Whether you’re in business by yourself, part of a small business, or working for a big company, it’s important to develop good habits when you’re hiring new talent. There are a lot of potential candidates out there, especially in today’s market, but by the same token, there are just as many pitfalls.

The best way to avoid hiring the wrong person is to cultivate a proper hiring process in the first place. Here are the things that you should keep in mind when trying to hire the perfect person for the position.

The better your hiring procedures, the more likely you’ll get the perfect candidate

Testing Candidates Is Essential

Whether you’re hiring someone for a position, looking for a contractor, or even screening a tenant for a rental property, you need to make sure you test prospective candidates. This test could be in the form of a questionnaire, an actual quiz (to measure the extent of their knowledge), simulations, or some other method. You should be able to put an applicant’s claims to the test, and sometimes that means doing it literally.

By screening out the posers, frauds, and less-than- competent, you can save time and energy and instead dedicate mindshare to the viable candidates. Don’t look at testing as an intrusion on the applicant’s privacy; you need to make sure they are who they say they are and know their stuff.

Avoid Cutesy, Irrelevant Questions

There’s nothing wrong with a company trying to be more empathic, personal and thinking outside the box. However, there’s no reason you need to ask silly questions during the interview such as “If you were a flower, what kind would you be?”

What’s the point of such a ridiculous question? If you’re looking for a web page designer, you want to make sure they are familiar with PhotoShop, not whether or not they’d want to be a begonia. Such questions are called “magic bullet questions”, and they ostensibly trip up well-coached job candidates and test analytical skills.

And they don’t work. Avoid them.

Make It A Team Effort

If you are interviewing someone for a position that requires them to work in a group, make sure that some of those co-workers get the chance to ask a few questions as well. Let’s refer to the example of a web designer. If you’re the boss of the web development department, you may want to bring in a few other designers to work with the new hire, and let them take a crack at the applicant. After all, they are the ones that will be doing the actual work with the new employee.

Spell Out Your Expectations

Make sure that you have an actual job description written up. What does the position entail? Is it a full-time position? Are people routinely expected to work extra hours, beyond a normal 40-hour week? What responsibilities does the position have? By spelling out the job requirements and demands, there’s no room for misunderstanding or ambiguity, and the applicant won’t be blindsided with demands that they could never have met.

Sometimes, “Close Enough” Is Just Fine

Finally, always remember that there are times when your gut tells you “This is the one”, even though their qualifications aren’t a precise fit. Acknowledge the possibility that the fit won’t be a perfect one, but the applicant’s skills and talents are strong enough that there’s room to fudge things a little. Don’t let a fantastic candidate get away just because the fit isn’t 100 percent perfect.

Put these ideas into practice, and you’ll save yourself (and the applicant) a lot of trouble. If you need some guidance in finding the right talent, check out “6 Effective Ways To Find Most Talented People For Your Business.”