It's not just when hiring – HR 'ghosted' with exit interviews

Findings indicate 'HR departments aren't taking offboarding as seriously as they should'

It's not just when hiring – HR 'ghosted' with exit interviews

There’s been plenty of talk about recruiters and HR being “ghosted” by potential candidates in not showing up for job interviews.

But it’s also a problem when employees leave their employer, according to a recent survey. HR leaders have revealed that many employees are not showing up for their exit interviews — and they’re taking their work equipment too.

"HR departments aren't taking offboarding as seriously as they should," said Brian Westfall, principal HR analyst at Capterra.

"Ghosted exit interviews are a big missed opportunity to gain valuable feedback on the employee experience, and stolen laptops and smartphones can lead to major consequences if confidential data ends up in the wrong hands."

Multiple employees

In a survey of 219 HR leaders by online marketplace vendor Capterra, 86% said at least one employee ghosted them on their exit interview, with 70% saying multiple employees didn't show up.

"These results were consistent, regardless of where the employee worked (on-site, hybrid, or remote) or the size of the company — indicating this problem isn't unique to one type of organization," the report said.

The findings come as many companies across the world, including Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft, lay off staff amid global economic uncertainty. 

According to the report, employees leaving on bad terms are less likely to participate in exit interviews.

"Those who do leave on good terms don't have much of an incentive to participate either — any problems that caused them to leave may be fixed thanks to their input, but the employee won't be working at the company anymore to benefit," said Capterra.

To encourage participation in exit interviews, the report urged HR to use online survey tools instead of in-person interviews, while stressing that feedback would be anonymous.

HR leaders are also told to demonstrate how employee feedback is taken seriously, and to leave their doors open for employees to return.

Stolen equipment

In addition, 71% of HR leaders revealed that at least one employee didn't return the equipment provided to them by the company.

Each equipment is worth at least US$1,963 on average, according to the report, with hybrid and remote workers more likely to steal them upon departure than on-site staff.

In such cases, 61% of the respondents said their company threatened criminal or legal action as a result, with 48% saying they pushed through with a police report, and 21% taking the departed employee to court.

Unreturned equipment also raises security concerns as 59% of the respondents said company-stolen laptops had very sensitive information, and only 55% of them said they were able to completely lock out the employee from using the equipment.

These findings come as many executives believe that their next cybersecurity breaches would likely be because of their employees.

To prevent this, Capterra suggested getting an IT asset management system and installing password managers on company-provided equipment. Having remote access to equipment is also critical, according to the report.

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