One-to-one interviews in industry: how to ensure effective follow-up in 2023?

A key stage in an employee's life, individual interviews are an opportunity for managers to take stock of their teams' skills and career aspirations. However, the preparation and follow-up of these interviews are not always optimized. The result is a loss of information that is crucial to the development of corporate strategy.

In this article, we take a look at the importance of individual interviews, their legal aspects, and our advice on how to prepare for them and ensure the ideal follow-up.

Individual interview, annual interview, professional interview... What are the differences?

In the course of his or her working life, an employee will be confronted with various types of interview. These are key moments, enabling employer and employee to take stock of objectives, career prospects and feelings within the company.

These include individual, annual and professional appraisal interviews. Often used synonymously, they don't actually mean the same thing. And in legal terms, the rules are changing too:

The individual performance review (also known as the annual performance review)

A personal interview is the same as an annual performance review. This is a meeting between the employee and his or her employer, line manager or a member of human resources. During this meeting, both parties review the employee's activity over a given period. This can be an opportunity to review the objectives previously set, the development of know-how and interpersonal skills, and the employee's commitment. Unlike the professional appraisal interview, theannual appraisal interview is not required by law. However, your collective agreement or employer may decide to introduce it. In this case, it applies to all employees.

The professional interview

As we saw earlier, the individual interview focuses on the correlation between the company's objectives and the work performed by the employee. The professional interview, on the other hand, focuses solely on the employee's professional development. It's an opportunity for the employer to take stock of each employee's skills, and thus anticipate training needs. Article L. 6315-1 of the French Labor Code stipulates that the professional interview is mandatory for all companies, regardless of the number of employees. It must be organized at least every two years. It should also be noted that the professional interview is compulsory after certain leaves of absence, such as parental leave, sabbatical leave or sick leave of more than 6 months.

Managers: how to manage the pre- and post-interview phases?

To find out more about how individual interviews are prepared in the industrial sector, we conducted a survey among our customers. The result: it takes an average of 90 days to complete a follow-up interview for a full-time employee. This seems a relatively long time in the digital age, when younger generations expect frequent feedback. Fortunately, with the right organization and the right tools, it's possible to keep track of employees efficiently, while making the most of the data collected.

Rules for preparing a personal interview

Individual interviews are important moments in an employee's life, and should not be taken lightly. They need to be prepared well in advance, so as to have as much context as possible on the big day. We strongly recommend that you take the following items with you:

  • The minutes of the previous interviews.
  • The description of each position.
  • The list of objectives defined at department or employee level.
  • The results observed during the past period.

Similarly, preparing a framework based on existing data helps to focus the dialogue on tangible, measurable elements. For example:

Individual objectiveIndicator of achievementCondition of realizationEvaluation
Reduce the scrap rate by 10% for the year.Scrap rate> Fill in the forms at the end of each shift
> Participate in workshops in order to propose areas for improvement

The different tools used during the individual interviews must allow the preparation of the company's future. Thus, managers should be able to have a real operational vision to set new objectives in line with the company strategy. 

Annual blue collar interviews: follow-up tools

However, team follow-up does not stop at the individual interview. Effective follow-up takes place over time, in order to support employees in achieving their objectives. 

However, many employers confide that they have difficulties in setting up a regular follow-up, due to the lack of adequate tools. Indeed, for many companies, interviews are still mostly managed on paper, in Excel or via HRIS that are not adapted to the reality of deskless workers, who have neither email address nor computer. These methods do not allow employees to be actors of their own professional evolution. 

At Mercateam, we believe that individual interviews should be part of the same logic as a Talent Management strategy. Indeed, a regular follow-up of competencies and skills allows managers to be more efficient at the time of annual interviews. 

For this reason, at the end of the year we are launching a feature dedicated to individual interviews.

Follow up on individual interviews with Mercateam 

What if you could automatically track the individual interviews of all your employees, at all your production sites? Mercateam replaces your paper files and Excel spreadsheets with an intelligent interface, connected to your other HR data. 

What you can do: 

  • Create annual interview templates adapted to each type of employee. 
  • Monitor the evolution between the objectives defined in year n and the objectives achieved in n+1 
  • Simply access the comparison between what was expected and what was achieved (increase in skills, know-how, etc.)
  • See in real time the interviews to be done, those in progress and those completed. 
  • Launch campaigns on all production sites, with different models depending on the employees.
  • Initiate training requests at the time of the interview.
  • Access the competency map

The individual interview tracking feature is coming soon.

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