How to Hire, Train & Keep the Best Employees for Your Small Business

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 07/23/2015
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.14
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 72%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $4.14   
  • New (7) from $19.47   
  • Used (8) from $4.14   


Ask any manager today and they will say their biggest concern is the competition for talent, good employees. The business costs and impact of employee turnover can be grouped into four major categories: costs resulting from a person leaving, hiring costs, training costs, and lost productivity costs. The estimated cost to replace an employee is at least 150 percent of the person's base salary. As you can see managers must learn to hire, train, and keep your employees highly motivated Every organization needs a system for hiring, training and keeping superb employees and that is exactly what you’ll get from this new book. You will learn to create a workplace full of self-motivated employees who are highly -purpose-driven.

You will learn the fundamentals of sound hiring, learn how to identify high-performance candidates, and how to spot evasions and even out well let’s call it what it is, lies. The book contains a wide assortment of carefully worded questions that help make the process more effective. Innovative step-by-step descriptions of how to recruit, interview, hire, train and KEEP the best people for every position in your organization. The book is filled to the brim with innovative and fun training ideas (that cost little or nothing) and ideas for increasing employee involvement and enthusiasm. When you get your employees involved and enthused you will keep them interested and working with you, not against. With the help of this book get started today on building your work place into one that inspires employees to do excellent work because they really want to!

Numerous case studies and examples show how you can create an environment in which employees feel passionate about their jobs. The companion CD Rom contains dozens of employee training and human resource forms including: unique employment applications, interview questions and analysis, reference checks, work schedules, rules to live by, reporting forms, confidentially agreement, and an extensive human resource audit form. Simply print out any form you need when you need it.  The companion CD-ROM is included with the print version of this book; however is not available for download with the electronic version.  It may be obtained separately by contacting Atlantic Publishing Group at

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780910627375
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/12/2005
  • Edition description: Book With CD-Rom
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 717,332
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

How to Hire, Train and keep the Best Employees for Your Small Business

By Dianna Podmoroff

Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-910627-37-1

Chapter One


How to find Good, Potential Employees

"The best thing we can do for our competitors is hire poorly." -Recruiting Directors, Microsoft

Good selection of employees results in many advantages for the manger and the organization, and invariably results in decreased costs for the business. The top five reasons are:

Increased Output

The most productive employee is usually twice as productive as the least productive employee. Certainly the mangers and the organization benefit when more highly productive employees are hired.

Reduced Training Time

As training becomes more complicated and expensive, the speed that an individual can learn a new job becomes more important. Some individuals catch on to new tasks or responsibilities quickly and become much faster than others. The organization and the individuals benefit when new employees reach minimum productivity requirements in the shortest amount of time.

Better Use of Managers' Training and Coaching Time

The manager often spends a great deal of time bringing one poor employee up to the minimum performance level. However, when all members of the workgroup meet minimum performance levels, the manger can spend the same time bringing several employees up to higher levels of productivity. Most mangers would choose the latter use of time. Certainly the organization benefits from having more skillful employees, but the employees themselves also benefit. Individuals who work at levels that are well above the minimum requirement have a greater sense of achievement and self-worth, and are usually better rewarded.

Decreased Turnover

Many organizations do not realize how much it actually costs them to hire and train a new employee. Various expenses must be considered, including the personnel specialist's time, advertising, operating without an individual in the position (overtime for other employees, loss of sales, poor customer service, etc.), training, and lower productivity during the training period.

Organizations and technology continue to become more complicated, so more training is required to bring new employees up to acceptable productivity levels. For example, a new insurance salesperson costs a company about $15,000 before becoming even slightly productive, and $65,000 before the salesperson starts making money for the company. An operator of a nuclear plant receives more than $1,000,000 in training before being allowed to work in the plant.

Increased Time to Manage

In addition to training, a manager must plan, organize and control the various elements of his or her responsibility. This becomes much harder when he or she must spend time "fighting fires" caused by poor employees. Managers usually spend 60 percent of their time dealing with matters that concern 5-10 percent of their workforce: some employees are late or absent, again and again; others are forever having problems with fellow employees. Problems are always going to crop up, but most managers have probably thought about how much more they could accomplish if they had fewer poor employees.


