A job seeker shakes hands with a company representative during a United Career Fairs sales and management hiring event in Oak Brook, Illinois, U.S. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

How to Hire Great Employees

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- What's the best way to attract and hire the very best people for your business? That was the challenge facing restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, founder of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and this week's guest on Masters in Business.

While many restaurants chase after star chefs and expensive talent, Mitchell took a different path. “We get the same people everybody else gets,” he says. “We don’t hire great people, we hire people and allow them to become great.”

His approach is to hire entry-level employees, and then instill then with the company’s culture and philosophy. Mitchell said his company prefers to promote from within, with each new server or bartender looked at as a potential supervisor, manager and vice president. 

Mitchell, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, just celebrated his 25th year running the company, which generates $300 million in annual revenue, with 3,000 employees across 15 different restaurant themes. He also is the author of "Yes is the Answer! What is the Question?: How Faith In People and a Culture Of Hospitality Built A Modern American Restaurant Company."

His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is posted here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Matt Hougan, former chief executive officer of Inside ETFs, now the global head of research at Bitwise Asset Management.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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