The Best and Most Overlooked Source of Great Employees

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Editor’s Note: Sometimes, readers ask about past TLNT articles they may have missed. That’s why on Fridays we republish a Classic TLNT post some of you have asked about.

Whenever I make a presentation that covers employee recruiting, I always tell the participants: “The #1, best, most-overlooked source of great employees are all the great people who used to work for you.”

For about the past 10 years now, I’ve been able to bring the point home with an example everyone relates to because of the success of Apple after they rehired Steve Jobs.

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To take advantage of this incredible source of proven talent, you’ll want to:

  1. Have a plan to stay actively in touch with the great people who have left your organization. (Keep them on the newsletter list, etc.)
  2. Contact the well-suited, great people who have left for every opening (both salaried and hourly).
  3. Leave the door open when great people leave. (Or would you rather “cut off your nose to spite your face?”)
  4. Have a way to track when other employers call for references on your great, former employees so you can try to recruit them back before they move to another job. (The easiest people to get references on are the “A-players.”

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at


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