Sometimes, I don’t know what’s worse; firing or hiring. Firing is obviously difficult for many reasons, but hiring is just so complex – and it can take ages too. You might spend months looking for the perfect employee, and then with a few weeks, you realize they actually don’t suit your company and are dragging you down. So, to make sure you hire the best employees here’s a checklist to consult:

Do they have positive references?

You should always check with a candidate’s references before hiring them. If they can’t give you any, that’s a bit of a warning sign. Similarly, if their references are very negative about them, then that’s also a warning sign. But, if you call their referees and they give a glowing report back, that’s a really positive sign!

Are they qualified for the role?

Does the candidate in question possess the skills and experience to be qualified for this role? If you’ve listed specific educational requirements, and they don’t meet them, then they might not be able to do the work you have in mind. It’s possible you’ve put an emphasis on wanting a year or more experience in a similar role, so can they tick that box as well? You don’t want to hire someone that’s not qualified, as this means they will require on-the-job training, which takes time and costs money.

Can they legally work for you?

This is something a lot of small business owners neglect because they just don’t think about it. If you’re hiring someone, you need to check that they can legally work for you. If they’re a US citizen, then that should be enough. However, what if you’re hiring employees from another country? They need something like an H1B visa to make them legal workers. Now, there are some H1B new rules to consider these days, so make sure you’re knowledgeable on the matter or have someone to consult that can inform you of them. The last thing you want is to hire someone that’s actually an illegal worker. This will reflect poorly on you and could land you both in trouble.

Do they fit your company?

Take some time to ask all candidates questions relating to the culture and vision of your company. Ask them about what their aims are, and this helps you see if you’re on the same page. If they seem to really buy into your company culture and share the same vision, then this is a good sign. Ultimately, you want to hire talented individuals that will fit in with everyone else and contribute to a productive environment.

You may think that being the employer means you only have to ask questions. However, make sure you answer these four as well. Make your way down the checklist and tick everything off. When someone has ticks across the board, that should mean they’ll be a good hire for your business. I find this is one of the easiest ways of separating candidates that may have all impressed during applications and interviews.