Key traits to look for when hiring for your small business

Hiring as a small business owner is wildly different than hiring for a large organization. When you hire for your team as a small business, you need to be more strategic about the hire. You also have less margin for error because the wrong hire can greatly impact your bottom line, which makes hiring decisions all that much more important.


Hiring the person with the right skillset is obviously important. For whatever role you are trying to fill, the person you hire should have the right qualifications to fulfill the job. There may be candidates that you like but may not have the adequate baseline experience to actually help you in the area you are hiring for. In small businesses it can feel like you need to be in a hurry to hire. Taking your time can solve large and costly problems down the road.


When you’re hiring for a specific job, having the right skillset is just the baseline you’re looking for in a new staff member. While the right experience can take a team member a long way, there are always projects, tasks and situations that come up on a day-to-day basis that are new and require someone who is a natural problem-solver.


If you are looking for someone to be with you for a while and want to manage attrition rates within your company, recognizing when someone is loyal is pretty important. Having team members stay on board for a long time because they are loyal helps in a variety of ways:

  1. You trust them more.
  2. You can feel confident that the time you spend training them will pay off in the long run.
  3. The longer a team member stays in an organization the more they learn the ins and outs of their job and the company as a whole. This makes them more efficient.


In a small business there are times when staff members need to wear many hats and take on responsibilities that are beyond their normal scope of work. Having staff that is willing to do this is key to your small business’ success. This could be because another staff member is sick, on leave, or it’s just a busy that day, week or month. Whatever it is, hiring someone who you think can handle multi-tasking outside of their job is pretty important for the longevity of your business.

Soft Skills

Whatever type of industry your small business is in, recognizing when an employee has good soft skills will be helpful for keeping all of your staff members long-term. Most staff members quit their jobs because they dislike a manager or the people they work with … not because they dislike their actual job. When hiring for your small business, paying attention to how well a candidate works with other people will help alleviate small problems that can turn into larger Human Resources issues.

We enjoy hearing about small business success. When hiring for your small business, what do you look for?

Key traits to look for when hiring for your small business was originally published in Bento Systems on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.