Prepare a Job Description

In today's competitive labor environment, it is important that the hiring process be approached in an organized manner. First, you need to define the qualifications of the individual being sought by preparing a formal job description. The purpose of the description is threefold:

1. Specify what type of person and skills are needed for the job.

2. Outline to potential hires what the position will involve.

3. Describe the scope of the position and how it contributes to the company.

While many businesses tend to put off developing formal job descriptions, it is a necessary evil of sorts that will pay off immeasurably in the recruitment and hiring process. Remember, good hiring practices mean hiring the right person the first time. The best (and only!) way to know who the right person is comes from a clear analysis of the position and a full understanding of what the expectations of the position are. (See the end of this chapter for job description template form.)


Do-It-Yourself Plumbing needs a receptionist. They place an ad in their local paper:

RECEPTIONIST NEEDED Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Must have previous reception experience, be organized, and work well independently. Send applications to 677 Little John Road, Plymouth, MA 02360.

The ad was quite successful in terms of the quantity of responses, so Larry and Bob were able to short-list only those applicants with over 5 years of experience as a receptionist. They went into the interviews very confident that their perfect employee was waiting to meet them. Nothing was further from the truth when in the interviews they asked the candidates about their abilities in such activities as tracking accounts payable and receivable invoices, issuing work orders and preparing company correspondence. All of the short-listed applicants had experience in a few of the duties mentioned, but none of them could do it all. Do-It-Yourself Plumbing was a new company that needed help answering the phones, but in order to justify a full-time position, the receptionist would have to do a variety of general office administration duties as well, and neither Bob nor Larry had much spare time to train so the person chosen had to be very competent in all the elements before starting the position.

This is the exact type of situation where preparing a job description would have helped Bob and Larry to fully understand their position requirements and then advertise accordingly. It does not mean spending inordinate amounts of time writing verbose work statements; it simply means getting a solid picture of the ideal candidate in your mind before actively recruiting. The form of the job description is variable, but the elements that need to be included are:

Corporate overview (synthesis of the company's business, market, history, facilities and goals).

Position title and to whom to report.

Description of the responsibilities and authorities of the position.

Experience required: work background, technical knowledge, qualifications needed.

Personal characteristics: education, personality traits, interpersonal skills.

Compensation: wage or salary, other payment plans, benefit package.

Unfortunately, the adage, "I'll know it when I see it" does not apply to the selection process, and none of us have the time, energy or patience to go through unnecessary interviews with candidates who are less than minimally capable of the job.

Decide on a Recruiting Method

There are many different avenues available to you to reach prospective candidates, and it is very important to consider which method will reach the greatest number of qualified applicants in the most cost-effective way. Some of the most common methods include:

Print advertising: newspapers, trade magazines, professional associations Internet: job boards, company Web site


Job fairs

Recruitment firms: executive search, recruitment agency, temp services

Referrals: employees, customers College recruiting

Each method has its own costs and benefits associated with it, and it is your responsibility to determine which method is best for the position you are currently recruiting. While Internet recruiting can be the cheapest way to advertise, it is also the method that tends to get the most unqualified responses, but if you're looking for a technical position, it almost behooves you to use a job board or other technologically savvy technique. One human resource director recently said, "If it's an information technology position, I'm going to go online; I'm going to get 1,000 résumés, but if it's technology-based, that's where you need to go." Very specialized or high-level positions are often best filled using the services of a professional search firm that has the time and contacts needed to "head-hunt" the perfect candidate for you.

In 2001, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted a survey of top job search tactics, and here's what they found:

The key factor for you to consider is you what you intend to accomplish and how to do it most efficiently. Because cost is a big factor in deciding which method to use, it is important to use each medium most effectively. The following is a discussion of the most cost-effective recruiting methods and some tips and considerations that can be used to maximize your recruiting returns.


The classifieds section of a newspaper has been the traditional first step for companies looking to fill vacant positions; however, it is not as simple as it appears. The right ad in the right newspaper can make your résumé basket overflow with qualified candidates. The wrong ad, or the wrong newspaper, can leave you with one or two applicants who may not be quite what you are looking for. The following are some guidelines to follow for recruitment advertising.

Where to Advertise

Putting your ad in the right newspaper is a critical first step for placing employment ads, and targeting your ad within the right newspaper is of the utmost importance. Typically, a large urban center will have four or five major daily newspapers with large circulations from which to choose. It is very important to determine each paper's target demographic market, and then place your ad accordingly. Senior executives and other professionals will tend to favor papers with in-depth business and international sections; tradespeople usually lean more toward papers that provide concise summaries of the top local and national news; and clerical personnel often read the smaller and more localized community and specialized papers. If you're recruiting individuals in specialized fields, trade publications often reach the best venue. Because there are so many alternatives available, it is necessary to do your homework and find out which paper's readership is the best fit for the position you are recruiting.

