As the owner and sole principal of GRAYBOX, I handle all of the hiring and HR for both our awesome in-house staff and our network of talented subcontractors. I read a lot via RSS to stay on top of the industry, and I love this article by Jason Fried at 37 Signals from this morning.
In it, he postures that in hiring decisions it's rare to find the perfect person at the right time. Instead it's best to find "future perfect people." You have to look past some of the mediocre opportunities they've had and look at this potential. As a manager, the trick is once they're on your team to individually coach them to reach that potential. Sure there is risk with this hiring approach, but let's aim for greatness in our teams. Plus their is a great joy in coaching and watching a mentee blossom into what they're capable of.
Worth a read: The Person They'll Become