Here's an interesting perspective on how to hire great employees for your startup: hire people who are already working. This article is worth reading just so you can see if you agree. Personally, it's not necessarily a perfect solution. In the article, Hoffman encourages lots of web recruiting. There is another side: stealing people can bring bad karma. If someone is already working, but unhappy, why haven't they left? Also, there is too much of a stigma placed on someone who is not working. Perhaps they are the ones who have the courage to vote with their feet, and walk out when the time is right, instead of hanging on to the teat, just because of the fear another job won't come along. On the other hand, we fully agree with the idea that referrals from existing employees is a great way to go. Your existing staff already know what the working conditions are like, and they know if their friends will fit in or not, so there is some pre-screening that takes place.