Jared Pollacco is the CEO of Impact XM. A passionate and driven leader focused on spearheading growth and client satisfaction, he has led Impact XM’s transition from being a top-of-the-line exhibit house to a strategically led, creatively driven event and experiential marketing agency. Pollacco has held a variety of positions at Impact XM, moving up through operations, sales and management to now lead one of the industry’s most creative and dedicated teams.
Rehiring in the Great Resignation
As the leader of an event and experiential marketing agency, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was one of, if not the, most challenging time for myself and our business—not only because we had to rethink our industry’s entire model of in-person events, but also because I had to make some incredibly difficult decisions regarding our employees. Namely, we faced the unfortunate reality that we needed to downsize and furlough a number of our team.
Those conversations were tough. We were letting go of people that had actively made Impact XM a leading agency in the industry and a company with a positive workplace culture and community. And while I knew and hoped that these talented individuals would find a new desk and role for themselves at a different place, I also wanted to find a way to bring them back onboard.
Over the past two years, our pivoting and creative thinking has worked. We’re continuing to serve our clients and actually have created a more nimble, hybrid approach to our practice. As old business continues and new business arrives, we found ourselves back where we started a few years ago— looking for new talent.
In a time where companies in practically every industry are looking for fresh talent, I saw an opportunity for us: rehiring. We began reaching out to former employees, and as they responded and rejoined our teams, the results were incredible.
Rehiring poses a number of advantages, beyond just the ease of an already-vetted applicant pool. Here are some of the significant benefits that we saw:
Minimizing training overhead, with immediate confidence in returning employees.
From day one, our rehired employees already knew the processes and strategies that make Impact XM work and were able to quickly rejoin old teams or lead new accounts. As a leadership body, we knew how they worked, and we knew we could trust them, so they were able to hit the ground running without the lengthy training and educating processes that new hires so often need to undergo.
Easily integrating returning employees with clients.
Some of our rehired employees had years of experience working with our longer-lasting clients. In these situations, it was an incredibly fluid and seamless transition to reincorporate those employees into their old accounts. The clients were thrilled because they already knew the employee’s work, and the account teams were happy because they already had systems in place that the rehired employee could easily rejoin.
Maintaining team morale, trust and teamwork.
For current employees and recent rehired employees alike, the rehiring process was crucial in maintaining our cohesive work environment and culture. By connecting staff with individuals they had already built close relationships with, we were able to navigate the sometimes difficult waters of changing dynamics with ease.
Holding true to company values.
As I said before, it was a difficult decision to let people go at the beginning of the pandemic—they were a part of Impact XM’s community, and each is a talented and unique individual whom I care deeply about. So when the opportunity arose to invite these individuals back into our organization, I felt inside that it wasn’t just a way to go about expanding, it was innately the right thing to do. As a company that prides itself on supporting and protecting our team, this was an important statement for us to make to our staff, our clients and ourselves.
To my fellow leaders reading this who faced similar challenges and difficult decisions when it came to letting go of your staff, I encourage you to remain open to rehiring should the opportunity arise. It has enhanced not just our business processes and strategies, but also the way our team interacts with each other and the company as a whole, and as we continue to experience these times of change and uncertainty, that’s one of the greatest advantages we could hope to possess.
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