How To Recruit And Retain The Best In Your Industry

A recent survey of Tampa Bay CEOs revealed that their main business concern revolved around human capital.  Business owners in multiple industries were surveyed and this is always their number one problem.  It’s still prevalent now.  It was even my parents’ main complaint when I was growing up as they ran our family-owned restaurant.  This really is a decades-old problem that has yet to be solved.

Many hours are spent by senior executives putting together what they believe will be great bonus and benefit packages.  Often, a significant amount of resources are spent on recruitment agencies or developing the “right” interview practices. Sound familiar?

Let me share something with you that I’ve always done, and the results that I’ve found, in my own companies.

The first thing I focus on is: What is the basic purpose of this organization?  Who does it help?  What problem does it solve for people?

To that end, I have developed a formula that I always apply in order to help focus my efforts on the right things:

  • The Basic Purpose of this company is to help, who?
  • Who live in?
  • To achieve, what?
  • By providing, what?

Those answers should be what gets the CEO, and executives, out of bed in the morning and excited about going to work.

Once this is established recruiting is a piece of cake. I just sit down with the prospect and go through an interview process that I choose; but that interview process is just a formality.  The entire point of the interview is to lay out my basic purpose and watch the potential hire’s reaction.

Here’s the key:

I need to see a positive emotional reaction to my basic purpose.  They need to agree with it, and get excited about it, before we can even begin to talk money.

Believe it or not, I’m either sold or pass on them in a matter of minutes. That’s really all it takes to give the prospect a chance.

In my experience, people who are dedicated to my cause will work harder and longer to help.  They complain less, come up with creative ideas that are much better than mine and are dedicated self-starters.  That is priceless.  It can’t be bought.

If the focus of the interview turns towards benefits and bonuses over the basic purpose of the company, I lose interest.  Of course, those things need to be discussed and are important; but I’ve hired many leaders who actually forgot what their pay and benefits were.

They took the job because they were excited about working for a purpose and not just the pay.

I want everyone in the company to know exactly how their job helps us achieve our basic purpose.  The higher they want to move up the executive ladder, the more dedicated they must be to helping our end users solve their problems.

That being said, I never try to compete by having the lowest price for the service that I’m offering.  I want to be at the upper range, if not the most expensive, in my industry.  This way there is more revenue to provide unmatched customer service and unmatched benefits and bonus packages for my employees. Simply put I don’t sell my services cheap, and I’m not cheap with my team. That way my clients get the best I can provide in exchange for their money.

To sum it up, I’ve found that the employee that holds “benefits and bonuses” higher than my company’s basic purpose can easily be stolen by a competitor.

Dedication to my basic purpose is priceless and eternal.

These people are out there and can be found.  Simply clarify your basic purpose and go find them.


Greg Winteregg is an internationally recognized entrepreneur, lecturer and mentor that specializes in helping small business owners reach the maximum potential for their business. He’s lectured to, and worked with, business owners in ten countries – across three continents – and built several successful, small businesses himself.

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