Writing the Ad

In today's tight labor market, getting job candidates to respond to recruitment advertising can be tough, and to be effective, recruitment messages need to sell the opportunity, using a marketing approach as follows.

Balance the Message

Your ad needs to appeal to the candidates you want and, at the same time, screen out the candidates you don't want. This is a tenuous balance that requires careful consideration of the amount and extent of detail you provide in your ad. If you are advertising for a routine position, the use of qualifiers will reduce the response rate by discouraging some job candidates. Consider the following qualifiers:

If you have ... Some ... preferred Must have ...

No beginners, please.

Minimum of ...

... mandatory

... helpful

Background checks will be conducted.

Sell the Position

The question that all ads, help-wanted or otherwise, need to address is the "What's in it for me?" factor. This is where your careful analysis of the job description and your company come into play - you need to know the most attractive things you offer potential employees in exchange for their talent. Such benefits include health insurance, paid vacation, retirement plans, etc. Benefits are the important selling tools for small firms, and many people don't think small businesses offer them, so for that reason it's important to mention as many as possible. Your classified ad needs to stand out from all the other ads on the page; you must "sell" the candidate on your company so they contact you instead of the other companies whose ads surround yours.

Emphasize Critical Elements

It is important to let potential applicants know the primary functions of the job. Critical elements might include certain computer skills, communication skills, hours worked, travel involved, sales skills, etc. By adding these essential qualifications, you weed out many non-qualified candidates. It is also important to include some information about the company in the ad. A particular position may appeal to many people, but the corporate culture may not be a good fit for the person; some employers value creative thinking, others emphasize independence, and others stress strict adherence to policy and procedures. These subtle differences in the job make for huge differences in terms of applicant suitability, and it is important that an employee's personality, skills and experience fit the job.

Use Headlines

The job title is the most common ad headline and the least interesting. A recruitment ad headline should be designed to grab the readers' attention; remember, you are often competing with many other recruitment messages, and your message must stand out to be effective. The ad on the next page for an optical center is a good example.

Some headline examples include:

Are you customer-service focused?

We're working overtime to get you here part-time!

Are YOU our next ...

You think we're a great place to shop ... now think about us as a great place to work!

The messages are simple and direct, and they use the most coveted word in advertising: "You." Using the word "you" personalizes the message and gets the reader thinking about what's in it for them. Other words with marketing or recruitment appeal are "new," "opportunity," "exciting" and "management."

Make the Message Interesting

You likely have a lot of information to convey to job seekers, but you need to keep the ad short enough so that it doesn't read like a shopping list and interesting enough to keep the readers' attention. Most employment ads are simply abbreviated job descriptions listing task after task, and boring even the most dedicated job seeker. To encourage readability, make the tone of your ad conversational, and talk directly to the reader using pronouns like "you" and "we."

This change makes it sound like you are talking to the applicant directly and the reader can see themselves as the successful candidate.

Use action-oriented verbs to sell your position. Don't simply state the facts, "This is a great opportunity" but create excitement by saying, "Seize this opportunity." Action verbs motivate people to act, and after they read the ad, they will be more likely to apply for the position.

Talk to the audience in their language. The same copy that would attract a registered nurse would never catch the interest of an I.T. professional. In either case, they are looking for a company that understands them and can speak their language.

Use a logical flow to help the reader better understand your message. Start with a captivating headline to hook the reader, and then hold their interest by giving some of the highlights of the job description. Now that the reader is interested, you can introduce the drier job requirements information at the end of the ad. Make sure to be concise and get the salient points across quickly before you lose the reader to the next ad.


Excerpted from How to Hire, Train and keep the Best Employees for Your Small Business by Dianna Podmoroff Copyright © 2005 by Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2009

    Great Overall Guide to the HR Process!

    As stated in the title, this book is a practical guide for small business human resource management, from the interview process to sustained and understood team-building techniques. It's thorough, well-organized and easy to digest-a great resource to keep in the top desk drawer for frequent referral. Charts, tables and clear examples add to the book's usefulness as a go-to guide. There are even sample forms you can use for common HR processes!

