7 Steps for Attracting and Retaining the Right People

“Get the right people on the bus… Once you have the right people in place, figure out the path to greatness.”

– Jim Collins, Good to Great

What are the biggest challenges to success in your business? Innovation, product development, customer acquisition, process improvement, revenue, and profit growth. Yes, all of these are some of the major hurdles faced by companies, regardless of their industry or stage of their business. Yet, the greatest challenge for any organization is how to attract—and to retain—great people. Without a great team, a company cannot succeed.

Success of any business is predicated on having the right people in the right jobs with the right skills. This is true not only for executive positions, but also those on the front line. If you don’t have the right people, you simply will not succeed. HCCP has advised hundreds of company presidents, CEOs, and board members on attracting and retaining the best talent. With that experience and research, HCCP has honed a seven-step process that takes you from business strategy and recruitment to long-term retention of your best employees and business success.

Step 1: Develop your business strategy.

The first step for any business is to develop a road map. You need to define:

  • What are you doing?
  • Where are you going?
  • What is your value proposition to the market?
  • How do you differentiate your company from others offering similar products or services?
  • How will you approach your marketplace?

Step 2: Define your company’s culture.

Culture: “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The single most important part of any company’s foundation is determining its culture. Culture defines who you are as a business; it defines what you stand for; and it defines how you want to be known by your customers, shareholders, vendors, and employees.

Step 3: Identify the required people skills, competencies, and experiences.

Steps 1 and 2 were easy; now it’s time for the truly hard part. Identify the people you need to achieve your business goals and who will best fit into the culture of your organization. Having the right “fit” is critical, and in my view will determine a person’s future success or failure.

For this step, you need to create profiles of the skills and competencies that are needed for the business.

Step 4: Identify, attract, assess, and hire the right people.

Many hiring managers perceive this step to be the most frustrating and time consuming, but it is the most important. To add even more pressure, the successful execution of Step 4 will make or break your business.

It sounds simple: take the profile you developed in Step 3 and develop a job description. It is important to focus on the duties, responsibilities, and skills that are necessary for the job, not who you want to fill the empty chair. Focus on the fact that you’re looking for candidates who have the skills required for the job, as well as the appropriate “fit” for your company’s culture.

When interviewing job candidates, it is important to not just do it by yourself, but to involve others in the process. Everyone has weak spots in interviewing. Let others participate, having them follow the profile and job description. Then make a final selection as a group, choosing the candidate who best fits both the position and the organizational culture.

Step 5: Reward your people.

It is vital to reward the good people in your organization. You should start by developing a sound compensation and benefits philosophy. You need to understand the compensation package for a given position—the split between base pay and incentives (annual and long term) and how competitive you are in the marketplace.

Rewards are not always monetary. Rewards can be as simple as telling people they are doing a great job. This short “pat on the back” or “thank you” will take you miles in ensuring that your good performers realize they are making significant contributions to the success of your business and in keeping them engaged.

Step 6: Develop and train your people.

It is essential that you know who the good people are in your organization. You can’t afford to lose any of them. They help drive your business strategy, deal with customers, and drive your success. Do whatever you can to not lose the top performers.

One way to identify the people strengths and weaknesses in your organization is to create a succession planning process. This process allows you to identify your key performers and put in place a personal development plan that will address their gaps to prepare them for future opportunities.

Step 7: Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Yes, yes, yes. This seems like such a simple step, but HCCP’s experience shows that it’s the one universal area where most managers are rated as “Does Not Meet Expectations.” Studies done by brand-name consulting firms have shown that organizations that communicate well with their employees have a direct correlation to stronger retention, higher revenues, and increased profitability.

You simply must communicate. Inform your employees about what is happening. Listen to what they are saying. Ensure you communicate to all levels of management and they, in turn, are communicating with their teams. People look toward their boss for information, so middle managers and first-line supervisors need to know what is going on in the company.


If you begin to follow this seven-step process, you will attract and retain great people and your business will be a success. Let me leave you with four key takeaways.

  1. Know your business, your customer, and what product you are selling so you can develop a business strategy that will make you a successful venture.
  2. Determine the people that are the right fit for your business. Without the right people your business will fail.
  3. Spend time interviewing. Interviews may seem easy, but you need to really understand their importance. In the end, you only have a couple of hours to get to know someone and determine that they not only have the skills and competencies, but are right fit for the company culture.
  4. Don’t settle. Just because a job has been open a while, don’t rush to fill it. That never works. It will always come back to bite you in the long run. Find the person who is right for the job and is the right fit, and they will help you drive your business success as well as make you look like a genius.

For more information on how Human Capital Consulting Partners can assist you in developing your company’s recruiting process, contact us.

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