- Amid the Great Resignation, companies should conduct “entry interviews,” said Arianna Huffington.
- She told Bloomberg that “what’s important to you outside of work?” should be the first question.
- Doing so will help people feel like they can bring their whole selves to work, she said.
Arianna Huffington, the influential founder of Huffington Post, has a suggestion for companies struggling to retain workers: find out what matters to them before they join, by conducting an “entry interview.”
As opposed to an exit interview, an entry interview asks new employees about their wider career goals and interests. It can allow companies to find out what will keep people in a role and design perks or ways of working that will make them happier and more motivated.
Huffington, who also founded the organizational culture company Thrive Global in 2017, discussed entry interviews during a conversation with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on mental health.
Americans continue to quit in their millions — a trend that has been dubbed The Great Resignation — and Huffington highlighted why this might be happening.
But even amid the mass resignations, employers in many sectors say they’re struggling to hire staff.
Huffington said that from her work with multinational clients like Accenture and Walmart, she had noticed that the Great Resignation is not just about burnout, but two other factors.
One is that working mothers are having a much harder time trying to manage children, home education, and work during the pandemic, Huffington said. The other is a larger revolution around what matters to people, which is no longer just about the career ladder or earning money, she said.
“In the presence of an existential threat like the pandemic and so many deaths,” Huffington told Bloomberg. “People are choosing other things. We have a lot of people who are leaving more lucrative jobs to go be teachers or do things that are more meaningful to them.“
This shift would be ongoing, she said, and suggested that companies start conducting entry interviews as a result.
A desire for better pay, vaccine mandates, and an unwillingness to return to the office full-time have all been posed as reasons influencing people to quit. But surveys suggest that many employees simply don’t feel valued by their managers.
Huffington said the first question of an entry interview should be: “What’s important to you outside of work?”
Asking this would enable employees to feel like they can bring their whole selves to work, and better express what matters to them, she said.
Huffington is not the only person to suggest employers need to change how they recruit during the current labor market.
Peter Capelli, Wharton professor of management, told the podcast Knowledge@Wharton that companies should do more to make employees feel safe against COVID-19 and offer more flexibility for childcare.