Re-Recruiting: How to Retain Top Employees


If you are lucky enough to have some real star employees on your team, you must get used to the fact that external recruiters and other businesses are aware of their presence as well. With the connectivity of social media, the superstar software developer doesn’t go “off the market” when they sign up with you and yours. They don’t even go off the radar in many cases. According to an article from Dr. John Sullivan, HR thought leader and ERE.net contributor, your top employees may be receiving upwards of 5 communications or offers per-week from recruiters and your competitors.

While it may feel a bit like poaching, there is no Star Employee Protection Agency in the wings to prevent a competitor from snatching away your rare, prized Idea Guy from the marketing department. The best way to work against these external forces is to periodically “re-recruit” your top performing employees. Dr. Sullivan compared it to a married couple re-affirming their wedding vows to strengthen the relationship.

Re-Recruiting and Employee Retention Strategies

The most effective strategies for employee retention are to keep your star employees interested with new opportunities within the company and to make sure that they feel recognized for their achievements at your company. It could mean offering them an entirely new set of responsibilities in their department, a pay increase or even business travel opportunities. Basically, you just want to keep your top performers excited about working for you.

Additionally, giving your employee more flexibility for when they come and go from work, can also help do wonders for retaining them. Think about it, by giving them this flexibility you’re showing them that you have a high level of trust for them, something that other companies will not be able to replicate.

Another important point to make is about how your re-recruitment will compare as a counter offer to another company’s recruiting efforts. In short, an external offer will always be more exciting because your employee has probably been given an extremely rosy, idealized picture of the job. They already know what it’s like working for you and this makes re-recruiting as a counter offer a rather weakened strategy. Instead, try to do it every 18-24 months to try and solidify any loyalty your top employees have for your company so that they will be more resistant to other offers in the first place.

Re-Recruiting Strategies

Yes, we touched on a few points but what you really care about are different ideas for re-recruitment of employees.

Here’s a list of re-recruiting strategies that you can use:

  • Work from home flexibility – allowing employees to work remotely is big perk for most employees.
  • Employee Pension Plan – more rare than other retention strategies are pension plans. By offering employees a percentage of their salary as a yearly pension you can retain them longer.
  • Added vacation privileges – what’s a better incentive than time-off? I can’t think of anything either.
  • Education and training – offer to pay to further their education and training. They’ll appreciate it and it will benefit you with an even better employee.
  • Leadership position – If they’re not already a leader, then give them a team to manage. They’ll feel more connected with the company and get the autonomy of running their own team.
  • Company anniversary – provide a vacation on their milestone anniversary’s. A $2,000 vacation for your employee and their domestic partner is a small price to pay when compared to having to replace them.
  • Little things – You can regularly re-recruit your employees by giving care packages and gifts on holidays as part of a retention strategy. A little can go a long way.
  • Awards and recognitions – if your employee is great, then let the rest of the company know! Announce your employees greatness and give them a plaque or award recognizing their achievements with your business.
  • Listen – ask and you’ll receive. By listening to your employees you can learn early on what they’re happy about and what can be changed to create a better experience.

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