Re-Recruiting: A Tool to Protect and Grow
by Roger E. Herman

Recruit. To supply with new members or employees. To engage.

Re-recruit. To confirm, to re-engage. To renew or restore the health, vitality, or intensity of employer-employee relationships.

To gauge the strength and loyalty of your workforce, invest resources in a re-recruitment campaign. Through this process, you can gain a better understanding of the stability, dedication, and preparedness of your employees. This deeper appreciation of the viability of your workforce is particularly valuable when you anticipate a change in your external environment that may adversely affect the dependability of your employees.

Background

Remember when you hired those wonderful people who work with you? You went through interviews, background checks, and perhaps a bit of persuasion to bring them on-board. Now they've been with you for a while. Do you take them for granted? More importantly, might they think that you take them for granted?

Wise employers periodically re-recruit their valuable team members. This technique is especially important in a competitive employment environment. If other employers will be interested in recruiting your best people, it's smart strategy to beat them to the punch!

Think about what you did to attract your good employees. When they showed interest in working for your company, what did you do? Did you interview the applicants, asking about their background, their accomplishments, and what they hoped to gain from employment with your organization? Did you conduct background checks, including talking with references to learn about the applicant's strengths and shortcomings? Were you concerned about how they'd fit into your culture and how you might best support them to learn, grow, and excel in your environment? Did you engage in conversations about their career goals?

Re-recruitment is a similar process, conducted with employees who are already part of your team. Old hands and relatively new team members all deserve your attention and a re-check of their relationship with you. They want to feel valued.

Begin with an interview. Instead of asking about experience with other companies, as you would in a recruiting interview, ask about the employee's experience with your organization. What has been learned? What has been accomplished? Talk about expectations not yet met. Explore interest in learning new skills, assuming new and different responsibilities. You may find that your employee is a happy camper. Or you may discover opportunities to strengthen your bonds with this important member of your team.

Background checks? Talk with people who work with this employee. What's their evaluation of the employee's "fit" in the company, performance, contribution? Peer interviews can be rich in uncovering information that will be helpful to both employer and employee. You might find a 360 assessment process to be worthwhile.

With a little creativity, this process could serve as your annual performance appraisal, with a twist.

Questions to Ask ... Issues to Explore

Re-recruiting interviews should be friendly conversations, not at all adversarial. This time together will give you an opportunity to learn more about your employee, your employee's level of satisfaction, and changes you might consider in job assignment or the way you do things.

Here is a starter list of topics, which is not at all complete:

  • Kind of work performed now
  • Kind of work performed in the past
  • Kind of work preferred
  • Level of satisfaction
  • Opportunities to improve the level of satisfaction
  • The employee's career goals
  • What the employee looks for in job, expectations
  • Other assignments which might be of interest
  • Knowledge of the company, the industry
  • Understanding of the company's vision
  • How the employee can contribute to achievement of the company's mission and vision
  • Employee's level of performance and productivity---and why
  • Employee's expectation of longevity with the company

In your assessment of workforce strength and stability, consider also the supervisor's assessment---of performance, potential, and longevity---of each employee. What is each employee's future with the organization, from the organization's perspective?

What to Do Next

With the information you gather, you'll be able to apply the knowledge to engage in some serious strategic staffing. The first step is Tactical Workforce Planning. In this work, look closely at your workforce situation over the next 6-8 months.

  • What is your vulnerability to uncontrolled employee turnover?
  • Are there people on the payroll whose employment is no longer appropriate?
  • Are there employees who should be assigned to different responsibilities?
  • What training and development needs should be addressed in the near future?
  • Is the current organizational structure consistent with present and near-future needs?
  • What recruiting requirements should be met? How?
  • How strong is your succession planning? Your succession preparation?
  • Who needs coaching and mentoring, from whom?

Once you've addressed the more immediate needs of your organization, critically evaluate longer term conditions. Strategic Workforce Planning links your staffing and development with your organization's corporate strategic plan. Your re-recruiting effort, combined with your Tactical Workforce Planning, will give you the platform to begin your work. Reaching out several years into the future, who will probably still be with you and how should you help them grow? Who will probably leave - at some point, and how will you replace them with internal or external resources? Where will your gaps be, and how will you fill those gaps-using inside and/or outside resources? What steps will you follow to implement this plan and assure that it remains congruent with the corporate strategic plan?


Strategic Futurist Roger Herman is a recognized thought leader in workforce and workplace trends. A sought-after speaker and consultant, he is author of eleven books. His latest is Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People (Oakhill Press, 2003). For further information, see www.hermangroup.com or e-mail Roger at roger@hermangroup.com .

Many more articles in The HR Refresher in The CEO Refresher Archives

   


Copyright 2004 by Roger Herman. All rights reserved.

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