Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Desperate Times not call for desperate measures--pick employees carefully.

This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

America's tight job market has caused some entrepreneurs to relax their hiring policies and lower their standards. The problem, though, is you could end up singing the desperation-hiring blues. "Don't let [your] need for someone get in front of the fact that this is the most important business decision you have to make," warns Mel Kleiman, managing partner of Hire Tough Group, a consulting and training firm in Houston. "Don't let short-term solutions get in the way of long-term objectives."

Disciplining yourself to hire the right candidate-and not just any warm body-when you're strapped for help is tough. But while lowering your standards might seem easier at the time, it can end up costing you money. Just ask Kayla Tollen, 51, founder of Kayla Advertising in Key West, Florida. "I've given in to 'desperation hiring' a few times," she recalls. "I once hired someone who didn't totally fit my criteria, and they were terrible to a client. I had to fire them." Tollen now always uses a checklist to evaluate potential employees and won't even consider hiring someone without a second interview.

Memorial Day Subscription Sale- Unlock this subscriber exclusive article and more for 20% off today.

Access all Entrepreneur content with no ads, unlock discounts, and get exclusive advice only available to our subscribers. Plus, our magazine delivered straight to your door.

Get a year subscription today for 20% off. Just use code SAVE20 at checkout.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks