February 10, 2014

Do Firms Need a Chief Re-hiring Officer?

Business Woman Posing With Smart AssociatesHay Group is expecting worldwide employee turnover to accelerate in 2014. After being pretty flat over the last few years, they are predicting that 160 million workers will quit in 2014, which is a huge 12.9 percent increase over 2012. This trend is expected to continue over the next four years, with average employee turnover rates set to rise from 20.6 percent to 23.4 percent.

With Hay Group forecasting a ‘global talent exodus’ over the next five years, it may be time for a strategic change in the direction of talent management initiatives.

Of course, since there is so much talent entering the marketplace, it’s clearly an opportune time for employers and recruiters to be enhancing their attraction strategies to enable them to capture all this additional talent.

But, for the first time, I also think there is a call for talent management teams to begin placing a much greater and more proactive emphasis on staff retention, beyond what is currently deployed. Of course, companies do focus on retention but a lot of it is reactive, and the proactive staff retention is part of the general broad brush employee engagement strategy.

I think that employee retention initiatives need to much more pointed and proactive than this and that employers should be thinking about devising the role of Chief Re-Hiring Officer, a kind of in-house talent scout, who is charged with going out and finding talent from both the high points and darkest recesses of the organization and redeploying, re-reinvigorating them and in fact re-hiring them, reducing staff turnover.

Some of you may say this role already exists. It’s called succession management. But, the problem here is that it is not all encompassing, as this process is focused around engaging ‘high potentials’, the top 10 percent. What about the middle 70 percent, or the ‘dirty dozen’ at the bottom? There is a potential gold mine of talent, or diamonds in the rough in the lower echelons of the talent pool just waiting to be redeployed, reinvigorated and rehired.

A Chief Hiring Officer could search through this population of forgotten, undiscovered, overlooked and sometimes disengaged talent and begin matching them to assignments, roles and duties which suit their skills, experiences and preferences. This would allow organizations to maximize their human capital within their internal talent pool and at the same time reduce employee turnover, which has been identified as a key threat to organizations over the next five years.

It doesn’t stop there; employers could contemplate having a retention team, which employees can go to as a last resort, if they are thinking of leaving, (and normal channels of redress have been exhausted). This re-hiring team could be armed with retention incentives which could be new roles, duties and assignments in the organization to help retrieve these lost causes, just prior to exit.

So, as you can see, I believe there could be a justification for a Chief Re-Hiring Officer, or in-house talent scout, but what do you think? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Read more in Turnover

Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.