John Pate, Founder & CEO
Imagine you’re in a room of HR Professionals. Everyone is asked to raise their hands if they believe exit interviews are a “best practice.” Every hand goes up. Then they’re asked if anyone is actually conducting exit interviews. Most, if not all, of the hands go down.
There’s no disputing exit interviews are an excellent tool. But completing exit interviews consistently has always been a challenge. In today’s COVID-19 economy, it’s virtually impossible. Even if you could, it’s unlikely there would be time or the resources to aggregate the data into meaningful reports. John Pate believes he has an answer for both problems: EZexitinterview.com—a cloud based platform that uses email and text messaging to give every former employee a chance to participate and then automatically creates reports summarizing the results.
It’s a fundamental truth for business leaders in any economy: Skilled and quality employees are the assets that drive an organization’s success. When an employee leaves, knowing the reason “why“ is vital if organizations wish to address any potential problems. It’s also critical, given the current labor crisis, to have the ability to uncover internal issues that could be clues as to why retention rates are so low.
As a serial entrepreneur and industry veteran with decades of experience in business management, Pate knows the challenges companies face in hiring and retaining employees. In 2016, a client asked if he could do exit interviews. After reviewing their current tool, Pate knew it wasn’t scalable and went to the marketplace believing he could find a more efficient method. e remembers, “there were plenty of companies using the traditional model but no one offered anything using today’s technology - so I decided to build one.”
Five years and over 86,000 surveys later, Pate has learned a few things. He says, “People often over-think this process.
Our survey tool was specifically designed to address exit interviews and make them “EZ” for both companies and their employees
It quickly became clear the key was to keep it simple: Brief surveys with short questions and easily understood answers. Our Clients can use any survey they want but we’re seeing a better response rate (40+ percent average) when we use our internal model.”
“Another factor in our high response rate is allowing the user to respond both anonymously and on their mobile device,” he continued. “90- 95 percent of the responses come from mobile phones. Today, everyone lives on their phones and our basic template can be completed in 60-90 seconds. Since we’re all constantly besieged with survey requests, it’s essential to break through the clutter and then make it easy to respond while we have their attention.”
Originally, the concept was to integrate the process with payroll providers or HRIS platforms. While larger clients are currently connected to ADP, UKG, or Paychex, the vast majority use the platform’s manual import tool. Currently, EZEI’s clients range in size from a Fortune 300 company to a 15 location convenience store operator. They also offer surveys in English and Spanish and can add any language a client needs.
Pate believes the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the challenges human resource departments face regarding employee turnover. “Historically, HR Professionals have been continuously asked to ‘do more with less’ and COVID-19 has only increased the demand for efficient, cost-effective tools to manage their workforce. Retention is more critical than ever and our tool provides an effective way to quickly acquire data telling them why people are actually leaving their company,” states Pate.
In addition to exit interviews, EZEI’s clients have asked for “Stay Interviews” - surveys for new hires and existing employees that provide constant employee feedback. “The goal is to identify and solve problems while they’re small and, hopefully, before you lose good people,” concludes Pate. “Our mantra is,” he said, “if you want to know why your employees are leaving, you have to ask them.” EZexitinterview makes that process both “EZ” and cost-effective.