    An important element that is often overlooked in the workplace is the motivation and proper evaluation of employees; I liked the tips provided because they emphasize that part of the responsibility of an employee performing well rests with the employer. As someone who has primarily worked for small businesses in the past, I appreciate the consideration of this balance.

    Most importantly, the book takes into consideration the reader-a busy working professional who is not only meant to read, but also enact the situations given. To that effect, it's broken down into bullets and small paragraphs in concise narrative. The book emphasizes communication strategies (such as listening and negotiation) and certainly takes its own advice, really connecting with the reader throughout.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2006

    A necessity for any small business owner

    `How to Hire, Train, & Keep the Best Employees¿ is an excellent resource for all small business owners. This book contains all of the vital information you will need to achieve higher employee productivity, better time management for employees and managers, and decreased turnover for your company. Podmoroff¿s book will also teach you how to effectively advertise for a position, screen potential employees, and motivate employees enough to make them want to stay with your company. All of the information in this book is extremely helpful, but I was most impressed by the samples and templates provided in the book and on the CD-ROM. The book includes sample forms for applications, interview sheets, and orientation outlines to demonstrate the guidelines that Podmoroff explains. The CD-ROM takes things one step further by providing you with printable human resource templates for applications, follow-up letters, and performance analysis forms. Between the book that teaches you all you need to know and the CD-ROM that puts the theories into action, you will be well on your way to running a more productive, less stressful business. On a side note, I was also very happy to see that some of the profits from this book are donated to The Humane Society of the United States. Even if I didn¿t think that this book is the best of its kind¿which I do¿I would rather invest my money in the author and publishing company who support a good cause.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2006

    Hire and Keep the Best

    Almost all small business owners struggle with one universal task: hiring and keeping quality employees. Author Dianna Podmoroff has finally written a guidebook that offers expert guidance for hiring top-notch employees, sound advice for keeping them, and tips on follow-up training. From the first chapter on Successful Recruiting Strategies to the last chapter on Employee Retention Essentials this guide flexes its muscle with valuable, and more importantly, useful information. The accompanying CD-ROM offers a convenient source of information that can be quickly accessed and printed including templates for professional employee applications, samples of follow-up letters, interview analysis and performance reviews. Two of the best features in this handy reference tool are the Leadership and Team-Building and Motivation chapters. Many hiring guides tend to gloss over, or even omit, one of the most important aspects of successful hiring: keeping, training and developing quality employees that have a vested interest in overall company success. Podmoroff outlines wonderful ideas, which more companies should implement, such as job sharing, flexible schedules, shared leave banks and phased retirement. Overall, this book is a must-have reference book that will ultimately give you the edge over your competition.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2006

    Best Read on the Subject

    This is quite possibly the best book I have ever read about employee relations. It starts off with how to find the right candidate. How to advertise when there are openings, how to conduct the interview and many more helpful topics. The best part, however, is on how to retain the best employees. It talks about communication problems and how they can inadvertently cause conflict and problems within a business. The author then spends considerable time addressing ways to convey a bad message ¿such as you screwed up- in a productive way so that the employee doesn¿t feel bombarded with criticism and can begin working towards a solution. Chapter 3 is a great reference even for communication within personal relationships. The author then goes on to discuss affective leadership and team building. All of these things will go a long way to create a great and productive crew. I especially liked the discussion on proper employee training. The author emphasizes finding the right person to fit into an organization and then training that person on what is expected of them. All too often I¿ve seen people just dumped into positions without even a job description. No one can possibly work effectively that way. The book also comes along with a great CD-ROM which has templates for employee applications, interview questions, a confidentiality agreement and more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2006

    This book teaches you to do that, and then some.

    ¿How to Hire, Train, & Keep The Best Employees.¿ This book teaches you to do that, and then some. I was introduced to behavioral interviewing techniques that I can¿t wait to put into practice. I am confident that these techniques, along with a structured recruiting process - will paint an accurate portrait of job candidates. The mention of real-life, bizarre interview responses left me in stitches. The book also offers tips for welcoming and training new employees. I found the sample orientation schedule extremely helpful. The section on keeping employees was most insightful as it dealt with communication. I learned how to ¿own¿ my comments to avoid sounding judgmental. The book also teaches you to transform person-oriented comments into the problem-oriented comments that bring about better results. I had no idea that some of the things I say could have such an adverse affect on others. I definitely plan on using these tips in my professional and personal life. This book seems to be geared toward the Human Resources professional. It even comes with a CD of 75 HR forms. I found it to be applicable to anyone in business.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)