1.. Understand what you are looking for and consider your skills gaps carefully. If you have internal resources or skills in niche areas that would be very difficult to hire into (the proverbial “unicorn”), ask yourself: 
Can I develop a member of my team into this area? 
Have I thoroughly investigated if anyone has the skills or aptitude from jobs/volunteer roles/education or hobbies in the past? 
Can I introduce training and back-fill this niche with a freelancer or contractor whilst we develop capability internally? 
2. Think about risk. If a key employee leaves your business or team how replaceable are they? Who is their buddy, their backup, the next in line for that role? Good teams are balanced – no one person should have more than 50% of their role that can’t be performed by someone else. 
3. Benchmark the role carefully. Payscale.com and other databases are free to use for individuals. Make sure if you have decided to hire externally, your expectations are realistic, and the role is attractive to the level of candidate you need. Without this step, you are very unlikely to have a successful hire, and very likely to spend a lot of wasted time. 
4. Don’t rush it. A rushed hiring process will bite you later. Have a plan with key dates. Advertise and wait for the closing date. Have the space in your diary for interviews – preferably seeing candidates close together so you can compare. Use the same interview questions to keep the process fair and robust. Have a plan for 2nd stage interviews and a deadline for when you want to offer – and don’t forget to plan for notice periods. 
5. Keep it legal. Hiring is the one part of employee relations where discrimination can kick in BEFORE you become the candidates’ employee. Make sure you are operating in line with employment law, particularly the Discrimination Act. 
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