Last week, Inc. asked our Twitter and Facebook readers an important question.

Two pieces of advice quickly rose to the top of the list: "Hire slow, fire fast" and "Always trust your gut."

Readers also were adamant checking references and ignoring current skills in favor of talent, potential and attitude, but plenty of advice was less common (and much of it seemed earned through experience). Here are the 17 most useful pieces of advice for anyone looking to hire:

1. "Prepare for a job that doesn't yet exist." - Sarah Cargill, Cargill Communications

2. "Talent can only go so far. Always look for someone who likes to make things happen & challenge herself." - Hanifa Ambadar, Female Daily Network

3. "I once hired someone because I didn't want to feel discriminatory, though I didn't feel 100% comfortable. Huge mistake." - Martin Ségur-Cabanac, IT & Management Consultant 

4. "Search for people who are dedicated and are open to change. Change is the only constant in this Universe." - Peter Polgari, Marco Polo Decor 

5. "Hire those that can get the job done and understand growth and success." - Roger Potter, Senior Strength

6. "Look at their Facebook profile!" - Zachariah Nauss, Pro-Tec Shrinkwrapping Service

7. "To be able to hire for attitude, you must know what kind of characteristics of an attitude you need." - Robert Moberg, People in Technology

8. "Everyone is replaceable and everything is personal." - Lucian Vinatoriu, Hostile Context Management

9. "Look for committed, quickly-orientated, active and honest people." - Laura Gailiunaite, Lingua Inn

10. "Always recruit for the requirement along with the forecast on future projects. Never recruit a person just keeping in mind the present project." - Ajay Rajagopal, The Nakshatras

11. "Ask for proof of a college degree. Don't assume it is so just because it is on someone's resume." - Matt Foster, ArteWorks SEO

12. "Hire the person/talent, not the experience/knowledge." - Ahmed Bhula, Cr8iv Media

13. "Do not eliminate applicants simply because they lack the degree. (If you look at many small business owners, few will have business degrees." - Chris Cruz, Smith Audio Visual

14. "Go for someone who passes all the questions--but they must have motivation/drive, enthusiasm, passion and dedication." - Entrepreneur Business Forum

15. "It's not who you hire but who you fail to fire that makes the biggest difference!" - Justin Sachs, Motivational Press, Inc.

16. "Reference checks are not optional, even if the person was referred by someone you know." - Lauren Smoliar, Peppertree Engineering

17. "Hire rock stars when you meet them and have that 'love at first sight,' whether you have a job or not. You just know." - Tricia Mumby, Mabel's Labels

Did this list miss any essential hiring tips? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #BestHiringAdvice. (And thanks to all our readers who contributed advice!)