THE LUCAS GROUP, an Atlanta-based recruitment firm, doesn't spend much time recruiting to fill its own positions. It doesn't have to. In the ultra-high-turnover field of professional recruitment, the Lucas Group ( has earned a reputation for high retention — with a turnover rate of only 10 percent, with practically no turnover at the managerial level.

“Industrywide, the turnover rate is more like 80 [percent] to 100 percent,” says Art Lucas, president and CEO of the firm, which has offices in 11 U.S. cities and employs some 300 associates.

What are they doing right? “First of all, we have a passion for people,” Lucas says. “At the management level, we see ourselves as elected officials, and our employees — not our clients — are our constituents. We spend a lot to give them great support in the form of training and technology, as well as good pay and benefits.”

Incentives help, too. Weekly reports naming outstanding performers are e-mailed throughout the organization, and the firm's year-end meeting traditionally passes out weeklong trips and other awards to 150 to 175 honorees — more than half the company's employees.

“We celebrate as many of our people as we can,” Lucas says. “People want to be recognized for their contributions, they want to be listened to, and they want to be cared about.”