Recruit, Inspire & Retain

July 2003

Ideas for "Marketing" and Providing "Customer Service" to Current and Potential Employees

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NEWSFLASH: The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush is going to be translated into Chinese!  

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“Employer of Choice”: Does Your Organization Measure Up?

 It’s easy to say that you have become an “employer of choice”. In reality, though, being an “employer of choice” is a difficult—although measurable—status to obtain. Here are some ways to assess how far you’ve come in the “employer of choice” sweepstakes. The “employer of choice” factors are listed here in descending order of importance.  

1. Appearance on "Best" lists. You’re on Fortune’s or Working Mother's best places to work list or on more than one industry or regional best places list.

2. Positive name recognition in target population. When asked in a survey or focus group, people in your target professional fields know the name of your organization 75% of the time, and over half of those know at least one key positive selling point of your organization.

3. In the top 3 choices of top performers. When highly qualified people are asked the names of places they "would like to work someday," over 50% list your organization in the top 5 most-often mentioned.

4. Where your applications come from. At least 10% of your applicants come from the top 5 most profitable   organizations in your industry or region.

5. Often cited in MVPs. Your   organization’s HR and people practices are cited at least 5 times a year by name in the top 3 (most valuable publications) that are read by top people in their field or industry.

6. Often cited. Your   organization’s HR and people practices are cited by name in major industry, business, and HR publications over 50 times a year.

7. Referral rate. Employee referrals make up over 50 percent of all hires.

8. “Other offers”. Applicants with multiple offers also get a concurrent offer from one of the top ten-rated organizations in your industry at least 50% of the time.

9. Give away/take away ratio. Your organization hires away more people from your top 5 competitors than the competitor hires away from you.

10. Talent competitors talk positively about you. When managers at direct competitors for the for the employees you want are asked in surveys or focus groups about your organization’s people practices, they give a positive response 25% of the time.

11. In top three choices of average performers. When people in your industry are asked the names of places they "would like to work someday", over 25% list your organization.

12. Recruiters list you in top employers. When professional recruiters are asked in surveys or focus groups about your organization’s people practices, they give a positive response 50% of the time. When asked to list the top ten employers of choice in your region or industry, they cite you 50% of the time.

13. On “admired” list. You appear on Fortune’s “most admired   organizations” list.

14. On diversity list. You appear on Fortune’s or someone’s diversity list.

15. Former employees do/would return. Over 10% of employees who voluntarily quit in the past 3 years have returned. Over 50% express an interest in returning when surveyed. 16. Employees send the “same” message. When your employees are asked what they tell strangers about “why the organization is a great place to work,” over 50% of their answers include your top selling point.

17. Low turnover rate of top performers. The turnover rate of your top 25%-rated employees is below 5%.

18. CEO mentions people practices. Your current CEO mentions specific HR or people practices by name in 25% of external and 50% of internal speeches.

19. Sign-up lists. Your “sign-ups” at college information events exceed the average by 50%. Your lines at job fairs are 25% longer than your top direct talent competitor.

20. Web hits. You get 50% more Web hits on your jobs page than the industry average.

21. Benchmarked. Fortune 500   organizations from outside your industry benchmark you (call to learn about your best practices) at least once a year.

22. Listed first in conference brochures. When someone from your organizations is facilitating a session at a seminar with other companies, your organization’s name appears in the first 25% on the brochure.

23. Book. There has been a book written about your   organization or CEO within the last 5 years.

24. CEO has wide name recognition. Your current CEO has a positive name recognition 75% of the time when professionals in your industry are asked to comment in surveys or focus groups.

25. You have an EOC manager. Your HR department has a designated manager who handles “employer of choice”, best-places-to-work list, and employment-branding.

Adapted from an article in Workforce Online by Dr. John Sullivan, 4/03

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Second to None: How the Smartest Companies Put People First, by Charles Garfield
Work Concepts for the Future: Managing Alternative Work Arrangements, by Patricia Estes
  Both available at by e-mailing or
calling 800-469-3560.

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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Better Than A Jukebox DJ’s, Karaoke-ists, and customers will all be wearing them this summer!

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How Well Do You Measure?

This quiz stuff is really catching on! Again for a fun prize. The first 10 readers who submit 90% of the correct answers will win a fitting prize.

Remember, this quiz is brought to you by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., so think funny (twisted, even!) instead of trying to find real, dictionary type answers. We’ll even give you the first one. Have FUN!!!

1. Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter: Eskimo Pi
2. 1 millionth of a mouthwash:
3. Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement:
4. Weight an evangelist carries with God:
5. 1000 aches:
6. Basic unit of laryngitis:
7. Shortest distance between two jokes:
8. 2000 mockingbirds:
9. 1 kilogram of falling figs:
10. 8 nickels:
11. 10 millipedes:
12. 2 wharves:

PowerPoint screen show that features 40 humorous posters that are pre-set to work on “auto-pilot”. Makes a great “WELCOME” message or enhancement to your session break. Runs about 5 minutes, and is set to automatically recycle. You can add in your own slides. (a great place to slip in your objectives!) Get your PowerPoint screen show here!
BUY PACKS of inspirational posters. (Do a Product Search for POSTERS, then look for Training Room Posters (30/pack).)

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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“We are finishing today the cross-training session with the Orientation to One-Stop Services manuals. All 300 One-Stop staff went through these sessions. They went well. They all felt the manual was a valuable tool. They especially liked the exercise with dice. Loved it! They used the case studies most. They also like the matrix they had to fill out together. Lots of positive feedback.” Marta Cerda, One-Stop Transition Director, Chicago Workforce Board

“A friend and colleague of mine suggested that I consider Creating Highly Interactive Quickly & Effectively for one of the ID classes I will be teaching at NEIU this Fall. I have not seen the book before, although I have met the author, Carolyn B. Thompson, a few years ago at an IQPC Conference. I was impressed with her dynamism and easy philosophy.” Daniela Truty, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Human Resource Development, Northeastern Illinois University

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Flexible Spending Accounts That Really Inspire Employees and Save Organizations $ TOO!

You’re an employee. You hear about a way to use pre-tax $ to pay for medical and other legally allowed expenses. You’re thrilled! You don’t even mind that if you don’t use all the $ each year you lose them. Here’s what you do mind — having your $ deducted from your paycheck (you don’t have the money now), going to see the doctor and paying (now you even have less money), filling out paperwork to get reimbursed from your Flexible Spending Account (loss of time and still no money!), finally you get your money.

We just heard about a wonderful new program that changes this scenario: STORED VALUE DEBIT CARDS USED FOR BENEFITS.

Stored Value Debit Cards look like credit/debit plastic cards and they allow your employees to electronically access employee Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds. This technology simplifies the reimbursement process and greatly reduces the paperwork associated with FSA reimbursements. When the debit card is swiped, the system qualifies the expense and determines adequate/available balance in the employee FSA account. Preauthorization occurs at the merchants terminal and they get paid electronically. The amount of the charge is deducted from the employee’s FSA account.

These stored value cards significantly increase employee participation in FSA by virtually eliminating both employee paper claim filings and the double outlay of personal funds. Employees have a high appreciation for these plans because of the flexibility they offer, resulting in a large return in employee satisfaction. This enables your organization to recruit, inspire, and retain valuable employees, making for a more complete, more competitive overall benefit program.

Organizations can realize direct bottom-line savings in the form of reduced employer FICA. (social security) taxes, F.U.T.A. (federal unemployment) taxes, disability and worker’s compensation insurance premiums (varies state by state). The total savings at the organization’s level can potentially represent as much as 10%, and will likely pay for administration costs associated with these plans. This will make you the ”employer of choice”!

And how has this saved companies money? One company who had an FSA program already w/paper reimbursement went from participation of 15 employees to 52 employees by using the cards. That was a FICA savings of an additional $4,500!


First Midwest Bank offers Stored Value Debit Cards.
Contact John Badovinac,, 630-875-7265

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Put Your Leaders in Charge of Their Own Development

Remarketing Services of America (RSA) did. And they now attribute their surprisingly low turnover rate—20% annually—to their corporate values, which promote:
* self-motivation
* idea-sharing
* personal growth
Every employee is encouraged to set career goals, and leadership development is the foundation of the company’s program to advance its most promising staff members. “We are a highly entrepreneurial organization that was founded by strong leaders, and we want to drive those leadership skills down to everyone”, says the manager of learning and development.

To achieve this goal, every new manager is expected to complete rigorous leadership training. Regardless of whether they are promoted from within or newly hired, managers receive a complete evaluation to determine their leadership strengths and gaps. After 6 months on the job, they participate in a 360-degree assessment that rates them on 14 established leadership competencies such as building trust, coaching, communication, and delegating authority. Based on the results, a custom training program is established to meet their individual needs and potential. The company chose self-nominations over manager recommendations to eliminate favoritism and to be sure that only the most proactive employees participate in the program. RSA wants people with entrepreneurial spirit who are focused on their own growth and have a desire to develop their career potentials.

