When recruiting or keeping employees, the less tangible things appear to go a long way.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe majority of senior executives and managers say that company\n\nculture is the number-one incentive that has been most effective for\n\nrecruiting new employees at their organizations.And that\u2019s a good thing for them to know, since four-fifths of them\n\nsay that recruiting new employees is more difficult than retaining\n\nvalued employees, based on a worldwide survey of senior executives and\n\nmanagers conducted by NFI Research."Even though it is difficult to find employees, we are following our\n\nlong-standing practices of checking references and more than one\n\ninterview to ensure the applicant fits into our culture and way of\n\ndoing business," said one survey respondent. "It can\u2019t be all about the\n\nmoney.""The biggest challenge is ensuring that as we leaders live and\n\nbreathe the culture of the organization that we want to create," said\n\nanother respondent. "If you are really doing this, it shows new\n\nrecruits and those you want to retain."Said another: "Non-monetary benefits are becoming more important to new recruits than actual salary."The downsizing in many organizations also has had an impact on\n\nrecruiting, since some of the resource formerly used in the recruitment\n\nprocess has been streamlined."One of the challenges our organization faces is the downsizing of\n\nHR services and support," said a survey respondent. "This puts a lot of\n\nadded pressure on front-line managers to find their own recruits, which\n\nimpacts the time it takes to recruit a new hire."That streamlining also can play a role in retaining talent. "One\n\neffect of the leaning of the workforce has been to reduce the time and\n\nattention we can bring to interpersonal relationships," said one\n\nrespondent. "This has resulted in increased turnover and\n\ndissatisfaction. I fear that we are not alone."Following company culture, our survey found the most effective\n\nincentives, in order, were an organization\u2019s reputation, stability of\n\nthe company, benefits and compensation.Incentives for retaining employees differ from those that work best\n\nfor recruiting. To retain valued employees, executives and managers say\n\nthat after company culture, incentives that are most effective are\n\nstability of the company, flexibility, confidence in leadership and\n\nautonomy\/challenge.The least effective incentives for both recruiting and retaining employees were contracts and equity."The most important asset any corporation has is its people," said\n\none survey respondent. "They may join your organization based on the\n\nhard issues, such as compensation and benefits. But what keeps them are\n\nthe soft issues, such as culture, sense of contributing, being\n\nrecognized and, most importantly, by treating every employee exactly\n\nhow you like being treated.""It is all about relationships," said another. "Trust, open communication and real interest in the person, not just the job."It is sometimes difficult to know why a valued employee decided to leave the organization. The exit interview is too late.Managers and executives should conduct regular "temperature checks"\n\nwith top performers to make sure job satisfaction is high. That can be\n\nmuch easier than having to recruit replacements after the people leave\n\nwhen they could have been much more easily retained.