We know the key to success is having great people. Consequently, hiring right is one of the most crucial tasks an organization has. According to Maynard Webb, Chairman of Yahoo!, and a recent study, on average hiring mistakes cost 15 times an employee’s base salary in productivity loss and hard costs.

The problem for many is that hiring doesn’t come naturally. Unless you’re staffing a new team, practice doesn’t happen often enough. Instead of only thinking about hiring when there’s an open position to fill, consider thinking about hiring continually. Here are few tips to get you started:

1. Recruit constantly. Start sourcing talent before you have an opening. Don’t wait until a role needs to be filled before starting your recruiting efforts. Instead build relationships with the most talented people, and stay in touch with them until a position becomes available.

2. Go with what you know. Ask “A” players you have worked with before for recommendations first. Often, times they will suggest that they would like to be considered. This is an awesome thing because if you worked well together before, you will likely work well together again.

3. Consider the track record. Look at a candidate’s history, specifically for progression. This is a good indicator of success.

4. Appreciate someone who doesn’t take no for an answer. Some people see obstacles; others see opportunities. The best employees are the ones who are willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

5. Don’t fall for big names. Place more emphasis on what people have done rather than where they went to school. Also, just because somebody works for a great company doesn’t mean that they are great fit for you.

6. Screen for self-awareness. You want your candidates to tell the truth. If they are honest, they will tell you their weaknesses as well as their strengths. This is a test of willingness to be forthcoming.

7. Get lots of outside validation. Go beyond checking the references the candidate gave you. These should all be glowing, if not, it’s a big red flag.

8. Prize a person with a following. Don’t forget, great people know other great people. Never underestimate someone’s recruitment ability. Instead open the door for referral opportunities.

9. Sell but don’t oversell. Remember, the most sought after talent has options regarding where they work. Don’t be afraid to make an offer to someone with other opportunities, instead make yourself stand out enough to attract him or her. At the same time, don’t oversell. The worst mistake you can make is oversell someone on joining your team only to have them feel manipulated and disappointed in the role once they take the job.

10. Trust your gut. You will likely be giving this person a lot of responsibility. Make sure to measure your trust meter. If it isn’t high dig into why not. This should illuminate the issues and concerns you have.

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