RSA knows that leadership skills are used by every employee. So their leadership development is also aimed at employees just below the first tier of management jobs who show management potential.

These potential managers receive management and leadership training in skills they are most likely to need right now, such as relationship-building and conflict resolution. Training in other skills, such as team-building and peer assessment, which they may not need until they’ve been managers for a few months, is offered when they actually move into a people management role.

RSA calls the 12 month program Leadership Emerging and Development program. It exposes motivated employees to leadership opportunities through formal training, job rotations, and mentoring.

While there is no promise that a people management job will be waiting when they complete the leadership program, it does ensure that when a job opens, people who completed LEAD are the most likely candidates. It’s also an opportunity for employees to expand their potential for future roles, whether it’s with the company or elsewhere.

Excerpts from Workforce, October 2002, by Sara Fister Gale

The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush**TOOL BOX**
The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common
Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-Chief,
by Carolyn
B. Thompson & James W. Ware.
Dugout Days: Untold Tales & Leadership Lessons from
the Extraordinary Career of Billy Martin,
by Michael Demarco
Both available by e-mailing or calling 800-469-3560

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An Evacuation Plan in These Security Conscious Times Will Help You
Retain Employees

OSHA Develops Evacuation Planning Matrix
Recent terrorist events underscore the importance of workplace evacuation planning. OSHA’s new Evacuation Planning Matrix provides employers with planning ideas and on-line resources to help reduce an organization’s vulnerability to a terrorist act.

Assessing the Risk of a Terrorist Act
In order to use OSHA’s evacuation guidance effectively, you need to first assess the risk. The level of risk is a combination of workplace vulnerabilities, recognized threat, and anticipated consequences of the event. South Carolina developed an assessment method you can use at: It includes the Worksite Risk Assessment List which you can print and use to assess your workplace on 6 risk factors. If you find these risk factors apply to your work site, you need to either eliminate them or put practices into place that will minimize the danger (get ideas from local law enforcement, local FBI, and/or the local emergency planning committees). These agencies can also give you info you’ll need. Go to to complete your risk assessment and to determine which of the 3 risk zones noted below best characterizes your workplace.

Using OSHA’s Evaluation Planning Matrix
The assessment helped you identify your risk. The matrix gives you ideas for eliminating the risks or minimizing them by developing an evacuation plan. OSHA has categorized the risks into 3 zones.

Based on information currently available, the vast majority of American workplaces are at low risk for a terrorist act—the Green Zone. The matrix lists questions, recommendations, and on-line resources in each risk zone.

High Risk
Low Risk

If the workplaces near you seem to be in a higher risk zone, you should review and implement the planning/preparedness considerations for their risk zone, too.

As a nation, our understanding of the risk of terrorist acts continues to evolve. It is likely that OSHA's recommendations for preparedness, training, and equipment also will evolve. OSHA remains committed to helping employers and workers protect themselves from the risk of terrorism in the workplace and is working closely with other Federal agencies to provide employers with current information and guidance.

Excerpted from U.S. Department of Labor OSHA Homeland Security
Evacuation Planning Matrix document

OSHA Evacuation Planning Matrix 
Preventing Workplace Violence, by Marianne Minor,
available at, click on
Inspiring & Retaining
Disaster Preparedness, by Julie Freestone & Rudi Raab, available at, click on
Building Your Organization.

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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July 29, 2003
Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) World 2003, New York Hilton Hotel,

August 3-5, 2003
Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress, San Francisco, CA, 

August 23-26, 2003
American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting and Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii, 

September 16, 2003
IT&ME The Motivation Show, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, 

September 18-20, 2003
ISPI Performance-Based Instructional Systems Design Conference 2003, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, 

September 22-24, 2003
Online Learning & Training Fall Conference & Expo, Los Angeles Convention Center, 

October 6-7, 2003
Documentation & Training 2003, Tyngsboro, MA, or 

October 8-10, 2003
HR Technology Conference & Exposition, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, 

October 10-12, 2003
9th International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Europe Conference, Barclays University, Staverton Park, Northamptonshire, England, UK, contact Gary Austin at

Want to stop getting those telemarketing calls at the office and home? Go to is an employment site for jobs in beautiful places. Great for summer!

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