When you have a job vacancy to fill and you start the recruiting process, you'll naturally want to hire people who have the skills and experience required to start working right away and without a lot of extra training. In short, you want to hire awesome employees.

It can be a daunting task, however, to figure out which candidates will turn out to be awesome and which ones not so much. Research has shown that approximately 46 percent of new hires will fail within the first 18 months. And while 11 percent of these failures are the result of missing skills, 89 percent are a direct result of low motivational levels and or an inability to be coached.

When you're ready to hire some really great employees, know that there are certain characteristics they all share -- and that you should be looking for them when you recruit.

1. They have lots of pertinent experience.

Make no mistake about it: Experienced candidates have an advantage when seeking employment. Why? Because they can fit in quickly and impact situations almost immediately with little or no training. While you can often train people in the skills they lack, that costs time and money.

2. They do their homework.

Great job candidates do their homework before the interview and are able to demonstrate with examples how they are the perfect fit for the position. Not only that, but they have a desired salary range in mind. Their resumes and cover letters list their achievements and show specifically how they will immediately and positively impact the organization.

3. They're loyal to you and your business.

While younger job candidates move from job to job more often than older ones, people who have a track record of changing employers as often as they change their socks are a red flag. Sure -- stuff happens, and you've got to keep that in mind when you're looking for someone new. Companies go bust, divisions get sold off and downsized, employees get laid off. But great job candidates clearly demonstrate their loyalty by not obsessively job hopping.

4. They have a really strong work ethic.

Ultimately, you want to hire people who work hard--who give the best of what they have to offer. Employees who consistently perform at a high level take pride in what they do. They want to do their jobs well, as they view their work as a reflection of their character, and they strive to be successful and to a make a positive impact.

5. Their attitude is positive and uplifting.

We all want to work with people who have positive attitudes about their companies, their jobs, and the people with whom they work. They are supportive and concerned about the well-being of others, and they are team players. Their drive and enthusiasm is infectious and can inspire those around them.

6. They have great communication skills.

Good communication is critical to the success of any organization and the people within it. Through their speaking and writing, great communicators have the ability to positively impact any organization, and they are sought out by the companies that hire them.

7. They are stable and reliable.

The very best employees are consistent, stable, and reliable--they learn to thrive in dynamic environments and can be counted on when the going gets tough. When in doubt, look for job candidates who have a solid track record of stability and reliability. You'll be glad you did.