Successful marketing requires a strong team—whether it's dealing with customers on the front line, writing copy for email campaigns or developing products. "One way to hire smart is to never do it in a panic," writes Jennifer Prosek in her book, Army of Entrepreneurs. "This means creating and nurturing a constant pipeline of potential candidates." And here's how to do it:

Always be on the lookout for talent. Make a habit of identifying and getting to know potential candidates—even when you don't have a specific position to fill. "Never get caught in the trap of recruiting only when you need someone to start in two weeks," she says. "That's when you're vulnerable to making a mistake [or] overlooking a weak work ethic."

Make talent-spotting part of your staff's job description. "Too often, staffers assume that recruiting happens someplace away from the daily hum of business, in some corner of the HR department," notes Prosek, who freely admits she isn't her company's best talent spotter. She highlights the importance of recruiting in the weekly blog post she writes for employees, and encourages referrals with bonuses for bringing in top talent.

Hire the right person for the right job—even in a downturn. "I have often made strategy hires that at the time raised eyebrows," she says. "What's she doing? Hiring this high-priced talent in this economy? But I know what I'm doing. I'm making sure we are bringing in the talent we need to be successful."

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