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Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan

Interview Questions for Researching Prior Approaches to Recruit and Retain Staff

The goal of this exercise is to gather information from your organization’s stakeholders in order to determine which recruitment and retention efforts have been tried and under what circumstances, what has previously worked or not worked, and why. Stakeholder groups (administration, direct or line staff, HR personnel, supervisors, and consumers) may have a different insight and a valuable perspective, so you should include as many stakeholders as possible, including new hires (see also Questions for Recent Hires to Identify Information [2.2.1.h.1] for incumbent workers).

Use this template as a worksheet for each individual you interview. The results should be reviewed individually to determine special stakeholder insights. Some recruitment trends will be known to certain respondents (e.g. administration and managers) but insights into successful recruitment and hires will be known by others (e.g. supervisors and incumbents), so interview a mix of all stakeholders.

Some recruitment trends may be apparent once the information is gathered, but a worksheet, Organizational Recruitment and Retention Research Workbook [2.1.2.d.1] is available to help document these trends to find hidden nuances. Use the spreadsheet to review and summarize answers. The spreadsheet can be sorted by most effective to least effective method and by stakeholder groups to help you identify why specific recruitment activities were thought to be effective or ineffective by the different groups. This should help you identify changes that can be made to methods being used to help boost effectiveness. You may have to re-interview respondents or do more research to probe for more information.
Example of Stakeholder Interview
Name of Person Interviewed:
Date of Interview:
Stakeholder Group Category:

  1. What methods for recruiting new staff do you think the organization uses most often? Have they changed in the past few years? If so, how and why?
  2. Which methods have been the most effective? Why?
  3. Which have been the least effective? Why?
  4. In your opinion, how does staff turnover affect the organization (e.g., how does it affect consumers, long-term staff, the organization)? Why?
  5. What methods for reducing turnover has the organization tried?
  6. Which have been the most effective? Why?
  7. Which have been the least effective? Why?
  8. What are the biggest challenges within the organization or organizational site to recruitment and retention (e.g., location, lack of teamwork, not welcoming newcomers, consumer demographics, or rural locations)?
  9. What has been tried to improve the situation (e.g., new recruitment strategies, teambuilding methods, enhanced training efforts, or other strategies)?
  10.  Have there been any changes that may have influenced recruitment or retention?
  11.  Have retention strategies such as specific training, staff reviews, coaching, or planning and evaluations been implemented? Do you think the use or lack of use of these strategies hurt retention? If so, how?
How are different stakeholder groups (e.g., coworkers, consumers, administration, management, and direct or line staff) affected by these recruitment and retention issues?

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