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October 17, 2022

Individual interviews in the industry: how to carry out an effective follow-up?

A key moment in the life of an employee, individual interviews are an opportunity for managers to take stock of the skills and professional aspirations of their teams. However, the preparation and follow-up of these interviews are not always carried out in an optimal way. This results in a loss of important information for the elaboration of the company's strategy.

In this article, we come back to the importance of individual interviews, their legal aspect, and also our advice on how to prepare them well and carry out an ideal follow-up.

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

In the course of his or her professional life, an employee will be confronted with different types of interviews. These are important times, allowing the employer and the employee to take stock of the objectives, the evolution perspectives or the feeling within the company.

We are talking about the individual interview, the annual interview or the professional interview. Often used as synonyms for each other, they do not mean the same thing. And in legal terms, the rule also changes:

The individual interview (also called annual interview)

Individual interview and annual interview are the same event. It is a meeting between the employee and his employer, his supervisor or a member of human resources. During this meeting, the two parties assess the employee's activity over a given period. This can be an opportunity to review the objectives previously set, the evolution of know-how, interpersonal skills or the employee's involvement. Unlike the professional interview, theannual interview is not mandatory by law. However, it is possible that your collective agreement or your employer decides to set it up. In this case, it concerns all employees.

The professional interview

As we have already seen, 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 is an opportunity for the employer to take stock of the skills of each employee, and thus anticipate training needs. Article L. 6315-1 of the French Labor Code specifies 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 mandatory after certain leaves such as parental leave, sabbatical leave or a sick leave of more than 6 months.

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

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 follow up on the interviews of a full-time employee. That seems like a long time in this digital age, where younger generations expect frequent feedback. Fortunately, with the right organization and a suitable tool, it is possible to track employees efficiently while making the most of the data collected.

Rules for preparing a personal interview

Important moments in the life of employees, individual interviews should not be taken lightly. They must be prepared sufficiently in advance so as to have as much context as possible on the day. It is strongly recommended that you have the following items on hand

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

Similarly, preparing a framework based on existing data helps 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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