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Have you heard of this term –re-recruiting? It’s becoming quite popular lately for several reasons. For retention experts, re-recruiting means re-engaging the workforce, to end up with a renewed passion and loyalty in the employee-employer relationship. What we’re talking about though is recruiting former quality employees for the benefit of the organization.

Kevin Wheeler recently wrote about the benefits of re-recruiting in an ERE article,

“Experience in high-tech Silicon Valley has strongly shown that employees who leave and come back are good contributors and stay longer than many of those hired for the first time. They produce quickly, are familiar with the environment, require less assimilation time and effort, and may already have an internal “network” of associates in place.”

-HR and recruiting technologies have made it easier to organize, search and reach out to former employees. Since applicant tracking systems, or other human capital management tools, have become standard in most HR departments, this re-recruiting initiative isn’t as complicated as it once would have been. ATSs and learning management systems make it so simple to do research on former employees. Recruiters and hiring managers can look at their complete history with the company to get a solid picture of their contribution.

These systems make it easy to find quality former employees and reach out to them. In engaging these workers, the organization is creating a whole new talent pipeline, one with only relevant and qualified candidates. Even if they can’t be enticed back, this recruiting initiative creates a report and positive relationship.

-The sourcing and hiring of re-recruited employees is far less taxing on the entire organization.The skill gap has us sourcing and hiring like crazy in some fields. These things take up a lot of the company’s resources. Firstly, they are already sourced; waiting for you in the ATS. Secondly, the hiring process can proceed much faster with former employees. Much of their information is already there and the onboarding practice can be expedited.

-Training and the learning curve are two moments in a new employee’s tenure that can cost the company in resources and impeded productivity. While there might be some catching up to do, these workers are coming back into an environment that they were once very familiar with. A few new tools and processes take a lot less time and training than a totally new employee. Training can usually be cut down to a fraction of the time and expense with re-recruited employees.

-Honest feedback and constructive criticism can be gained. When engaging with key employees who left, there can be a taste of dis-loyalty among leadership. That attitude isn’t really going to do anything for anyone. Find out why they left, what can be done in the future to retain workers like them, and share that information with management. They left for a reason, and it probably wasn’t cold coffee. This is a chance to improve the hiring culture, retention initiatives and the employer brand. Please do remember though, feedback is only valuable when acted upon.

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Tags: Corporate Recruiting, Re-Recruiting

Comment by Tim Spagnola on February 10, 2014 at 12:40pm
This is interesting Sean. Never gave it a formal term, but something my organization does practice. I think (like IT) it is part of healthcare. We battle retention due to the demand of providers, but often get folks coming right back. One reason is because of the support and resources we are able to provide. Most other practice settings can't touch is in that department. It is a grass is not always greener deal.

We find that those that do come back are usually really engaged and dis
Comment by Tim Spagnola on February 10, 2014 at 12:42pm
And displayed that renewed passion you mentioned.

Thanks for sharing the post.

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