organisations can find out about engagement and other human capital issues from their employees.  One key opportunity for many organisations is to conduct better exit interviews, so I was very pleased to speak recently with Beth N Carvin, CEO at Nobscot which provides web based exit interviews and is sponsoring my travel to attend HREvolution in Atlanta this week.

Beth explained that Nobscot has been built around the idea of automating exit interviews – a space in which there are still few other players and that still provides the basis for Noscot’s flagship product (though the company also provides systems enabling other types of web interview, eg for new hire surveys, and other HR needs, eg supporting mentoring programmes).

The firm’s WebExit system allows departing employees to complete exit interviews over the internet, and provides powerful reporting capabilities for HR managers to look at the reasons leading to these exits at aggregate instead of just individual level.

The other key benefit is providing assurance that the exit interviews will get done, as without the technology, it’s often a bit of a lottery whether an HR manager will or will not get to the person, and the summary of the interview is then often not written down, or is written on a piece of paper which is then filed, but without any central collection of information.

Nobscot have found this functionality is particularly valued by companies focused on employee turnover, and also where employees are spread out over different lcoations.

My only concern about the system was that employees would prefer to meet someone face-to-face, but Beth suggested their experience is that organisations get better data when they use Nobscot’s technology.  Employees often have a hard time saying that their boss is a jerk, or something of that nature, but they will share this when put in front of a computer.  And of course, they’re getting ever more comfortable doing this over time leading to an ongoing increase in the quality of the data.

But some companies still do conduct both face-to-face and web based interviews (either before or after the face-to-face one), it doesn’t need to be an either/or decision.



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