There's two books I've read that have influenced my thinking on hiring:

How To Hire A Players The book taught me a few things:

  • Always Be Interviewing. Even if you don't have an immediate position available, take the time to interview candidates that might fit. You never know if you'll need that talent at a future time. Explain to the candidate that you don't have an immediate position, but would enjoy a casual meeting at your office for a half hour to get to know them
  • Create a "farm team". The major league baseball teams have farm teams (minor leagues) where they draw from when they need talent in the major leagues. Some teams have farm teams for their farm teams. Of course you can't afford to create another company that only exists to grow talent, so you let other companies do the growing for you. Keep in touch with potential rising stars as they develop skills at other companies, and when the timing is right, invite them to join your organization.

Hire With Your Head by Lou Adler . This guy nails it -- I've had my share of hiring failures. I've hired people too much on impressive charisma rather than whether or not they're an achiever-type person that can do the job well. The book has a lot of advice on how to create useful job ads. The book also explains that only 7% of people that would be willing to make a job change are actively looking for a job, and usually it's the other 93% that have more talent anyway. He has some strategies on how to get to this group.