As a small business owner, you may rely heavily on your staff members to help your company reach its full potential. However, are your hiring costs hurting your bottom line? Here are three of the most costly hiring mistakes that small business owners make and tips to avoid making them.

  • Don't wait until a vacancy opens to recruit talent. One problem that small business owners face is that they cannot always compete with larger companies when it comes to salary and benefits packages. This can make it difficult to attract the attention of high-performing employees. Further, if you only recruit when you have a vacancy, you limit your candidate pool tenfold. Instate a rolling application process that allows interested parties to submit employment applications and/or resumes on an ongoing basis. You might just come across a talented candidate with a fabulous skill set that can revolutionize your small business.

  • Don't forget to check references and perform background checks on candidates. The majority of resumes are not a clear reflection of who the real person is seated across the table in an interview. Some people interview exceptionally well, but have poor track records with previous employers or legal problems. You can save your small business grief by screening out these types of candidates early on in the process. The only way to do it is to verify references and conduct a thorough background check. If you can avoid hiring a slacker who will likely quit after six months, it will save you a great deal of energy and money.

  • Don't settle for anything less than the best. Small business owners often feel isolated because of their size and lack of competitiveness. This doesn't mean that it's necessary to choose the "best of the worst" to fill a job vacancy. Don't be afraid to leave the vacancy open, develop a more targeted recruiting campaign, or go back to the drawing board if your candidate pool is less than stellar.

These basic tips can increase the likelihood of finding a high-performing employee that will stay with your small business and help grow the bottom line - instead of costing it.