Some of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner are about who to hire. Surrounding yourself with the best people is essential to creating a lasting business. Employees who share your vision, passion, and work ethic are a great asset.

But as a small business entrepreneur, it’s not always easy to also be your own human resources person, too. You’re working on improving your products or services, marketing your business to new customers, and all the other administrative tasks that come with a small business.

The Washington Post published a short guide for helping entrepreneurs ensure that they are getting the best people. It’s just four basic tips, things you can quickly apply to your own business.

  • Make Time to Hire. It might sound obvious, but you have to dedicate time out of your busy day to sift through prospective employees to find the best people. You have plenty of other things to do, so make a schedule that includes time for looking at resumes, following up with your short list of candidates, and scheduling in-person interviews.
  • Build a Network. We all know a few people that, if they were available, we would be glad to hire anytime. So do the people we know. A great way to find exceptional talent is to find out who some “automatic hires” are for other people you know—friends, relatives, business partners, suppliers, etc.—and  then contact those who seem like a fit for your company to find out if there is any interest. Actively seek out the top talent for your business.
  • Try Before You Buy. Hiring someone is a risk, and that’s even more true when the economy is still struggling like this. One alternative is to focus on hiring contract workers either for a specific project or a specific time of year. If you think that you’ve found a great employee, you can see about turning that contract worker into a full-timer.
  • Never Compromise. Don’t settle on someone who’s “good enough” just so that you can say you hired someone. The people around you in your business will be instrumental in the fortunes of your business, and you want those people to be the best you can get. It’s better to take the time to find the right person than to rush into hiring someone you later regret bringing on.