The people you hire for your company aren’t just members of your team – there’s a good chance you’ll spend more time with your coworkers than you do with your spouse, children, or other family members. The foundation of your company is its people, which is why it’s important to make sure each new hire contributes to a solid foundation that will set the tone for success. 1. The value of gradual growth. Hire carefully and focus on making sure a person is the best fit for the position and for your company – set the bar for a role and don’t lower it. It’s important to remember that each person you hire has a dramatic impact on your growth, especially in the beginning. Bad hires can drag your team down. 2. Learn how to do the job yourself. As FastCompany notes, the hardest roles to hire for are the ones that you don’t know how to do. If you aren’t in the department that is in need of a new team member then learn how to do basic aspects of different jobs yourself. It will lead you to have a much better grasp of what is needed in the role. 3. Cultural fit is just as important as skills. Know your company’s values, and hire to match them. What are your priorities: perfection or speed? Closing sales or serving customers? Make sure you hire employees who fit the culture you are trying to build. 4. Interview and adjust. It’s much harder to find employees when you work at a small company – but even with a large staff, it can be hard to find the time to interview. Recruiting is a lot of work, and goes beyond the interview room. As FastCompany says, you must get to know your candidates, articulate what their day-to-day job will really look like, put together offers that make them feel valued on day one, and paint the vision of your company. 5. Always respond to every applicant. Show applicants the same courtesy you would like to receive if you were in their shoes– if they took the time to contact you, you should take the time to reply to them, even if there’s no chance you’ll hire them. The future can be surprising; Someone who is not a fit right now could be your ideal hire in the future. The best foundations start with the best hiring practices. Following the 5 tips above will help you build the most successful teams.