ByJohn S. McClenahen There apparently is something to those reports of retired executives returning to work. Research by the Herman Group, Greensboro, N.C., suggests two separate trends. First is the hiring of experienced senior leaders who don't get specific job descriptions or production assignments. "They serve as strategic-level counselors, advisors and watchdogs," the consulting firm states. "These retired executives know the culture; in many cases they helped create it. They know the people; they have relationships with the key players and know how to get things done." "Corporations expect these returning seasoned professionals to work their magic again," says the Herman Group. The second trend is the re-entry into the workforce of older people sometime after their nominal retirements. They're people who have productivity as a core value, and "they're eager to be active, to contribute, to make a difference," the Herman Group says. Some will want to work full time; others will opt for part-time or contract work.