To make sure you recruit and retain the best possible people for your business, do some serious thinking about the first 30 days of your relationship with your employees, suggests Kansas State University Extension Specialist Sarah Fogleman. To hire the right people, then get them off to a good start in their new jobs, she suggests the following steps:

1. Recruitment and selection. Before filling any position, analyze the job in detail. Include: physical and mental requirements, licenses and permits, skills and abilities, and personality characteristics. Finish with a detailed and specific job description. This will help you recruit the right kind of applicant and offer that applicant a good preview of what the job will entail.

2. Screen applicants. Run applicants through some hurdles, or a series of evaluation tools. In many instances, one hurdle must be "cleared" before an applicant can advance in the selection process. Some examples of hurdles include: written applications, written tests, oral tests, interviews, practical tests, and reference checks.

3. Put your best foot forward. Evaluation goes both ways. Ms. Fogleman notes. The applicant might not get the job if he or she does not perform well. Likewise, you might not get a great employee if you do not put your best foot forward.

4. Train new employees. They will need advice on everything from the informal relationships among coworkers to their specific job responsibilities. One idea is to use a mentor relationship between new employees and existing employees who know the ropes. This allows the new employee to feel like they have a friend within the business, and mentors feel complimented by the responsibility. Create the kind of environment where employees are not afraid to ask questions. Take time to listen to questions and ideas.

5. Evaluate early and often. Conduct performance evaluations on a regular basis for everyone within your business, but especially for new employees. Regular feedback can help stop bad habits before they become a problem. When employees are new, they are most likely to view feedback as helpful, whereas if you wait too long, employees could see the same instruction or guidance as insulting or critical.