In a small company, hiring decisions are difficult and risky. It is shocking how easy it is to make a poor decision that has such severe consequences. We should find this to be sobering. We should approach these decisions with a great deal of wisdom. All too often, we do not.

Here in the United States, we approach hiring in much the same way that we approach marriage. It has no legal requirement of formal training. Most of us go into the situation unprepared. Over the years, we have picked up a few clichés to guide us. We have watched others do it, so we think we know how. In a disturbingly high percentage of cases, things turn out badly, and everybody within range gets hurt. Some of us learn from the experience and do ...

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