Attracting and Retaining Quality Employees is a Science
and an Art
Finding and keeping good employees is as much an art as a
science, requiring both strong intuitive skills and good, practical
hiring, training and management policies. That’s the opinion of
Larry Kaluzna, owner of Waterware, who spoke about attracting and
retaining quality employees at the recent Luxury Kitchen and Bath
Collection show held in Las Vegas.
When it comes to finding quality employees, Kaluzna believes
that word of mouth is the best way to go. “But,” he adds, “if
you’re going to go with a newspaper ad, be creative to make sure
your ad stands out.” He also suggests looking at experienced
employees who have been out of the work force for a while. “People
tend to think ‘young’ and ‘energetic’ when they’re looking to hire,
but people who are older know something about the world, and that
has real value.”
Another tip for hiring well is to look outside the box. Kaluzna
suggests that waitresses, bartenders and retail salespeople can be
great potential employees, because they are already well versed in
customer service skills, tend to be outgoing and have good
memories, and are used to working in fast-paced, high-pressure
Finally, he suggests hiring people who will make a great
impression on customers particularly important when dealing with
the high end.
Once you’ve got good employees in place, Kaluzna suggests:
- Give them a job description, create a variety of job tasks, and
constantly train and develop them, creating new paths for
- Lead by example. “Do as I say, not as I do” didn’t work for
your parents, and it won’t work for you, either. Remember,
corporate culture filters down from the top.
- Give feedback. Kaluzna says, “Salespeople need to know how much
they’re selling, how much profit they’re bringing in. If they’re
doing a million dollars in business but we’re giving it all away,
they’re not making money and they need to know this.” The more
employees understand about your business, the better they’re able
to contribute to its profitability.
- Be sure new employees are taught who you do and don’t do
business with, and why. As a rule, there are reasons your business
prefers to use certain product lines or reps, and, as Kaluzna sees
it, “We like to imprint our industry prejudices on them right away.
It cuts down on the learning curve.”
- Address problems immediately and offer praise immediately, too.
This is the most effective way to make a lasting impression.