Weathering The Storm

How Two Dotcoms Find And Keep Employees

One dotcom that certainly knows how to get-and keep-the best employees is Ltd., a New York City employment solutions company launched in 1996 by Richard Johnson, 39-year-old president and CEO. These days, boasts a 5 percent turnover rate-and Johnson also reveals that many employees who've left in the past have eventually come back.

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What's the company's secret? "We've really focused on our culture and the environment, which is a really important investment to make," Johnson says. He explains that the company has successfully nurtured inherent feelings of self-dignity and satisfaction. "We have pride in what we have done, and we are winning," he says. "But also, there is a strong belief in where we are going." In addition, his company holds monthly employee events to keep his young staff happy. "We regularly get together for talks and reinforce the message, which reinforces the community of workers," he says.

Although Johnson insists his dotcom moniker hasn't kept the talent away-"We are finding recruiting easier than ever," he says-that's probably not the case for your dotcom, especially if your business is not quite as well-publicized and known as The fact remains, though, that any job at an e-business takes on a certain amount of expected risk-and it's a given those applying for jobs there already know that. And since there's no real security in working for any dotcom, the key remains in successfully addressing their concerns as best you can and continuing to grow a strong business. After all, that's part of what being an entrepreneur is all about.

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Melissa Campanelli is a technology writer in Brooklyn, New York, who has covered technology for Mobile Computing & Communications and Sales & Marketing Management magazines. You can reach her at

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This article was originally published in the February 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Weathering The Storm.

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