The Rehire Technique

One of the best tools to learn and teach to your leaders is what is called the rehire technique. This is demonstrated and spoken to in my book Shortcuts Get You Lost and it is truly an effective way of demonstrating to the recipient, This is where the rubber meets the road conversation.

We all hire and employ individuals for them to be successful, as their success is tied to our success. You owe it to each individual to coach, build goals, work toward accomplishing objectives, and to hold them accountable for results. Ultimately you owe them to give them the benefit of your time. However, you also owe it to each individual that if they are straying and not responding to the coaching and direction that you are giving them, to confront the issues with them, correct the issues and monitor moving forward. Unfortunately, a few may not make the necessary corrections, and you need to respond. This is where the rehire technique is recommended.

What is the rehire technique?

The rehire technique is a method, you will learn when utilized, that is designed to gain the recipients attention, demonstrate the seriousness of the issue, define what their job role is and what it will be moving forward, as well as gain buy-in and commitment or define whether the position is not right for the individual that you are addressing.

When is the rehire technique utilized?

The rehire technique is utilized when you, as a leader, have determined that the individual you are coaching needs to make a change immediately, has been given the opportunity and the coaching for the change in the past, and is not making the necessary adjustments. You as a leader have determined that this person either needs to make these changes, or not be a member of the team. Finally, you as a leader, believes that if the person does make the change that they will be successful and a contributing member of the team.

How is the rehire technique utilized?

The rehire technique is utilized with several keys to its execution.

Step 1:  If in the conversation the person is still fighting change and is still not understanding, you need to stop the conversation, gain the individuals undivided attention, and then start your message.

Step 2: As a leader, you must confront the issue factually, not negatively, and show respect to the individual. But you need to clearly state that the situation is at a point that you must address it.

Step 3: Speak to the importance of why the change is needed, how not making the change is affecting working relationships, and how it is effecting results.

Step 4: This is where you need to make a job offer. Although the person is already employed, you are treating the conversation in this manner to demonstrate this as what is called the “rehire technique.” Instead of “this is where the rubber meets the road” speech the rehire technique allows us to define, or redefine what that individual’s job description will be moving forward. Explain and list out that job description by stating, (State the person’s name), I have a position available. That position is (title of the position), and the roles consist of (be specific, especially in the areas where the person is not performing). I need to ask, do you want this role?”

Step 5: Gain and confirm buy-in or decide the role is not for the person. This is where you need to have confidence that the person accepts the criteria and therefore the role, or that they do not accept the criteria which then defines that they need to move on elsewhere. However, you cannot accept any ambiguity, or in-between commitment. You as the leader must have confidence they know the difference moving forward and that they will move in the direction they committed to.

Step 6: If the person accepts the “rehire technique” and commits to the role moving forward, you as the leader still need to professionally define and communicate how they will be measured and held accountable. Remember trust isn’t blind, it is verified, and you need to line out the KPI’s and how those will be measured.

Step 7: Thank them, and genuinely let them know they have value as a person, to you, to the team, and to the business.

Below is an excerpt from my book, Shortcuts Get You Lost, where this technique is discussed in the fable. The circumstance has a visitor interviewing Mr. Douglas, who is the Hiring Manager of the organization. Mr. Douglas is explaining a time when the rehire technique was utilized on him by Mr. Scott, his leader, and how it actually gained his buy-in and grew his trust in Mr. Scott.

Shortcuts Get You Lost!

“Sure,” he said. “I realized Mr. Scott’s follow-through was very thorough yet I also took this as not trusting me. I never saw Mr. Scott get upset. He would simply ask about our scheduled events. I would tell him that I already did a hiring event. Mr. Scott would reply, ‘Mr. Douglas, it is imperative that I be involved in our hiring events, interviews, and the hiring decisions.’ He would then inform me of when to schedule the next event. There became no way for me to avoid Mr. Scott’s process. I did not realize at the time that he was using rewards or consequences on me. I just knew I did not like the consequences each time he followed up with me. Soon, Mr. Scott asked me into his office and confronted the situation.”

“What did he do?”

“He was very matter of fact. He did not belittle or attack me negatively. Mr. Scott simply stated the facts of the matter. He addressed me with respect but was straightforward. He said, ‘Mr. Douglas, I have a problem.’ He then detailed how he had asked me to do certain things in which I did not execute. He explained how it made him feel and how it would affect our environment for the worse. He questioned if that was my desire. He was very factual about the matter.”

“And what was your reply?”

“I told him I desired a good working relationship with him. I told him I did not believe in his process or the need for his involvement. I stated I handled things fine before his arrival. Mr. Scott allowed for my feedback and explained his reasons, which were very valid. But it came to a point that I was blind to his reasons, and seeing this, it was at this point that Mr. Scott had to draw a line in the sand.”

“How did he do that?”

“Very effectively,” Mr. Douglas said with a chuckle. “Mr. Scott never raised his voice, which impressed me. He simply looked at me and stated, ‘Mr. Douglas, I appreciate your feedback and responses, and I will always appreciate them. However, I believe that we are at a point that I need to readdress the situation. Mr. Douglas, I have a position available. This position is the person who will recruit, hire, and train my employees. This position is an extremely important position as our biggest investment is our employees. This position has such importance that I feel it necessary that I be involved in the process. My process may at times be different than what you may have utilized. I do ask for this position to work closely with me on the hiring process and how I want it executed. I need to ask you, Mr. Douglas, do you want this position?’”

“Wow,” I said shaking my head, “that is powerful. How did you respond?”

Mr. Douglas replied, “I really did not have to give it much thought. Mr. Scott was clear and very precise by how he used this technique. I told Mr. Scott I valued my position. I told him I just had some difficulty accepting the changes. Looking back, I remember thinking how professional I thought the approach was. The technique immediately received my buy-in and allowed Mr. Scott and me to open up more on my concerns and his reasoning. My blinders went away. It’s funny, but I actually told my wife about what transpired and how I respected Mr. Scott for how he utilized the technique. I was impressed at the simplicity of it.”

“It sounds simple,” I said. “It really is the old ‘This-is-where-the-rubber-meets-the-road speech,’ but done in a more effective fashion.”

“I agree,” Mr. Douglas said. “It received my buy-in in no uncertain terms. There was nothing vague about it. Mr. Scott defined my job description and allowed for my feedback. Then he stated something he had said to all our employees when he was first introduced. He said, ‘I need you to understand that although this is your job description, other things may arise that I may ask or have expectations for you to take the initiative in. Each and every job we offer here has a job description. I need you to understand I expect more. Your job comes with pay for the work time you perform. The only thing I will not ask of you is anything that is illegal, immoral, or dishonest. Anything else, I expect it executed and you’ll be paid for it.’ Given this opportunity with me, he reaffirmed his point. I clearly saw it was his individual opportunity to receive my buy-in.”

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