Process Industry Consultant / Soft Skill
Consuting - Life Coaching
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
Harsh Shukla
Ceo And Md Of 3 Uk Based Mnc's
Manager - Corporate Hr
+3 Others

Dear Cite HR Members,
Is it legally right to record the conversation when we are doing an exit interview they are trying to implement this just to make sure the organization in a safer side. We are reforming our process and this is one of the key thing which Management would like to implement. Kindly confirm if this could be adhered and also let me know if this happened with any of the organization which you heard of. Based upon your opinion i would like to raise my views from HR point of view. I need your valuable suggestions. Please respond ASAP.

From India, Tiruchchirappalli
Couple of things from my experience.
The employees would not give honest feedback for reasons mentioned below
why to spoil relations now when I am leaving company
My dues and experience certificate is with the company. If I give feedback then I might not get it.
If I want to join again then my relations would be spoilt
If I give honest feedback then when background check is done the company employees might spoil my chances.
Do you think employees will give feedback ?
Now you want to record the conversation. Why? Have you informed the employees? For the reasons mentioned above they would be more scared.
The better way I found was appoint 3 rd party for feedback. The exit interview was outside company office. The employees were given copy of the feedback mentioned. Even after this precaution I got honest feedback in 40 % cases.
If you want to listen to employees there are many websites. The employees share their experiences on it.

From India, Mumbai
Yes its right to record the conversation of all exit interviews for the better implementation of the organisation.
If you /HR did the Exit interviews only that particular person come to know if any issues about management /Team/ project Manager, If its recorded it will easy to understand the same to your management also...
We in our organisation, made some questions for exit Interview and make the candidates to fill that form to better understanding of their views and its circulates to higher authority.
Hope am right to add a thread to your query...

From India, Bangalore
I agree with the views expressed by Papillon.
People are seldom honest in giving their feedback as summarised by him.
However if the Organization Culture is very transparent,invite and encourage
views of the employees as a routine, then in such cases a honest
feedback can be expected

From India
Your question is: Is it legally right to record a conversation
There is no legal right or wrong, as long as you inform the person that you are recording the conversation, and they confirm that they are happy to proceed.
However, there are dangers associated with analyzing the playback, because of what can be inferred in any interpretation of answers, which can, therefore be mis-leading.
It is far better to record the exit interview in writing and then get the person to sign off as confirmation that the record is true.
It is also important that the person is made aware that the purpose of an exit interview is to better understand their reasons for leaving in an effort to improve the business, and that there will be no repercussions.
I hope the above helps.

From United Kingdom, Barrow
Exit interviews if done professionally by experts serves its purpose to some extent. Also, in cases where employee is extremely frustrated, angry or feels to have been grossly wronged by the organisation blurts out. In most cases exit interview, in my experience, does not serve the intended purpose and is done as a formality to comply with organisational policy. Except in above cases, exit interview should be avoided to prevent wastage of time, energy and resources.
From India, Mumbai
I appreciate the point addresses by Harsh Shukla.
There is a difference between a statement made in a meeting and in a one-to-one meeting.
A one-to-one confidential discussion is considered a "privileged communication", under the Law.
A person's right to privacy should not be infringed with by recording a conversation surreptitiously.
If one intends to record a conversation; then the person should be informed and only upon his consent, recording should be done.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Hello Mohana Sundaram

As far as I know, there does not seem to be any legal view on recording exit interview or any interaction with employees as long as the record is not for being used as evidence. However, as a matter of fair procedure, it is necessary to inform the employee in advance, and their clear consent is also recorded.

One or a few exit interviews may not reflect actual views of the outgoing employees. But, if over a period of time, you collect sufficient number of samples and subject them to psychology and sociology analytic tools, you can surely better understand the situation. What I can suggest is this:

1. Design a questionnaire to capture employee's views.

2. Design a questionnaire to capture views of next two immediate supervisors .

3. Compare all these with

a. with previous annual appraisals of the employee

b. with reasons mentioned for leaving in his/her resignation letter.

4. If possible, (which may not happen in most cases,) even the top management could record their views.

Over a period of time, a fairly clear picture will emerge.


From India, Bangalore
The original question by CITIZEN 1502 - Trichy based, R.Mohana Sundaram

H.R Manager, was whether it's legal to record an "Exit Interview."

My attempt here may not refer this aspect at all as I draw attempt to sketch a picture which is more of a preventive nature.

Here it goes..

Do you really know why your employees are leaving?

