Perhaps you have heard stories - you might even call them horror stories - about those nightmare employees. In fact, you have probably come across a few nightmare employees of your own, especially if you are in charge of hiring employees. Sometimes, the reaction is to wonder, "How did this employee get this way?" But a better reaction would be the introspective one, asking, "Why on earth did I hire this person?" Of course, hiring employees is about more than just avoiding the nightmare employees; it is also about finding those employees who become great for your company. It is about uncovering those treasures who you can promote again and again, those employees who become key cogs in the machine of your company. What can you do to ensure that you hire such employees? It is really quite simple. The hiring process begins with the resume. Begin by cutting out the unqualified applicants; it might be easy to just interview everyone, but in the long run it will save you time and headaches to narrow down your field. If you come across employees you are not sure about, don't just make a decision on a whim; after all, you might end up discarding a great applicant, or you might end up interviewing someone who is a big waste of time; instead of making a snap judgement, take the time to call these applicants. Finally, take notice of the attention the applicant paid to their resume; if their resume is sloppy, how do you think that applicant will be as an employee? When it comes time for the interviews themselves, focus on the applicant's attitude and intelligence. A smart person with a good attitude is far more likely to do a good job, even if their application reveals that they are less accomplished, than an applicant with a lot of accomplishments and a surly disposition. Finally, allow the interviewee to ask questions during the interview. In this way, you can gain a greater understanding of the ways in which this person's mind works, and you can get to know them better. Generally speaking, future "prize employees" are likely to have intelligent questions to ask; this will help you gain a greater understanding of the kind of person they are. Of all the elements that go into making a successful business run, hiring is among the most important. After all, it all begins with the employees; and if you are the one hiring the employees, it all begins with you.