Review of Hiring and Keeping the Best People

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Hiring and Keeping the Best People book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Since its 2003 release as part of the Harvard Business Essentials series, this manual has proven increasingly relevant to managing a modern workforce. It recognizes how quickly job responsibilities evolve and change in the technology-driven global economy. Subject adviser Peter Cappelli and writer Richard Leucke list common, costly HR hiring mistakes and outline a process for recruiting and hiring great candidates. They warn that your company can incur significant lost opportunity costs if a flawed hiring process causes HR to miss top talent. The book’s guidance for keeping talent on board and its discussion of the link between hiring and retention are relevant and applicable. The authors’ clean, simple prose showcases their knowledge and competence. Their writing is clear and concise, and they avoid jargon while offering thoughtful, worthwhile tips.

The authors understand social media. They explain how to make the most of this resource and the growing interconnectedness it enables within and outside of companies. They explain how the social network inside a company encourages staffers to stay. To build loyalty, they say, show your employees a clear path to career growth. Surviving in today’s competitive arena requires having a pool of talented people with deep knowledge of your culture and your work. getAbstract recommends Cappelli and Leucke’s authoritative guide to executives and HR managers seeking to cultivate a healthy, productive and sustainable workforce.

About the Authors

The Harvard Business Essentials series provides comprehensive advice, personal coaching, background information and guidance on relevant topics in business.


The authors offer the following lessons and insights:

1.  A clear hiring process leads to a better workforce.

In a global business environment, your competitive difference can hinge on the knowledge, skills and talents of your staff. A solid recruitment process puts the right people in the right jobs. Be clear about each job and its tasks and responsibilities. Think through the educational qualifications and work style the position requires. It makes sense to want a large pool of candidates. Filling that pool with high-quality applicants matters even more. You might find that the best person already works in your firm. Or you’ll discover that outside people bring in fresh views and expertise. Hiring is a major decision. Prepare before interviewing candidates. Ignore a candidate’s personal charisma and credentials. Focus on your requirements, and check all references and educational qualifications.

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    Bryan O'Neill 3 years ago
    This summary brings up the interesting point that all to often companies are afraid of training their employees because it will make them more marketable and more likely to be poached by other businesses. In particular, the generation Y work force thrives on upward mobility and career growth so by providing that to employees it not only betters the work being produced, but also serves as a retention tool.

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