Look beyond the résumé to find and retain excellent employees.

Finding employees is difficult enough; maintaining a motivated, passionate and hard-working team who work for more than a paycheck is an even greater challenge. Several CBO readers asked the following question:

How can we find and retain quality employees, especially for management positions?

Jessica V. Weatherford
Managing Partner
Marble Arch Consultants Inc.
“When interviewing potential candidates, especially management candidates, ask them specific performance-related questions that get to the heart of scenarios they might face. Very often, the way we ask interview questions gives the candidate a clear message as to how we want them answered. By asking them about hypothetical scenarios they might face, you will get a better glimpse into their management approach. In addition, research has shown that as long as employees are making a market competitive wage that meets their life needs, their desire to be challenged and to leverage their expertise becomes their top priority. Are you interviewing candidates—management and crew—with motivated individuals in mind? Are you asking them questions about what drives them and what they are looking for in a position? If you focus on motivating, developing and challenging individuals, you will often see the same level of engagement back from employees.”

Sharon Hulce
Employment Resource Group

“The key to finding and retaining quality employees is to hire people for their instincts and innovation, not just for how their résumé reads. For example, we recently placed an individual who was employed as a chief of police with a firm as their VP of human resources/leadership development. While he had little true HR experience on his résumé, his talent for creating proven leaders and getting people motivated to perform was his true gift. This company has made this kind of hire before and, due to the CEO’s ability to recognize talent in this way, they have grown in revenues, even in the economic recession of the past few years.”

Roxi Hewertson
Highland Consulting Group

“First, you have to have a culture that is welcoming to new people. Positive core operating values need to be embedded in your leaders’ behaviors and demonstrated in the way you hire, do business and make decisions. Second, people need to believe they will be treated with dignity and respect. Third, your on-boarding process should be outstanding. Don’t just hire someone and throw him or her into the job. Instead, create a series of activities to help the new person enter and adjust well to your workplace and to the rest of your staff.”

Isaac Lidsky
ODC Construction

“We look for exceptional people with the right skills and qualities who understand that we’re building something special and who truly want to be a part of it. We identify such individuals within our ranks and promote them aggressively. Our “dream team” keeps an eye out for promising candidates in our personal networks and industry. It is all about the individual, not the résumé. In some instances, we will even create a role to add someone great to our management team. Our culture, vision and success keep our managers dedicated to building our business as a team.”