Small Business Hiring: 5 Qualities to Look for in Candidates

As one of the leading staffing firms in Springfield, Massachusetts, Stewart Staffing knows every business has to be smart when it comes to making hiring decisions. But this is especially true at small businesses, where margins are narrower and the impact of a poor hiring decision can be felt more deeply.

So how can you hire better for your small business – and get the people you need? Here are a few qualities you should be looking for in a new hire:


Hiring people who are honest and straightforward is key for business success. Just consider these words from Warren Buffet: “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”

That said, integrity can be a hard value to evaluate for; after all, dishonest people aren’t going to tell you they’re dishonest. But by asking hard-hitting interview questions and taking steps, like conducting background checks and verifying references, you can get behind the candidate mask and better gauge each candidate you’re considering.

Driven to succeed.

In a small business, there isn’t a lot of time for hand-holding. That’s why you need people who can hit the ground running and make a positive impact. Those who are internally motivated and driven will have the best shot at doing that. So when hiring, seek out those candidates with proven track records of success and impressive results.


People with energy and enthusiasm often make great hires. Not only do they impact morale in the office, but they’re always learning and striving for something better. In your business, this can impact innovation and give your company the competitive edge you’ve been seeking.


In a big corporation, difficult people can be harder to notice and blend in more. In a staff of 10, however, a challenging employee can be a handful. That doesn’t mean you should hire a series of “yes” men and women. It does mean you should be looking for those who can work well on a team, understand proper business etiquette, and are going to add value to your company, not detract from it.

Different from you.

When hiring, it’s easy to connect with those who are similar to you – whether they went to the same college, or you just click with them. However, remember, you’re not looking for a new friend. You’re looking for someone who can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas; who will have a positive impact on your bottom. That’s often someone with a different background or personality than your own.

Don’t have the time or resources to devote to hiring for your small business?

Contact Stewart Staffing. As one of the leading staffing firms in Springfield, Massachusetts, we can provide you with access to the skilled, dependable people you need for your business, large or small. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today.

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