In a blog post for Harvard Business Review, executive coach Ben Dattner makes the case for conducting "declined offer" interviews at your organization. He argues that organizations should interview job candidates who are made an offer, but who choose to work somewhere else. Why did they take another offer? What made your firm less attractive than another organization? Was it simply money, or were there other key factors in the decision-making process? Here's how he describes this technique and the reasons for employing it:
Successfully competing for top talent involves both selling jobs to the best candidates and retaining the highest performing incumbents. In order to be seen as an employer of choice with a compelling value proposition for employees, many companies measure turnover and conduct exit interviews with departing employees to gather feedback about the experiences people had working there and the reasons why they’re leaving. But a less common practice is to track how many people turn down job offers at your company, and an even less common practice is to actually gather feedback from candidates who receive offers but don’t accept them. Like “exit interviews” these “declined offer” interviews can yield a lot of information about your own organization as well as valuable data about your industry and competitors. While academic institutions often gather feedback from students who are accepted but do not matriculate in order to improve student recruitment and retention and to better compete with rival institutions, doing so with job candidates in a systematic and consistent manner is rare in the corporate world. As with other kinds of selling and marketing, you may learn as much, if not more, from the feedback of customers who choose not to buy as you learn from those who do.