Having a good product and/or service and a solid business plan are two key elements to the success of any business. A third element, and perhaps the most important, is hiring quality people. Finding the top candidates is not as easy as it sounds, especially as labor markets continue to tighten.

When it comes to recruiting the best and the brightest, turn to the superstars already in your organization. Several soon-to-be Harvard University graduates recently told me that money would not be the No. 1 factor in deciding where they would take a job. For them, the opportunity to work with other creative and bright people would play an important role in their decision.

With this in mind, employers should identify the exceptional people at all levels in the company. They are not only likely to know potential candidates but they will be critical in "selling" your organization to the best recruits, too.

John Challenger CEO Challenger, Gray & Christmas Chicago

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