retain top employees

Want to Retain Top Employees? Try Re-Recruiting Them


Every organization wants to retain top employees, but that’s not always an easy proposition. If you’re lucky enough to have superstars on your team, it’s likely that external recruiters and other businesses know you’ve got them too. That means your in danger of having your best employees poached right out from underneath you.

But the real danger is that some of your best employees are actually out there looking for a new opportunity. According to Accountemps, 29% of professionals plan to look for a new position in the next 12 months. If you’re not keeping your employees engaged, you can bet that you’ll have trouble trying to retain top employees in this kind of environment.

So what’s a forward-facing organization to do?

One of the best ways to work in opposition to these external forces is to re-recruit your top performers. Some have compared re-recruiting to re-affirming your wedding vows to strengthen and renew your marriage.  Re-recruiting can do the same thing for your employee’s relationship to your organization. Re-recruiting is a way to rekindle the levels of enthusiasm and excitement that an employee had when they started with your company.

How to Use Re-Recruiting to Retain Top Employees

Before you can begin looking for ways to retain top employees, find out how your employees really feel about working for your organization.  You’ve got to take their temperature by holding retention interviews to get the ball rolling. This is your opportunity to gather information about what they like or dislike about their work, what their career goals are, gauge their interest in training, development, and future responsibilities, and to find out what they really want for their future.

It’s also important to consider other factors that might affect their happiness on the job like:

  • How long it’s been since their last raise or promotion
  • How long they’ve been in their current position and with the company overall
  • How their long-term career goals match their current position

Once you’ve got the lay of the land, then you can start devising strategies to retain your top employees. Here are some great ideas to get the ball rolling.

Recognize Greatness

Recognizing your top performers regularly can go a long way toward keeping your employees engaged. Sometimes all that’s needed is a pat on the back for a job well done, but you should also consider bonuses, gift cards, a free meal, or a special award recognition for their achievements.

Make Opportunities Available

Top performers deserve more opportunities within your organization and it’s a great way to retain top employees. This could be as simple as offering them work on a new coveted project, offering more responsibilities in their department, or allowing them more opportunities for business travel.

Introduce Work Flexibility

As we’ve seen in our 2018 recruitment trends, more and more people are looking for remote work and flexible schedules.  Why not let your top employees work from home a couple days per week? It costs you nothing and can go a long way toward retaining top employees.

Consider a Promotion or Raise

If other organizations offer more money for the same job that your employees are doing, then you should seriously consider a pay raise. According to a study published by Glassdoor, nearly half (45%) of workers surveyed said that salary is the top reason for changing jobs, followed by career advancement opportunities, benefits, and location. Can you afford to lose your best employees to your competition over a few dollars?

Other Possibilities

There are lots of other strategies that you can use to retain top employees that will also function to improve your employer brand and make you more attractive to new candidates.  Consider offering employee pension plans, incentive based vacation time or flexible time off, educational opportunities, training seminars, company-wide retreats, weekly treats in the break room, or anything else you think will help keep employees engaged with your organization.

The key here is to listing to what your top performing employees really want and to try to help them to get it.

Wrapping It All Up

Once you know what your top performers need, and what you’re prepared to offer them, it’s much easier to devise a plan to keep them engage and happy in your organization. When you get your plan ready, invite them to sit down with you and discuss what you’d like to offer them.  They will enjoy the recognition as a top performer and feel energized at the prospect of new opportunities. Even if they’ve already started making preparations to jump ship, re-recruiting them will probably make them re-think their options.

In the end, you’ll have to do a little work to retain top employees, but it’s worth the effort.


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