Generally, HR pros open an exit interview by asking “Why are you leaving?” While useful to a point, HR could be asking a far more revealing question: “What made you start looking for another job in the first place?” says Sharlyn Lauby, in her article, The Real Reason for Exit Interviews, who also suggest that the exit-interview be conducted say a couple of weeks actually after the person has left. To quote her, "I’m an advocate for waiting not only until after a person leaves but even giving them a couple of weeks. In my experience, time allows employees to gain perspective. I’ve seen many situations where departing employees were upset with the company or their manager. A couple weeks later, they still aren’t happy but they’re able to talk about it with less emotion. They’re able to offer some constructive criticism."

This actually sounds good if this can be practiced.

Exit interviews are an extremely important and useful tool for managers.

In a value-based progressive minded company, The beauty of exit interviews is that there are no negative consequences to being candid. For most employees, they are still emotionally vested in the organization even though they are leaving. The exit interview gives them an opportunity to share what they liked, what they didn't like and what the company can do better. Not only does it feel good to get this off the chest, it also helps the company that has paid your paycheck for the last x years and your friends you are leaving behind. These days, the information doesn't just sit in an HR generalists desk. The information is aggregated with other employees who left to give HR, gets escalated to the Sr. Management and idea of what policies and initiatives they should work on to make the company even better.

Proper exit interviews are an excellent opportunity to learn about both the strengths and weaknesses of the manager and the organization, to help understand how best to satisfy and retain employees. Managers know they should do exit interviews but so often when someone resigns they are focused on finding a replacement and figuring out a transition strategy with their team, while also managing their busy workloads. This makes connecting with HR to have an exit interview completed before they leave a last priority. Once that person walks out the door, managers believe that they’ve missed their opportunity; in fact, it is actually more beneficial to do an exit interview after some time has passed.

Having said this I just want to quickly add, that exit interviews in most places are seen as a mostly meaningless ritual – career experts advise departing workers not to say anything too charged, and by the time they’ve sat down to explain reasons for leaving, employees are largely out the door. Employees who severe connections from such companies hardly give any worthwhile feedback because they not only want to secure themselves in the next job (background check*) they also do not want to burn their bridges.

*Andy Teach, a corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time, falls somewhere in between. “I think it’s important to be honest but don’t be too honest,” he warns. You want the HR department to know the positives and negatives of your experiences with the hope that they will listen to you and take action when necessary. However, if you’re too honest and you are overly critical of an important executive or of the company itself, you could hurt your reputation within that company and could jeopardize your chances of getting a reference from them. “This is unfortunate but I’m sure that it happens. I think there are ways to be honest and get across your point if you preface your negative comments with positive ones about your experience with the company,” he says.

Exit Interviews company mainly from the Western Management Models, whereas it's virtually non-existent in the Japanese Management model, for they believe that all companies are value-based, and they take pride in all that they produce. For them "Made in Japan" holds more than anything else. In most manufacturing companies, in such scenarios, if you are in a job once, you are in it for life. The are the pioneers of QC Circles and also the TQM concept which addresses most pain issues openly and they have less emergencies to handle. It is practiced as a culture. the manager is the organizational culture and the most powerful person in an employees work life. Employees do not leave organizations they work for, they leave the manager they report to. Research clearly shows that manager behavior is a key predictor of the bottom line of an organization. Managers directly have an impact on employee commitment, prescription drug use, stress leave, absenteeism, job satisfaction and therefore client satisfaction, and retention. The manager plays a key role in the success of an organization because of their capability to harness the skills, experience and abilities of their staff. A supportive manager who recognizes the value of, and is able to capitalize on, their employees to create the solution to team and organizational challenges, is priceless.

In conclusion, I would submit, if all said above is true, then it would be well advised to have "Stay Interviews" to get a pulse and a feel of things happening. Issues get surfaced in the open without any fear and when they are heard, the one's who speak out get a feeling of having improved the situation, or process. When acts like these get encouraged, more and more become open to make their contributions too. It becomes a really good participative management style of functioning which is more productive too in the long run. It then becomes "Our Company" from "Your Company."

From India, Hyderabad
Absolutely out of place posting - SAP & Oracle Apps Training in Pune & Mumbai
Wonder whoever has done this realized that he/she has chosen to irritate some serious professionals in this forum.
Hope this is taken in the right spirit not only by this person, but may it be also noted that anyone who tries to pollute the scenario.
We have had enough of it, our river, our environment, the society, et all, are polluted, leave this place a little sacred, for God's sake. Have a conscience.

From India, Hyderabad

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