What company would know more about finding and keeping talented employees than an Inc. 500 company? Fast growth and hiring frenzies are the norm for most of the businesses that have made it onto Inc. magazine's annual list of the fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies. It seems that no recruiting and retention task is too big for these businesses -- from adding two employees a day for two years straight to luring top executives away from corporate giants to turning around dismal turnover rates.

What are their best secrets? Learn from the triumphs of former Inc. 500 companies -- and their failures -- in this Inc. 500 guide to recruiting and retention.

The companies featured in this guide are all alumni of the Inc. 500 list; you can find out more about them -- and the year or years they were on the Inc. 500 -- in our Inc. 500 database.

Finding Employees

Master Networkers
InfoPros acquires employees and clients through relentless networking and community involvement
The Right Fit
Select Comfort Corp., thrived by developing an elaborate system for finding and keeping high-quality employees.
Hey, Look Us Over
Attracting top tech people to a small city isn't as daunting as you might expect.
Transcriber Finds Staff in India, across U.S.
The founders of HealthScribe Inc. in Virginia knew it would be hard to find qualified local staff. So they recruited workers from India and across the U.S. and allowed them to work at home over the Internet.
The People Chase
The CEO of Signal Corp. talks about successfully recruiting employees a tight labor market. His suggestions include conducting interviews on weekends and filling out paperwork for applicants.

Recruiting Strategies

Company Profile
How did Harry Griendling turn Staffing Solutions Group into an employee-friendly Inc. 500 company? By avoiding the stuff that sucks.
Take a look at how several Inc. 500 companies developed candidate screening procedures and interview questions to ensure that new recruits are a good fit.
Looking for a new way to motivate employees? Here's a sampling of the perks several Inc. 500 companies have used to lure and retain staff.
Recruiting Top Talent, One by One
As Good Catalog Co. grew, CEO Barb Todd carefully enhanced the compensation package to attract key managers.

Search Firms

Once Bitten
After investment bank Leerink Swann & Co. suffered the consequences of a bad hire made by its executive search firm, it now puts prospective recruiters through a rigorous test.
CEO's Regret #6: Not Hiring an In-House Recruiter
CEO Mike Simmons needed to double his number of employees. Instead of hiring an in-house recruiter, Simmons charged his three managers with recruiting their own workforce. It was a costly mistake.


Employment Guaranteed, for Life
Are layoffs simply a necessary evil in today's business climate? This company's founding fathers don't think so. And they've built a culture to reflect that.
Keeping It Flexible
Imagine a workplace where employees decide how many days a week they'll work and how many weeks of vacation they'll take each year.
The Right Staff
Richard Tuck, CEO of Lander International, doesn't have to try hard to keep his employees happy. He hires people who know how to do that for themselves.
Personal Touch Keeps Bayou Services Afloat
To cultivate loyalty among low-skilled workers at Abdon Callais Boat Rentals, CEO Peter Callais offers them benefits such as a 401(k) plan and life insurance.
The Cultural Evolution
Michael May of Empower Trainers & Consultants has developed an extraordinary corporate culture that helped put his company on the 1997 Inc. 500 list. It includes people dressed as fairies, a CEO who dispenses fines, and a tradition of publicizing mistakes.
How Can I Keep my Employees?
This CEO had lost about 20% of his workforce in one year. Here's how he tackled the turnover trouble and hit #2 on the 1998 Inc. 500 list.
A Path for Employee Growth
The CEO of this consulting firm has grown his company by allowing his employees to grow with it.
Personnel Best
Paula Lawlor, president of MediHealth Outsourcing, brings out the best in her employees by giving to them exactly what she expects to receive: dedication.
Redesign Work
Rick Born, the CEO of Born Information Services, designed his company with employee retention in mind. Here's why this company looks so different from his competitors' -- and from yours.
Following the Talent
Dharmesh Shah, an Atlanta-based CEO of a 2000 Inc. 500 software company, opened an office in Chicago to retain a talented new employee.
Unification Theory
Jim Carlson, CEO of Hospitality Solutions International during its acquisition, identifies seven practices that enable HSI to manage its far-flung employees virtually.