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Attracting Non-Family Employees

As appealing as the cozy atmosphere of a family business may be, you can't beat incentives for hooking good managers.

This story appears in the December 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's true. Some high-powered managers love working for family-owned firms--especially when there's less bureaucracy and a warmer and more appreciative environment than in large, publicly held, management-run corporations. But don't count on the "family effect" to be the only attraction. Rightfully, family businesses also have to show them the money.

The first way of doing that if you want to motivate and retain a key manager is to pay the market rate for the position. The analysis must go beyond a nationwide industrial standard. "You have to look into what firms in your area are paying," insists Ernesto Poza, director of The Family Business Program, located at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "You'd pay more for a CFO in New York, for example, than you would in Cleveland."

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