Attracting and retaining great employees is like a strategy game. There are many components involved in successful hires.

  1. Understand what you really need and are you setting your expectations too high?  We sometimes forget that the person you are replacing learned a number of skills over a period of years and expecting to find an exact replacement (all skills) may be keeping you from finding a good employee.
  2. Is the salary realistic for the level of skills you are seeking?
  3. When you interview a candidate, do you avoid interruptions and distractions, start the interview on-time, explain the learning opportunities as well as the job duties, show a genuine interest, find out more than what is on the resume?
  4. When you find a suitable candidate, do you make a quick decision or do you wait too long to get back to them. Good candidates don’t last long.
  5. Do you offer a fair salary based on skills and the current market or do you try to hire for less than what you payed the last person who likely left for more money.
  6. Once hired, make sure the new employee’s first impression is a good one. Good communications is essential and you should keep checking with the new employee to get their feedback on assimilation, give them encouragement and help them fit in.
  7. Sit down with them and discuss their performance at approximately 30, 60 and 90 day intervals. Get their feedback as well.
  8. Encourage learning new skills through either webinars, seminars, educational user groups, conferences, etc.  Have a budget for education and use it.  Encourage thinking outside the box and finding a new tool or skill to solve a need.
  9. When IT people put extra efforts in especially extra hours, find a way to reward them with either time off or some form of recognition.
  10. Build team spirit by having regular department lunches, off-site fun events like an early off afternoon to go Kart racing, bowling, a pizza party.
  11. Be a good delegator. Maybe you could do something yourself, but giving someone else an opportunity to grow can pay back great dividends.
  12. Always have an open door to listen to your staff.