4 Priceless Talent Sourcing Takeaways From a Declined Offer Interview

When talent sourcing, wouldn’t it be great to know what’s really on the mind of a candidate who turns down a job with your company? Some employers conduct employee interviews during onboarding and again when they eventually move on to a new job. But a declined offer interview could bring another part of the hiring process into sharper focus.

If you only survey or interview employees who join up with your company, you only get part of the story. Get input from the people who opt out, and you could identify some hidden issues that need to be addressed. Here’s what you could find out.

RELATED: How do Candidates Perceive Your Company Brand? Employees Know

#1: What You’re Doing Right

Just because a job candidate opts out doesn’t mean that your company is not desirable. Getting to the offer stage means there was something about the job that piqued interest. A declined offer interview could yield valuable intel on what you’re getting right.

In some ways, a declined offer interview is a great tool for reinforcing good policy. Ensure candidates have ample opportunity to expand on what you’re knocking out of the park.

#2: What You’re Doing Wrong

You might disagree with a candidate’s opinion about where your company or the job needs improvement. But finding out where their expectations lie gives you the opportunity to implement changes where necessary.

One person’s opinion obviously doesn’t merit a policy or strategy change. But if enough candidates have the same impression, a pattern that you can explore will eventually emerge. You might think that the hiring manager is repeatedly dropping the ball. But in reality, candidates might be turned off by something else, such as not meeting with upper management early enough in the hiring process.

#3: How Other Companies Compare

This might be a touchy subject, but competition is fierce among employers in some industries, especially tech. One peek at the perks that others offer might boggle your mind. Google, for example, offers free food, oil changes and even massages, according to Salary.com.

Staying competitive requires honest feedback. Harvard Business Review (HBR) says for that reason, some companies conduct declined offer interviews through a third party such as an outside consulting or research firm. You might learn that your top competitors have some pretty slick tricks up their sleeves.

#4: Extra Feedback

You can shape a declined offer interview any way that you like, but also give interviewees the chance to account for what you can’t predict. This additional freeform feedback is arguably one of the most valuable elements of the interview. After all, if you could anticipate a candidate’s reasons for opting out, you wouldn’t be in the dark in the first place.

Perhaps at no point in the interview are open-ended questions more important than when candidates are asked for this extra feedback. HBR further suggests, “It’s helpful to inform candidates who decline offers that their participation in a “declined offer interview” will be much appreciated, that there are no hard feelings, and that when requested and feasible, their individual feedback can remain confidential or anonymous.”

Feedback from happy new-hires and existing employees gives you an insular idea about the company. But Snap Surveys says top companies know that opinions are only beneficial when they illustrate company strengths as well as weaknesses. Declined offer interviews can be motivational and they can help you and your team build a stronger, more appealing offer for the next candidate who might otherwise opt out.

If you’re in the business of making the hiring process better, you’ve found a great resource.

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