How to find and hire great employees

We were in hiring mode last month, and I wanted to make sure we found the right person for the job, so when I attended a recent luncheon I asked some business friends where and how they found their most impressive team members.

One of the folks at my table shared that some companies use “poaching” to lure good employees away from their current employer, and another shared that they went against conventional hiring wisdom and gave people a chance to show whether their skill sets would work for the company. In fact, the person whom that company took a chance on has turned out to be its team leader.

Another told me that their own employees are the best “HR search engines” since they know exactly what job skills are necessary and what kind of person they want to work beside.

I have recently had a couple of experiences with extraordinary customer service that tempted me to ask whether these people were happy in their work. In each case, when asked if they liked working where they are, both of these folks (in two different places) said emphatically, “They take good care of us.” There’s no doubt that the reason their customer service is so good is that they have had excellent training. It’s quite clear that both of these workers passionately believe in their companies’ products and services.

An HR expert I spoke to told me that to attract the best workers, a company needs to include the following in its help wanted ads:

  1. A good description of the company’s excellent products and services. This is key to finding good people to represent a company, no matter the position. A brief description of the company culture may be included.
  2. Information about the positive workplace environment. The average full-time employee spends eight to 10 hours in the workplace each day, so having a good space in which to perform one’s duties is very important.
  3. A description of the new employee’s role and of the type of person the company is looking for. This should include a description of the qualities and experience needed.
  4. Information on flexible work time, if applicable. This can be very important for those seeking part-time employment.



There’s an old saying that goes, “To succeed, surround yourself with great talent.” There is great talent in Dane County. With training and mentoring, outstanding workers can excel in almost any job.

I’m glad I sought advice from others. Our new hire, who was recruited and “sponsored” by one of our team members, proved herself during her onboarding period. The attitude with which she dived into training shows that she is the right person for our right job.

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