Why and how to recruit and retain top talent, inexpensively (Part 2 of 3)

Take Care of Your OwnFollow the basic teachings of life to hire and retain your coveted staff, at little to no cost.

Not everyone can spend a small fortune on recruiting. Some don’t even have enough cashflow to hire a recruiter. I get it. A lot of owners, partners and managers are in that situation. It’s normal for smaller businesses. It is not a problem.

The truth is, people are people. It’s great to be hunted and impressed by large corporations, but it’s always better to be happy, comfortable and yes, I said it, loved. I don’t care if you are male, or female, or otherwise, if you are single, married, or “it’s complicated.” Everyone wants the same things, which brings me back to this entry about following the basic teachings of life IN BUSINESS.


  1. A potential employee is stalked, dined and offered a whole lot of cash, with bonuses. That’s great. Sounds awesome! A lot of people would consider this opportunity perfect. I agree.
  1. A potential employee meets a friend of a friend, who works close to home, loves his/her job, has a great work/life balance, makes a decent living, and is genuinely happy. A lot of other people would consider this opportunity perfect. I agree again.

Neither is right or wrong. It is a matter of recognizing that no matter the company size or budget, there is a place for everyone. Every employer has a shot. But not without nurturing the basic needs of a human being.

Here’s where life comes into play.

Your staff is hired to help you, right? How could you expect them to, unless they want to? If you neglect this important aspect of your business model, your revolving door and dwindling bank account is a sure-fire way to closing your doors, indefinitely. Employees must want to do the best they can, for you, and for your business.

Does anyone honestly think that beating children will make them subservient, learned, productive and well-rounded? I highly doubt that screaming and fighting with your husband or wife, daily, looks like the best path towards a happy home. Matter of fact, have any of your volatile relationships turned into an idealistic, perfect, or even tolerable exchange of knowledge, growth and appreciation? Unlikely. Your business environment is no different.

Now think about the animal kingdom. Google those cute videos of a mother goose guiding her little ducklings safely to a destination. Or how that mother goose grieves and waits around when a duckling is harmed or fell down into a grate and she can’t get him out.  Why am I talking about this? Hmmm….

These lessons are so easily translated into the business world, however, rarely exercised. How unfortunate for owners, partners and managers.

How can you expect your relationships, and therefore, your business, to grow, if you aren’t following the basic guidelines of life? How exactly can you expect your business model, if it’s not similar, to go against the entire basis of humanity, and larger, of all species, and furthermore, of all living things, and still flourish?

  • Plants need oxygen, sun, and water to grow – all positive ingredients.
  • Animals need oxygen, nourishment and hydration – all positive ingredients.
  • Humans need oxygen, nourishment, hydration, and so much more, including appreciation, motivation, desire, a goal, and comradery – all positive ingredients.

Without providing positive necessities, you can’t expect anything to blossom.

Here’s the good news! You can effectively hire and retain your employees without it costing anything at all. The real cost is in replacing them. Statistically, losing an employee and having to replace that team member can cost up to 150% of his/her salary!

You don’t have to lose your employees to a “bigger” and “better” company, which looks shiny, expensive and famous (insert eye-roll.) Try these ideas (using no cash at all) and watch what happens:

  1. Recognize potential employees through family and friends. Let your closest people know who you are looking for and don’t be surprised if they know your perfect match. Chances are, they know you better than anyone, so they can find you great candidates to match your personality and needs.
  1. Meet potential employees with a family and friends mentality. Being kind, generous and humble will put you ahead of most large corporations hunting the same candidate.
  1. Focus on the things you can offer, other than money, such as location, hours, benefits, etc.
  1. When you have your ideal employee in place, don’t forget to say “thank you” and “I appreciate you.” With our busy lives, it’s easy to forget, but it’s crucial that you don’t. These little things go a long way.
  1. Highlight long-term employees. Don’t forget to make anniversaries special. Their commitment to you must not go unrecognized, or they will surely feel unappreciated.
  1. Celebrate company successes, as well as individual ones. If your staff is doing a great job, completing tasks and successfully meeting goals, you must notice it and tell them that you are aware. No one wants to knock themselves out when the result goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
  1. Keep your staff abreast of your vision and goals. Not only do they need to know what you are trying to accomplish to help get there, but they need to be part of the team. Your staff doesn’t want to be disassociated from the bigger picture. A receptionist may very well become your VP one day, if you allow him/her to see what you dream and help you get there.
  1. Remember how kind you were to that potential “top talent?” Keep up the good work! Your current staff needs to feel the same way about you, and has to want to make you happy.
  1. Lose the hierarchy with respect to ego. Everyone knows who holds which positions within your business. It doesn’t behoove you to allow yourself or your higher-ups to put themselves on a pedestal, while looking down and belittling others below. Remember, it’s a long, hard fall down. You need comradery.
  1. Always provide your whole office with short-term goals. Having an interim end in sight, whether it’s a project or a vision, will motivate our staff to cross the finish line as best and quickly as possible. More importantly, it will prove to your staff that they matter, are included, and that all opinions are respected.

Look, your company wallet hasn’t changed. Have you?


Leave a Reply