You’ve been struggling for weeks to hire a new person.  All the resumes you’ve seen and all the interviews you’ve sat through are mediocre at best… and that’s putting it nicely.

No one has jumped out at you as a qualified candidate or good fit, and at this point, you’re tempted to force a fit.  It’s no harder than fitting a fat guy into a little coat, right?

Sure, this theory is undoubtedly plausible.  But, the fatter the man, the worse off the coat will be—and in this case, your business is the coat.  You’ll be stretched out, ripped apart, and ragged at the end of things.  Is it really worth it?

Not a chance.

So, the question naturally becomes: How do you—as a small to medium-sized business owner—attract more talented individuals?  And unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple.  The solution isn’t something that can be implemented in a day, and you certainly won’t see an influx of high-quality resumes by tomorrow.  It’s simply not going to happen.  But if you stick to the following four tips you’re about to read, you’ll eventually find yourself hiring the right person for the right position ten times out of ten.

Don’t be modest.

If you want to hire great people, then you need to learn how to work the job boards.  You should sound just as appealing, just as exciting, and just as successful as any other business strutting their stuff on Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, and every other dirty, dank, and dark avenue out there.  If you fail to do this, then your job posting will be left standing alone on the corner, lacking the talent you need to make it big.  On your job listing, take the opportunity to market your business—more so than the position itself.  What stands out about your company?  What is something exciting about your business that most people don’t know?  What are the greatest incentives your business offers?

Break out of the box.

How we work isn’t the only thing that’s been changing—but when and where, as well.  Just because some of your employees are Monday through Friday 8-5 doesn’t mean all your employees need to be.  If a potential new hire requests to work remotely or to work irregular hours, there’s no need to shut them down.  Consider the request carefully and think in terms of value.  What value does this new hire (or current employee) bring to the company and is it a large enough value for me to consider this as a viable proposition?  Don’t rule out the request simply because you aren’t currently doing what it is they’re asking for.  If you do, then you’ll have to settle with someone less talented and less capable.

Sometimes a person is more valuable than many people.

Quality over quantity, right?  Never settle for three ridiculously skinny people because they can all huddle into one large coat.  Not only does this sound a little depressing, but it’s dumb.  There’s always someone out there you can find that will fit perfectly into your specially-crafted, hand-tailored coat, or, at the very least, someone you can find that can quickly grow into it.  Don’t continue to settle for inadequate, ill-suited employees.  It’ll cost you more money, more headaches, and more heartaches.  Wait for the right person, and you’ll find they’ll help you attract more talented individuals later on down the road.  Attractive people attract even more attractive people.

Create a strong working environment.

One of the most effective ways to attract talented people is with a great working environment—one that boasts togetherness, collaboration, independence, and creativity.  And the great part about this is that once you build up an environment that promotes these ideals, your current employees will basically do your attracting for you.  They’ll enjoy the work they do, and they’ll be the first to show off your business.  But this starts with leadership.  If your employees don’t see strong leadership, they’ll relate that to a weak company.  This being said, are your designated leaders proactively preserving these ideals?  And the key to this is action.  What are your leaders—yourself included—doing to promote and protect togetherness, collaboration, independence, and creativity?