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January 2004 Newsletter

Happy New Year!


Last fall we dedicated several newsletters to effective employee retention practices which become increasingly more important in a recovering economy. Many of our readers indicated that the start of this New Year includes selective hiring. So, this month’s newsletter is focused on hiring the best talent by supplementing regular recruiting efforts with the development of internal talent scouts.


On a different note, we are pleased to announce that Bergeron Associates™ celebrated its 5 year anniversary! We have had the pleasure to work with clients across a broad range of businesses. Highlighted below are just a few of the talent strategies and solutions designed and implemented for our clients. We look forward to working with you on future talent management challenges. 


By Carol Bergeron

This article was published January 15, 2004 in IndUS Business Journal.

As the economy starts to rebound, are you ready to compete for top talent? You can significantly boost your recruiting efforts by making “talent scouts” out of all your employees! Transforming your employees into talent scouts takes deliberate action and ongoing management. Start now and you will leap frog competing organizations that are also working endlessly to build bench strength. We provide suggestions to get you started.

Know what you want and the value you offer to employees

Define your talent requirements within the context of your business strategy and objectives. In order to deliver value to customers, define what you expect of employees in terms of: 

Knowledge and skills requirements

Behaviors for organizational fit

Internal motivation 

Define the value your organization offers to its employees. Determine why employees choose to join and stay with your firm. Leverage those reasons in your recruiting efforts as you build your one-of-a-kind “employer of choice” brand.


Customize talent selection tools based on your organization’s unique talent requirements and “employer of choice” brand. Prepare in advance so that you can move quickly when you meet exceptional people whom you may want to hire.

Charter your leadership team to get engaged with educational institutions

Start with the alma maters of the leadership team. Whether you are seeking student coops and interns or full-time employees through undergraduate and graduate programs, encourage leaders to become guest speakers in educational forums. Help leaders establish relationships with career development personnel and other alumni, and create an on-going dialogue with professors and instructors. Let your leaders set an example for employees to follow as you cascade this approach further down into the organization.

Re-ignite your Employee Referral Program

Challenged, valued employees who are proud to be part of your organization are inclined to make referrals. Check the climate of your workforce to make sure employee referral program investments would generate returns that you expect. It may be your money is better spent on improving the work environment followed by the referral program.

  • Streamline the referral and hiring processes so you can act quickly. Make tools accessible and easy to use for both employees and applicants. A website is a given. Make the website interactive so that applicants can apply on-line and connect with your employees to talk about company culture and their experiences.
  • Educate employees on how to develop networking skills and build strong relationships from which to make future referrals. Make use of educational workshops, informal discussions over lunch and one-on-one coaching to get employees talking about effective talent scouting techniques. Learn from each other as a way to generate innovative ideas.
  • Networking takes time so make it worthwhile for employees to make referrals. Assess the amount of your referral bonus and consider special campaigns from time to time that provide more generous rewards.
  • Give the referral program on-going visibility by: marketing your program heavily at orientation with new hires; communicating special campaigns through email and voice mail; devoting a section of your intranet to the program and its results; highlighting it as a regular topic of discussion at employee meetings including senior leadership meetings.
  • Provide all employees with business cards so they are prepared to exchange contact information in a moment’s notice.

Use low-pressure forums to build your network before you have a need

Traditional sourcing vehicles are largely focused on tapping into people actively seeking new employment. Building your network before a specific need is established will help form alliances with people who are not active in a job search. Provide low-pressure, convenient opportunities so that prospective applicants can get to know your company and meet your employees.

  • Routinely host casual forums or social gatherings and ask employees to invite a guest.
  • Create a presence in the community by offering a company information booth staffed by employees at a community event such as a town fair.
  • Encourage employees to build company recognition by participating in company-sponsored events, such as road races, while wearing t-shirts and caps with the company logo.
  • Introduce yourself to speakers at conferences and professional association meetings. While the speakers may not join your firm, they may know of others who could be the right fit.
  • Find out who the experts are in your field by reading. Contact authors and experts mentioned in publications and introduce yourself.
  • Consider collaborating with other credible companies when planning sourcing events.
  • Do not overlook former employees or those who provide references for potential new hires as great sources. 

Stay visible and connected with your growing network

  • Add new contacts to your company’s newsletter distribution list.
  • Invite prospective applicants to information or educational sessions hosted by your firm.
  • Know what is happening in the world. Some events may prompt prospective applicants to start a job search. Events might include a merger or acquisition, company relocation, reduction in force or out of control growth.

Measure what counts

  • Leverage technology so you can measure leads, interviews and new hires resulting from your recruiting efforts. Be sure to track the sources of your new hires, so that you continue to invest in successful approaches.
  • Set hiring targets for the talent scout program at company, business unit or departmental levels. Communicate results to promote importance, build momentum and celebrate success.
  • Reward your leadership team and employees for delivering results in their talent scouting activities. Thank your recruiters for their help!

A key success factor to hiring exceptional people is being prepared to move quickly. In order to accomplish that you must know what you want and the value you offer to employees. Plan your strategy and customize recruiting tools given the unique talent requirements of your organization. Identifying top talent through the deliberate development and deployment of employees as talent scouts should put you one giant step ahead of the game. 


Over the past five years we have worked with clients across a wide range of business sectors ranging from technical support to high-technology, manufacturing, medical devices, venture capital and insurance. Clients rely on us to develop and implement talent strategies and solutions that lead to improved organizational effectiveness.


To read earlier editions of Bergeron Associates Newsletters and published articles, click the following link.


Bergeron Associates™ designs talent strategies and solutions to help business leaders hire, develop and retain exceptional people who achieve business goals and organizational excellence.

Bergeron Associates™ 
101 Middlesex Tpke, Ste 6, PMB 326
Burlington, MA 01803-4914

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© Copyright 2004 Bergeron Associates™. This publication may be freely redistributed in full or in part as long as full attribution and our contact information, including company name, mailing address, email address, web site address and phone number, are included.

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