Stay interviews: The future of hiring and retention

January 26, 2023

Stay interviews are a modern-day solution to addressing modern-day hiring and retention matters

They have become increasingly important in today's fast-paced and highly competitive job market, where retaining top talent is essential for the success of any organisation.

By conducting stay interviews, employers can gather valuable information about employee satisfaction, identify and address issues impacting employee engagement, and implement strategies to improve employee retention. 

What are stay interviews?

Stay interviews are a valuable tool for employers better to understand the perspectives and satisfaction levels of their employees so that they can take steps to improve employee engagement and retention.

They are designed to gather information on why employees choose to stay with the company and help businesses address potential issues that may cause employees to consider leaving. By conducting stay interviews, employers can gain insight into what is working well within the organisation and what areas may need improvement. This can help them to increase current employee retention by creating a more positive and productive environment in the workplace.

In the past, exit interviews were the norm and were only conducted when an employee was leaving the company. However, these interviews were primarily focused on understanding why an employee was leaving and often provided little insight into how to improve retention.

On the other hand, stay interviews focus on understanding the reasons that motivate employees to stay with a company and gathering unique, valuable feedback for improving the employee experience.

Over the years, stay interviews have become an increasingly popular tool for employers to improve employee engagement and retention. They have been adopted by organisations of all sizes and industries and are now considered a best practice for any organisation looking to elevate its retention strategy and attract top talent.



Advantages of stay interviews

They enable proactive issue identification

Proactive issue identification is one of the main advantages of stay interviews for employers. By conducting stay interviews, employers can spot and proactively resolve any issues impacting employee satisfaction before they lead to employee turnover. 

For example, suppose an employee expresses dissatisfaction with their workload or a lack of opportunities for advancement. In this case, an employer can address these concerns before the employee begins to seek out new roles. By identifying and addressing issues early on, employers can prevent employees from disengaging and potentially leaving the organisation.

Stay interviews can also help employers identify patterns or common themes among employees. If multiple employees experience similar concerns or issues, it may indicate a more significant organisational problem that needs to be addressed. By identifying these patterns, employers can address the root causes of dissatisfied and disengaged employees and improve employee engagement initiatives and retention rates.


They contribute towards employee engagement and retention

By conducting stay interviews, employers can gain insight into what works well within the organisation and what areas need improvement. 

For instance, consider a scenario where an employee expresses dissatisfaction with their workload or feels limited in terms of advancement opportunities. In this case, the employer can take several measures to address these concerns.

One approach could be to provide additional training or development opportunities to help them enhance their skillset and make them more valuable to the company. Additionally, the employer could adjust the employee's workload as necessary to ensure it is more manageable and fair. By proactively addressing these issues, the employer can help to increase the employee's satisfaction and reduce the likelihood of them seeking employment elsewhere.

Stay interviews can also help employers identify and recognise top-performing employees who are mainly engaged and satisfied and take steps to retain them by showing appreciation and rewarding their efforts. By showing them their hard work is valued and recognised, employers can encourage these satisfied employees to stay with the company longer.


They create a window for employers to access employee feedback

Stay interviews provide a platform for employees to share feedback and ideas with their employers. This can be especially valuable for employees who may be hesitant to speak up or share their thoughts in a more formal setting.

During a stay interview, employees have the freedom to express their opinions on the company culture, their role within the organisation, and any potential areas for improvement. This constructive feedback can be valuable for making positive organisational changes, such as addressing concerns about workload, improving communication, or promoting a more positive and inclusive company culture.

By utilising employee feedback, employers have a window into the factors that contribute to employee engagement and satisfaction and make extra efforts to improve these factors.

Stay interviews also give employees a sense of being valued and heard which can increase their sense of belonging and engagement. Employers can create a culture of open communication and transparency by providing an open and honest platform for employees to share their thoughts, leading to higher employee engagement and satisfaction.


They help employers make positive changes in the workplace

By gathering employee feedback, employers can identify areas where improvements need to be made to create a healthier, more productive workplace.

For example, if an employee expresses concern about the company culture not being inclusive enough, the employer can turn this around by creating a culture that fosters positivity and belonging by implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives. They can also create regular opportunities for employees to give and receive feedback.

Suppose employees express concerns about communication within the organisation. In that case, an employer can improve lines of communication by implementing regular team meetings, creating an open-door policy, or encouraging employees to share their thoughts and ideas.

Additionally, if employees express a need for more development and training opportunities, an employer can provide employees with more training and development opportunities, such as workshops, seminars or online courses.


They make it easier for employers to recognise valuable employees

By conducting stay interviews, employers can identify employees who are particularly engaged and satisfied with their work and take steps to retain and reward these valuable employees.

Stay interviews allow employees to share their thoughts on job satisfaction and engagement. This information can help employers identify top performers who are key to the organisation’s success. 

Employers can offer incentives such as promotions, bonuses, or professional development opportunities like training or mentorship programs to retain these valuable employees. Showing appreciation for top performers keeps them around and sets a positive example for the rest of the team, boosting overall engagement and productivity.

