This post comes from the perspective of Dave Darsch & Sol Jeewa.

Hiring an exceptional team to take your company to the next level is a major challenge. First, you need to find enough high performers willing to consider your business - and then you need to retain them. All the while, you're competing with other companies to attract top talent from a broad but shallow pool.

It's all too easy to develop blind spots in your talent acquisition strategy. But if you hire without fully understanding your needs, brand and expectations, you'll never get the top performers you want.

Avoid the pitfalls by facing up to four hard truths that every company should know.

1. Recruitment is not the same as talent acquisition

If your 'talent acquisition strategy' is all about meeting immediate needs, it's neither talent acquisition nor a strategy. Recruitment fills a situational gap, by finding the best person available at short-notice. But talent acquisition is smart and strategic. It is the ongoing process of bringing in the skills and knowledge necessary to cultivate an amazing company culture. Focus on acquiring talent - rather than on recruitment for powerful results.

2. Bigger may not be better

Are you expending significant effort on attracting big name talent from larger brands? If so, rethink this. Because the truth is, people who are good at selling a well-known brand may not know how to sell a relative unknown. So if you're a small company, the best sales performers at big brands might not be the best for you. Instead target challenger sales and leadership professionals - and look beyond the size of the sales figures to the candidate's knowledge of the industry and past entrepreneurial success.

3. Good salespeople aren't islands

When you hire, do you consider what work environment the candidate needs to thrive - and whether your company culture will fit the bill? If not, you're missing a trick. Some of the most successful professionals only perform well in certain work environments. For example, many top salespeople do best when they can focus entirely on selling without admin distractions. If your hire is used to having support staff, then expecting them to book their own flights and write endless reports will guarantee you don't get the most from them. Find out what environment your candidate works best in, and consider how you can provide this. If you can't, it may not be a fit.

4. Champagne and caviar are more expensive than beer and burgers

You get what you pay for: it's the oldest truth on the block. You know it already. But when you take a good hard look at your hiring strategy, are you demanding more than you're willing to pay for? If you really want champagne, don't expect beer prices. Having unrealistic expectations in your talent search only wastes time and money. Decide whether you truly need a top-class hire, and if so, prepare to pay top-class prices.