How a ‘stay interview’ can help close the door on staff turnover…and avoid the great poach!

Drake Editorial



Here in Australia, we are facing the Great Poach! The unprecedented mix of stunted immigration, lockdowns, and other restrictive measures has created a supply and demand issue in favour of the worker. Employed or not, if the candidate has the necessary skills, they are being targeted by employers to fill their own talent gaps. Even the less experienced applicants currently have the pick of the market with opportunities that previously wouldn’t have been unavailable, now on the table.

A consequence of this talent scarcity is the poaching of competitor employees at record levels, with anxious employers offering never-before-seen perks and salaries in an attempt to attract and poach workers.

How can you mitigate this risk of the Great Poach?

Regardless of your relationship with your employees, right now, there is every chance that your top performers are in your competitor’s sights. Therefore, you must take a pro-active approach to staff engagement, find out their true feelings about your company and the bar of loyalty; what would it take to make them leave to a competitor? This is where the stay interview can be extremely helpful.

What is a stay interview?

A stay interview is almost like a performance review of the company from a candidate’s perspective. It is an opportunity to find out what the company is doing right and what can be improved upon.

By learning what is going on in the trenches, effective strategies can be formulated to increase engagement and job satisfaction amongst workers. In essence, it is learning what motivates the employee to stay engaged.

Why do I need to conduct a stay interview?

By the time your top performer hands in their resignation letter, it’s often too late to persuade them to change their mind. A proactive approach in the form of a stay interview will be a key element to minimising staff attrition.

Imagine a rival competitor calls your top performer tomorrow. They might ask the following questions:

  1. What is the current reason you are happy/unhappy?
  2. What do you like/dislike about your current role/organisation?
  3. What would some of the reasons be motivating you to leave?
  4. What are your plans for career progression?

By conducting stay interviews, you will have a good indication of how your employees might answer the above questions and develop some robust strategies for optimum employee satisfaction.  

How do I conduct a stay interview?

Treat the interview as part of your holistic HR practice. The secret to having effective stay interviews is having questions that allow an in-depth response from your employees. They are less formal in nature and are seen as a more proactive initiative and can be facilitated by HR or a direct manager.


Questions should include:

  • What do you like about your job role and/or organisation?
  • What part of your job would you remove if you could straight away?
  • Is there any training that you would like to undertake?
  • What would make your job even more satisfying?
  • Do you feel you’re getting clear goals and objectives?
  • Do you feel like you are valued and recognised for the work you do?
  • Do we have the right tools and resources to do your job properly? If not, what do you need?
  • Has there ever been another opportunity that has made you consider leaving this employer?
  • How do you think we could improve the workplace culture?
  • What are the type of benefits you would value most or like to see introduced?


Before the interview, emphasise that these interviews are to improve the working conditions for everyone. Encourage employees to answer honestly and let them know that any feedback will be treated with strict confidence.

Approach the interview from a competitor's perspective, as if you were trying to poach this staff member. By coming from this angle, you can ensure that you can offer the best industry perks and retain loyal, happy workers.

If you would like any guidance on conducting an effective stay interview, please get in touch with our team on 13 14 48.




At Drake, we have a team of expert recruitment consultants who can help you find your next job role. Call our team on 13 14 48 or explore our latest job vacancies.



No matter your ability, everyone can play and bene...

Drake Editorial

No matter your ability, everyone can play and benefit from playing sport! As Gavin progressed further with wheelchair rugby he found it to be a great way to connect with like minded people, which developed into great friendships. Read more


The Millennial Workplace – How to Manage the Gener...

Drake Editorial

We’ve all heard the negative stereotypes about Millennials – they are lazy and don’t want to work hard, just to name two. With this cohort of the population making up nearly 50% of the workforce in 2020, it is more important than ever to debunk these stereotypes, and ensure that companies are effectively attracting, and retaining this talent pool to build a sustainable business for the future. 

Read more


The Five Soft Skills Your New Flex Employees Must ...

Drake Editorial

Employee soft skills such as problem solving, self-motivation, and interpersonal skills are the bed rock of every aspect of your business operations. A joint study by three universities, including Harvard, uncovered that soft skills delivered a whopping 250 percent return on investment.Although technical skills will always be important, with employees shifting significantly to working remotely and/or from the office in a hybrid working model, certain soft skills such as communication, adaptability, and work ethic have become even more essential.

Read more


Transitioning back to the office 

Drake Editorial

As much of Australia transitions to a COVID-normal at home and at work, many organisations are making the decision to transition their workers back to the office environment, either full-time or part-time.This can be daunting for workers, many of whom have spent the last two years working remotely.

Read more


Why Companies are Embracing Unbundled Recruitment ...

Drake International

Ask anyone involved in hiring and they will say it is time consuming and stressful. It can also be challenging controlling costs while ensuring the right people are hired. Now, more and more companies are embracing a flexible hiring option called “Unbundled Recruitment”. Its attraction lies in the ability to cost-effectively choose only the recruitment support they require, and none they don’t. 

Read more


How to Navigate your Business through Turbulent ti...

Drake Editorial

COVID has caused unprecedented challenges for big and small businesses. Here are some tips for leading your team and your business through tough and turbulent times.


Read more