Recognising valuable employees is also beneficial for the overall company culture, as it sets an example, improving employee performance by encouraging them to work harder and become more engaged.



Stay interviews are a cost-effective way for employers to gather information about employee satisfaction and engagement. They do not require additional equipment or resources and can be conducted in various ways, such as in-person, over the phone, or even through an online survey. 

In contrast, other methods for gathering employee feedback, such as employee engagement surveys, can be more costly. These methods may require the use of specialised software or the services of a consulting firm, adding considerably to the company's expenses, especially if it's conducted on a regular basis. Additionally, these methods may not be as effective as stay interviews in identifying and addressing specific organisational issues.

Another cost-effective aspect of stay interviews is that they can be conducted regularly, such as once per year or on an as-needed basis, allowing employers to run stay interviews as often as necessary without incurring additional costs.


They are flexible

Flexibility is another advantage of stay interviews. They can be conducted in various ways, depending on the organisation and the preferences of the employer and employees.

For example, some employers may conduct stay interviews in person, allowing for a more personal and in-depth conversation. Other employers may prefer to conduct stay interviews over the phone or through an online survey, which allows for more anonymity and can be more convenient for employees. They can also be customised to suit different types of employees, such as in-person interviews for managers and online surveys for front-line employees.

Another key advantage of stay interviews is that they can be scheduled periodically - such as annually or on an as-needed basis. This allows employers to have the freedom to conduct them at a frequency that best suits their specific needs and those of their employees.


How to make the most of a stay interview as an employer?

Here are several ways to make the most of a stay interview:

  • Define your purpose and objectives. Be sure to communicate this to your employees to help them understand the importance of the interview and how their feedback is vital to improving the workplace.

  • Choose the right interviewer. Ideally, someone who is skilled in conducting interviews and understanding the employee's role and responsibilities. The interviewer should be able to create a comfortable and open environment where the employee feels safe to share their thoughts and opinions.

  • Prepare a list of questions. Prepare a list of questions that will help you gather the information you need to improve employee engagement and retention. The questions should be open-ended and focused on understanding the employee's perspective on their job, the organisation, and their future with the business.

  • Communicate the process and schedule. This will help your employees make any necessary preparations before their interview date.

  • Create a comfortable environment. Aim to create a relaxed and open environment where employees feel safe. Encourage them to speak candidly and openly and let them know their feedback is valued and will be used to make positive changes.

  • Listen actively and ask follow-up questions. Take note of their feedback gently and ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of their perspective.


  • Follow up and implement changes. After the interview, follow up with employees to let them know how their feedback will be used. Keep them up to date on the steps that are being taken to utilise their feedback.  

  • Make it anonymous. Discretionary efforts can ensure the employee feels comfortable sharing honest feedback. To put them at ease, make the interview anonymous, but also let them know they can share any specific concerns with their manager or HR representative.

By following these steps, employers can create an effective stay interview that will gather valuable information to boost employee morale and increase employee retention rates - this will result in a more positive and productive workplace.


Stay interview methods

Stay interviews can be adapted to suit employees’ styles. This allows employers to put diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at the forefront of their approach to employee engagement and help draw out honest and sincere feedback from employees. There are several ways to conduct stay interviews, including:

  • In-person interviews. This allows for a more personal and in-depth conversation and allows the interviewer to observe nonverbal cues and body language.

  • Phone interviews. This can be a convenient option for employees who cannot meet in person or for organisations with remote employees.

  • Online surveys. This allows for anonymity and can be more convenient for employees.

  • Group interviews. This allows for more efficient use of time and can effectively gather feedback from a more significant number of employees.

  • One-on-one interviews. This allows the interviewer to gather more specific and detailed feedback.

  • Self-assessment. Encourage employees to conduct self-assessments of their job satisfaction and engagement and share the results with their managers.


Elevate your hiring and retention strategy with an experienced global mobility partner

In conclusion, stay interviews are a solution to address hiring and retention matters in organisations. As we face a new era of a more diverse workforce, where millennials and Gen Z are becoming a dominant part of the workforce, stay interviews are growing increasingly relevant.

These generations value open communication, flexibility, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Stay interviews provide a platform for them to speak up about their job, the organisation, and their future.

By tuning in to their feedback, employers can gather valuable information about employee satisfaction, pinpoint and solve engagement issues, and implement strategies to retain top talent. By fostering a positive and productive work culture, employers can attract and keep the best people around, especially those from the millennial and Gen Z generations, who are more likely to stay with an organisation that aligns with their values and provides growth opportunities.

And while you focus on building up an excellent organisation comprised of formidable top talents, let us take care of the rest. 

Airswift's Global Employment and Mobility provide five key areas of services; Global Employment Outsourcing (GEO), Global Immigration, Relocation Services, Global Payroll Outsourcing, and Global HR Consulting.

Get in touch with us to learn more about how Global Employment and Mobility can benefit your organisation.



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This post was written by: Diyaa Mani, Content Marketing Coordinator