Help Wanted: 14 Tips on How to Hire and Keep Great Employees

Successful entrepreneurs share their best kept secrets on how to attract and keep the best and brightest new hires.

Are you ready to hire your first employee? Or are you looking to expand your current team? Once you’ve developed a concise job description, interviewed suitable candidates and identified the best individuals for the role it’s time to seal the deal.

Long-term business success is fueled by learning how to attract great employees and most importantly, understanding what it takes to keep them. Therefore, we asked fourteen successful entrepreneurs to share their best kept secrets on how to attract and keep the best and brightest new hires. From, creating a unique company culture to who not to hire — you’ll be surprised at what they revealed.

1. Share your goals.

Focus on encouraging a balanced life and the sharing mutual goals.  Let’s see how much we can help each other.  We all need to feel honored as whole, functioning people with families and outside interests, as well as our commitment to achieving the goals and vision of the organizations for which we work. When people feel their work lifestyle fits them, and that you honor them fully as an individual, they will be even more inspired to help with the vision of your company.

Pamela Hawley, Founder and CEO at Universal Giving: @PamelaHawley

2. Create a good environment.

Create a fun and open working environment that employees enjoy and look forward to coming to.  Often times, employees hang out after work simply because of our atmosphere. I like to encourage creativity and having a more comfortable setting definitely feeds a creative mindset.

Matt Beckham, CEO at QuiBids: @QuiBids

3. Take care of employees.

We take care of our employees financially with profit sharing and comprehensive insurance packages, respecting them by entrusting them with important work, listening to their ideas, and giving them recognition for a job well done.  Each of our employees is an integral part of the puzzle and they are well aware of it.

Tony Ellison, Founder and CEO at  Shoplet.com: @Shoplet

4. Acknowledge hard work.

Ask employees to contribute or participate in an event or project bigger than themselves, and immediately acknowledge the role they played in the event after it’s over. Too many people wait to recognize employees until it’s convenient to do so, but after a big effort, people are looking for immediate feedback.

Robyn Dochterman, Owner at St. Croix Chocolate Company: @CroixChocolate

5. Manage people to their strengths.

Our greatest success hiring and keeping great employees stems from utilizing techniques and tools including Insights Personality Profiles, Unique Ability and Freak Factory to identify individual strengths, and modify job descriptions and responsibilities to maximize an employee’s strengths or abilities and mitigate weaknesses. By focusing on strengths, we increase productivity and happiness.

Kent Lewis, President and Founder at Anvil Media, Inc.: @KentLewis

6. Give employees some freedom.

We let our employees choose the projects they work on and do the projects that they enjoy best. The productivity boost from doing what you enjoy is immeasurable when it comes to customer satisfaction, quality of work and employee retention. For our company and people to thrive we exclusively focus on customers we enjoy working with and projects that we love to work on.

Anastasia Valentine, Sandbox PM CEO at Sandbox PM: @SandboxPM

7. Reward great work.

I like to honor our employees and make sure they know they are appreciated and that we notice their hard work. We have instituted an annual employee celebration day where we thank them each with a dinner and a gift card then host a contest for an additional prize. We find that simply doing this gesture goes a long way with our employees who are fantastic and we want to keep with us.

Nellie Akalp, CEO at CorpNet.com: @CorpNetNellie

8. Treat employees the way you would want to be treated.

The people on your payroll are not units of production; they are people with dreams, goals, hurts, and crises. If you want your team to buy into your dream and execute with every ounce of passion they have, you must be caught caring about them personally and treating them with dignity.

Dave Ramsey, President and CEO at The Lampo Group Inc.: @DaveRamsey

9. Let employees speak up.

Empower employees to take initiative, pursue interesting projects and create a great team environment with a focus on fun and happiness in the workplace. Everyone in our office is encouraged to speak their mind, collaborate and take on projects that are important to them and will help the company grow and succeed.

Nick Blitterswyk, CEO at Urban Green Energy: @Urban_Green

10. Keep a recruitment mindset 24/7. 

Whenever I’m interacting with my employees, I have in the back of my mind the fact that they are free to leave at any time, and that it’s my job to ensure we keep the ones we want to keep.  Basically, the recruiting process never stops at our company.

Bryan Pate, Co-Founder at ElliptiGo Inc.: @ElliptiGo

11. Hire passionate people.

Every job we post includes the phrase “dictators, divas and clock watchers need not apply.” Those who respond often say it was that line that caught their attention, because they didn’t know such an environment existed. We currently have 50 employees, many who have been with our spa for 10 years or more.

Heidi Lamar, Owner at Spa Lamar: @SpaLamar

12. Look for job fit. 

You can find 100 people that can technically do the job, but only a handful of them will be a good fit.  Make sure the employee fits your values, culture, and really gets your business.  Find out what an employee is good at and help him or her to be great at it.  Keep great employees by creating a culture that taps into what already motivates them.

Anne Pritchard Grady, Owner and President at Acclivity Performance:@AnnePritchard

13. Be flexible.

Give employees a flexible schedule or the ability to work remotely. As long as their job is done, you should not be concerned when your employee was working on it and whether they did it from the office, home or coffee shop. Help people to enjoy their life and they’ll reward you with loyalty and great performance.

Vadim Katcherovski, Chief Make-it-Happen Officer at Easy Projects . NET: @easyprojectsnet

14. Build confidence.

Hire self-starters who see the value in building their own personal careers. Providing this solid foundation for your employees will help build the confidence they need to continue growing, learning and progressing, which will in turn benefit both the employee and the company.

Nancy J. Friedman, President at Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations: @NJFPR


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