Employee turnover is one of the biggest expenses in most companies and is largely preventable. The worst time to try to hire a new team member is when you MUST have one. You will probably be under pressure, in a hurry and feel you must have someone “right now”. This is when most hiring mistakes occur.

There is an old saying that is still valid; Hire Slow-Fire Fast. Hiring the right person is the key. You must have a clear understanding of the job and job description you need to fill.

What are the behavioral traits and attributes of a person who has been successful in the role? Can someone be trained for this job or must you hire an experienced person? It is almost always better to train them in your way of doing things if possible.

The hardest way to find high-quality candidates is to have to advertise for them. The people looking in the want ads are not normally the superstars or even the stars. The ideal situation is to already have a pool of candidates waiting to join your company. You accomplish this by always being in the hiring mode. You and other members of your team run across individuals who give you great service, have great personalities, and display competence and confidence in whatever role they are currently filling. Talk to them. Are they happy in their current situation? What are their long-term goals and ambitions.

Is there a spot they may be able to fill now or in the future? Keep a list of these people and stay in touch with them until you need them.

John Maxwell, the leadership expert, says “hire for attitude-train for skill” and never pass on someone who you feel could be a superstar in your corporate environment just because you don’t currently have an opening. Create an opening for these special people if you must, you can always move them to a more appropriate position in the future.