The art of recruiting and selecting good employees is one that takes an organizational commitment by the company. Hiring fast and hiring well are not going to yield the same results. Take a step back, review your current practice for hiring and recruitment, then compare them to these strategies.

Create Awareness

Unless yours is a major company with a large area of influence, creating awareness is going to be necessary. You can:

Get a booth at a job fair Register with a college and speak for a few moments in front of students Tell your current employees to spread the word about the company to family and friends. Ask for referrals from top employees

The idea is to develop a talent pool of prospective employees in advance of actually needing them. Think of it like grocery shopping. You go to the store and stock up on food before you will be eating it. You do this for advance preparation, because you know you will get hungry. Hiring employees works the same way. Advance preparation will allow you a better opportunity to select from good talent.

Provide Opportunity and Expectation of Growth

According to Paul Sarvadi of Entrepreneur Magazine, "Researchers agree that the best way to hire and keep top talent is to create a company culture where the best employees want to work, a culture in which people are treated with respect and consideration at all times."

This means that by taking care of your current employees first, you can accomplish a couple of different goals. First, you will retain more of your current employees due to their satisfaction with the company. Second, you will create a good learning atmosphere, which will allow current employees to grow and be selected for other opportunities within your organization. By creating a healthy internal atmosphere much of your recruitment can come from within.

Selection Criteria

Choosing the right candidate is an important decision. While some people may have the right history, they have the wrong attitude. Some may have the right attitude but score poorly on a compatibility test. When hiring an individual who is new to the company, two criteria are paramount: attitude and motivation.

When you hire only people with an outstanding attitude and tremendous motivation, you vastly increase the odds of your organization's success. Skills can be learned, but a good attitude and motivation cannot be. You cannot force someone to change his mental make-up, but the person who already is motivated and has the right attitude will push herself to learn the skills you require.

Southwest Airlines, renowned for its strong company culture and customer experience, practices this method. In an article for Fast Company, Peter Carbonara writes that hiring specialist "José Colmenares is not looking for a fixed set of skills or experiences. He's searching for something far more elusive and much more important--the perfect blend of energy, humor, team spirit, and self-confidence..."

In 2006 Southwest received 150,000 job applications for 4,500 potential opportunities.