When asked, all great business leaders will tell you it’s the capital that rides the elevators to and from the office every day that means the most.

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person,” says Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.

Companies of all sizes know that it’s more than just lip service.  The care and attention you put into assembling your team will ultimately affect the bottom line.  This is a universal truth that has played out time and again.  Despite this well known fact, an alarming number of companies continue to hire and trust their corporate well being to interns, low cost offshore contractors, and inexperienced employees.

Why?

If you’re serious about building your company for a bullet proof future, it’s your responsibility to hire the best to be the best.  By putting a solid and well thought out plan for hiring and retaining top talent, you continue to solidify the foundation of your business.

“A-plus players like to work together, and they don’t like it if you tolerate B-grade work, “said Steve Jobs, founder of Apple.

Here are some tips to know you’re on the right track in this critical task for the continued success of your business:

  • Raise your standards. If anyone can get in, everyone will.  The performance of your company will only be as strong as its weakest link.  Set the standard and hold the line.
  • Challenge your team. Great people want to work on great projects. Give them the goods.
  • Listen to the candidates. People who want to work for you will tell you why.
  • Be frank about your company’s challenges. Explain what you need clearly and then listen.
  • Conversely, explain your strengths. The best candidates want genuine opportunities to learn and grow.  What can you offer them?

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients,” says Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

In the end, no one will ever recall you spent X amount more than planned on a talented addition to the company.  They’ll only remember how great a contribution they are making.