Hiring a new employee can be an expensive undertaking, costing both time and money. When your new hire performs well and becomes a long term contributor, this effort pays off. However, if the employee turns out to have underdeveloped skills or leaves prematurely, the cost to recruit them is essentially wasted. Companies, hiring managers and recruiters can prevent this waste of resources by focusing on clarity and thoroughness during the hiring process. Clearly Define the Job Before you even write the job advertisement, make a list of technical and soft skills that the perfect candidate needs to be successful in the position. Think about both the immediate job skills and any future skills you may want in a candidate as the company and position grows. Gather input from managers and employees who will interact with the person in this position. Locate the Right Candidates Instead of advertising a position to the general public, narrow the candidates down to only those who have the right skills. By targeting networking sites, professional forums and specialized niche job listing sites, you reduce the applicants to only those who actually qualify for the position. When in doubt, ask your current employees for help. They can accurately represent the company to potential candidates, and they won’t refer someone who they wouldn’t want to work with. Be Thorough Hiring a good employee takes time, and there’s no way around it. Be thorough in the hiring process by performing backgrounds checks and verifying all references. Have multiple current employees interview the candidate as well. Rather than asking general interview questions, perform technical interviews to accurately identify candidates with the proper skill sets. Some companies even perform working interviews where they give candidates a specific job related task to perform. If this won’t work at your business, consider hiring on a temporary or a contract-to-hire basis, which allows both the employer and the employee to enter a contract on a trial basis.