The Great Reshuffle has been the subject of countless stories this past year. Despite a gradual decline in reported resignations, employee quit rates are still much higher than pre-pandemic levels.

According to a Gallup poll, job stress and dissatisfaction rose from 38% in 2019 to 43% this year. Employers continue to encounter new workplace trends that result in higher turnover, such as quiet quitting and shift shock.

Companies are experimenting with creating strategies to improve employee retention rates, including “re-recruiting” or “re-onboarding” existing employees.

What Is Re-Recruiting?

A new employee’s first month usually includes warm welcomes, training sessions, some freebies, and a great deal of enthusiasm for planned projects. Maintaining momentum, enthusiasm, and engagement after the first month on the job is a much larger challenge.

It is recommended that employers focus thoughtfully on onboarding programs that help new hires get past the 90-day threshold. Implementing some of these original engagement techniques for workers with tenure can help strengthen the employee’s relationship with the organization as a whole and extend the retention period.

When employees recognize and respect an organization’s culture, they are more invested in the job. Re-recruitment aims to solidify the employee’s connection with the company, ensuring that the organization continues to get value from each employee and that each employee continues to receive value from the company.

Debbie Cohen and Kate Roeske-Zummer, cofounders of HumanityWorks, describe the importance of re-recruiting in an HBR Podcast:

“Re-recruit the people that are working for you. Are they happy? Don’t take them for granted. [Companies are] so busy focusing on the fires that they need to put out and the vacancies that they have, that’s where all of their attention is on: Actually getting more bodies into the empty seats… And of course, some time and energy needs to be spent on that. But they also need to be spending time on the people who are literally holding it together for that organization or that group. You can’t take them for granted, or they’re just going to leave as well because they’re going to feel overwhelmed and underappreciated.”

– Kate Roeske-Zummer, Co-Founder of HumanityWorks

Re-Recruiting In Action

Microsoft recently recommended that organizations “re-recruit, re-onboard, and re-energize employees” based on the findings of their recent poll that explored the world of hybrid work and the needs of employees.

The survey included 20,000 full-time employed or self-employed knowledge workers across 11 countries between July 7, 2022, and August 2, 2022. The poll results point to one common theme: If employers want to improve talent retention, they must offer employees more learning and growth opportunities.

  • 76% of employees reported they would remain with their firm longer if they received more training and development guidance.
  • 56% of employees and 68% of “corporate decision makers” state that they need more opportunities for advancement, or they will quit their positions.
  • 55% believe that switching jobs is the best way to acquire a more robust skill set.
  • 68% of workers said they would stay at their firm or organization for a longer amount of time if internal job changes were made easier, with millennials (73%) being more likely than Gen Z (65%) to express this sentiment.
  • 68% of employees and 77% of upper-level decision-makers would choose a “lateral” shift with greater opportunity for skill development over a less development-intensive but senior role.

Dedicating more attention to “re-recruiting” tenured employees will encourage higher-skilled individuals to remain with the organization longer, meaning the company saves money, time, and resources on training new employees.


Although re-recruitment is not a new concept, the latest employment trends indicate that it is a strategy worth revisiting to retain top talent. Employees should always be able to explain why they choose to continue to work at their company. The decision for employers is straightforward: Re-recruit now, or recruit, interview, and hire after an employee resigns. This approach better positions employers to take a proactive stance as opposed to a reactive one.

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