Finding out how your top performing 15% are feeling about their career, and designing personalised initiatives to keep them can be hard. We make it easy.

Stay interviews are a relatively new concept. For years employers have been getting data from workers as they leave the organisation. These “exit interviews” provide excellent insight into why people have chosen to move on. However could you have avoided the resignation in the first place with the right proactive interventions?

That’s where stay interviews come in. The thinking being that if you ask “how are you feeling about your job today?” there’s time to act on the information before it is too late. Proactive rather than reactive.



Stay interviews give you the chance to proactively retain your people. They enable you identify “flight risk” and therefore provide the opportunity to manage it. 

However you need to go in with your eyes open. We’d be very happy to share our experience and process with you.

Targeted Audience

Our normal recommendation is that you focus on perhaps 10-15% of your people every year with a bias towards top performers or high potentials.

Semi-structured Format

Our interviewers are not simply reading a pre-written script. They will be pulling at threads, and aiming to carefully uncover the the hidden stories of each individual.


Using an independent third party to provide insight, results in greater transparency. There is no incentive for us to sugar coat and influence the insight captured.

Actionable Insight

Our dashboards and reports will provide you with qantitative and qualitative data that can be used to take immediate action to retain the best people.

Flight Risk Indication

Chiumento stay interviews will give you a clear indicator of “flight risk”. A meausre of threat from external approaches, rated actively looking, curious or not looking.

Launch Ready

Our stay interview process and platform is “launch ready”. That means you don’t need to do anything other than decide who to interview. We do the rest.


Every employee has to have a say in how their data is used. How you structure that “contract” will be key to employee participation. We’ll work with you to develop that contract.

Doesn't our engagement survey tell us what we need to know anyway?

There are two potential downsides of engagement surveys:-

Firstly they generally provide aggregated data. They tell you, if you like, how the average employee is feeling – be that company-wide or by department or location. That may mask how specific individuals are feeling. It could be 90% are happy – but if the 10% who aren’t also happen to be your top performers…

They tend to ask very broad questions that may not get to the detailed issues. Surveys have to be relatively short for people to engage with them. Hence surveys like Gallup 12. They do a great job but, unlike an interview, there’s no ability to ask a follow up, or pick up a nuance in an answer.

Our analogy: engagement surveys are like a wide angled lens. Stay interviews are more of a magnifying glass.

Who should you interview?

Is it every employee or just your most valuable people? Our normal recommendation is that you focus on perhaps 10-15% of your people every year With a bias towards top performers or high potentials. The people you would least want to use. That’s enough to be impactful while remaining manageable.

Who should conduct the interviews?

There’s an old saying about people joining organisations and leaving managers. So line managers are never the right choice.

Should it be HR? It could come down to whether you have the capacity and expertise. For most of our clients, capacity was the main driver.

Most clients choose Chiumento because they share our belief that an independent third party is most likely to get to the truth.  We have no “hidden agenda” and individuals can be assured we will honour commitments made about confidentiality.

How are stay interviews structured?

There’s a balance to strike between enough structure to allow you to produce quantative data and the flexibility to “follow the white rabbit”. A skilled Chiumento interviewer actively listens and drills down into the issues raised. They don’t blindly follow a script. They know when to push and where to back off – effectively using the time available to get to the richest seams of information.

Here at Chiumento we use a structured model – based on the same eight themes we use in our exit interviews. Nearly thirty years of experience, talking to thousands of people, have helped us develop a clear picture of why people choose to leave organisations.

What should I do after the stay interview?

The golden rule here is that once you’ve given individuals a voice, you have to demonstrate that you’ve listened. If they raise concerns or give you clear messages about “the price to stay” you have to respond. Even if that’s recognition that what they want isn’t achievable – or is unrealsitic. That can often lead on to a constructive discussion about what is possible.


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