Do Your Own “Stay Interview”

by | Jul 20, 2021 | Employed But Looking

In the summer of 2021, job seekers have found themselves in an unprecedented situation. A perfect storm of a shrinking worker base, post-COVID consumer demand, and many of the unemployed taking time off from work due to the enhanced jobless benefits has made this a great time to find a new job.

Employers are not only working hard to entice active job seekers to consider and apply for their open positions, but also those who are defined as passive. Passive job seekers are those who do not regularly search job boards or work on their social networking. but would consider the right opportunity if it came along.

During COVID-19, you may not have been thinking of changing jobs due to your desire for the stability of a regular job. With this concern passing and the labor market reasons noted above, it is a great time to do an assessment of your current work climate to determine if staying or going is your best option.

Many employers do something called a “stay interview” with their employees. They speak to current staff regarding what they like/don’t like about their current employer and try to gauge how likely the individual is to stay with the company. You could conduct a similar interview with yourself, or (better yet) have a friend or family member assist. Going through a more formal process such as this can generally prove beneficial, because it forces the evaluator to dive deeper and document what is being thought of the common topics that employee’s value and evaluate when deciding.

However, I think it is important to note that there is nothing wrong with staying at your current position if it is right for you. As long as you are staying for the right reasons for yourself. For example, if you don’t react well to change it is important to be self-aware of this and be factored into your decision. 

There are several areas for you to review when conducting your own “stay interview”. Let’s take a look at some items that are commonly used when considering.

  • An employee’s relationship with their supervisor plays a vital role in their level of engagement. Generally, a poor supervisor relationship is the #1 driver for a person to start looking to leave an organization. On the other hand, a supportive, nurturing supervisor can be tough to replicate and really should be something to cherish.
  • As we start to depart from the horror of COVID-19, some businesses came out of the pandemic better than others. For the sake of job stability, employees favor those organizations who have strong bottom-lines and a good short and long-term future. A savvy employee tries to stay informed regarding the financial health of their current organization and will enter the labor market prior to downsizing type of decisions that are made.
  • Of course, anyone would like to have better benefits and more money. Luckily, in today’s world with the use of online resources, it is much easier to understand where you stand in terms of the local market. If you find yourself significantly under the market, then often the only way to really close this gap is by leaving for another organization.
  • Company culture and environment have become much more important factors for employees than ever before. This area could be defined differently, depending on what is really important to the individual. For some, it may mean a flat organization with group collegial decision-making, but for others, it is a committed and robust equity initiative. Review your employer’s response to various events and determine your level of alignment, or perhaps you would feel more included in another organization.
  • If you have further career aspirations, then take a moment and honestly evaluate whether you have become complacent in your current situation. If you find yourself being passed over for positions you are qualified for (or not being mentored/developed), then you may have hit a ceiling that will require you to leave if you wish to move forward.
  • Finally, as mentioned earlier, it is important to completely self-evaluate yourself. How OK are you with the massive change of new job? Are you ready for the time burden of running a job search? Are you ready to commit to the learning required of a new job? If you like the stability of your current position because it fits nicely with where you are in your life, then knowing how hot the labor market is isn’t personally relevant to you.

In most industries, 2021 has definitely proven to lean on the side of the job seeker. In a short period of time, by asking yourself a few questions, you can evaluate whether to take the leap into the labor pool or continue to sit it out, waiting for a better situation. The good news is that if you enter the labor market and do not find the job you are looking for, then you still have your current role to focus on.

As always, the best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein

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