"Getting fired is nature's way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place." [Hal Lancaster]
Employees are the most important resource of a company. This is true for internal and external staff as well as for workers and managing directors.
General helpful sources from my point of view: Being the Boss - The Craft of Managing People, L. Kent Lineback Competence at Work - Models for Superior Performance, Lyle Spencer & Signe Spencer The Principle of Responsibility, Reinhard K. Sprenger Mythos Motivation, Reinhard K. Sprenger
First get your staff on board. Key players first. Better leave a position unoccupied than to hire a low performer.
A good book on hiring (but do not follow blindly): Sharkproof, Harvey Mackay Harvey Mackay lists Kurt Einstein's 20 Most Revealing Interview Questions, for example.
If your people are hired let them plan not only their work but also their vacation! You cannot avoid vacation unless your project has a very high priority and a short time to delivery. By the way: An exception is a merger or a substantial down-sizing of a company.
Do not let any key player have a vacation before you finalized your project plan!