Valuable employees are the lifeblood of any business. They’re knowledgeable, productive, and they consistently meet expectations. Then, of course, there are those rock stars who are fully engaged. They’re not only productive, they are motivated to go above and beyond what’s required of them. Additionally, their efforts often rub off on their peers—motivating them to be better performers.

Clearly, the contributions from each of these employees affect the colleagues and associates who work with them as well as the bottom line, which is why organizations should do their best to keep them. But how do you do that?

Some might argue that money talks—if you want to hire quality employees, you have to pay them a competitive salary with generous benefits. Be warned. While money and benefits could certainly lure job candidates in, it might not be enough to keep them.

“It’s [like] the ante in Texas Hold ’em: You can play the game, but it has nothing to do with winning the game,” says Tony Misura, president and founder of Misura Group, an LBM industry recruiting firm. “Focus on your market, collect information to what the competition’s wages and benefits are, but understand matching the top wages and benefits is not a competitive edge that will solve the problem.”

Recruiting for Network Fit

To build a team of happy, successful, and loyal employees, managers must hire the right people. Unfortunately, too many managers struggle with this. According to a Leadership IQ survey of 5,247 hiring managers, nearly half (46%) of new hires will fail within 18 months. This is because many hiring managers focus too much on skills and experience and overlook other important factors, such as interpersonal skills.

The study revealed that more than one quarter (26%) of new hires fail because they can’t accept feedback, 23% because they’re unable to understand and manage emotions, 17% because they lack the motivation to excel, and 15% because they have the wrong temperament for the job. Only 11% fail because they lack the necessary technical skills.

“Hiring failures can be prevented,” Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, stated in the article “Why New Hires Fail (Emotional Intelligence Vs. Skills)” on “If managers focus more of their interviewing energy on candidates’ coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation, and temperament, they will see vast improvements in their hiring success. Technical competence remains the most popular subject of interviews because it’s easy to assess. But while technical competence is easy to assess, it’s a lousy predictor of whether a newly hired employee will succeed or fail.”

This doesn’t mean that technical competence isn’t important. It is, but so is network fit. To be clear, network fit should not be mistaken for an organization’s overall cultural fit. Unlike cultural fit, network fit pertains to the small group of people that employees work with on a regular basis. One company could have multiple networks.