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Desperate Times

...do not call for desperate measures--pick employees carefully.

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

America's tight job market has caused some entrepreneurs torelax 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 thefact that this is the most important decision you have tomake," warns Mel Kleiman, managing partner of Hire ToughGroup, a consulting and training firm in Houston. "Don'tlet short-term solutions get in the way of long-termobjectives."

Disciplining yourself to hire the right candidate-and not justany warm body-when you're strapped for help is tough. But whilelowering your standards might seem easier at the , it can endup costing you money. Just ask Kayla Tollen, 51, founder ofKaylaAdvertising in Key West, . "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 employeesand won't even consider hiring someone without a secondinterview.

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