What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly.
-- Thomas Paine
And so it is still today. I find myself in the awkward position of offering a research position to a former colleague of mine (a cohort who only this year filed his dissertation, four years after I did) who hesitates to accept. He's still holding out hope (not entirely without reason) of landing a faculty position, and he hesitates to join me in these northern climes. I like him. But, truth be told, I'm not desperate.
I admit, part of my desire was to begin with someone I could trust, someone I knew. I guess there's something to be said for simply advertising and reviewing applications. Maybe what I really need is to to see what sort of interest I might attract by putting an advertisement out there. I hear that a research post with a startup paying in the range of $40k/year plus benefits in an area with a cost of living more than 20% below the national average ought be quite attractive to a host of qualified candidates.
Funny thing: no one called me up and offered me a job when I graduated. I worked for this. And damned if I'm not going to enjoy it, with or without hiring my friends.