4 Key Points to Look for When Hiring for Your Small Business

When growing your own business, every employee counts. Your first few hires are crucial in helping turn your idea into a reality, and then developing a brand and operating business. It’s therefore vital that you find the right people to work with. They need to be passionate about your brand and believe in your venture while also being able to work on their own initiative.

You’re likely to first meet these people on paper in the form of their CV, but how do you single out ideal candidates in a pile of hundreds of applications? Successful recruiters rarely spend that long looking through CVs. According to professional CV writing service AimCV, recruiters spend an average of 7 seconds looking at each CV before deciding whether they’re interested in the candidate.

So, rather than wasting time pouring over each application, what key points should you be looking out for?

Busy businessman making a call

1. Look for applicants that can work on their own initiative

Checking to see where the candidate has worked in the past, and what their job role was can help you decide if they will fit in your company. Someone who has progressed significantly in their career within a small time frame is a good sign that they can work on their own initiative and has the drive and ambition to go further in their role. You ideally want someone who has shown leadership qualities in a previous role, as they will have the drive to complete without too much directing, giving you more time to look after other aspects of the business.

2. Excellent customer service is essential for a startup

Regardless of your business model, you will need to have employees with exceptional customer service skills. You will have to speak to clients and other industry experts when it comes to selling and networking, and having good people skills and customer service skills will help to promote your brand.

Having employees that can easily and confidently speak on behalf of your company is essential during this time as it acts as free marketing for you. Giving good customer service also encourages your first few customers to return and encourages positive recommendations. People with good customer service skills, and social skills, are also often easier to get along with – ideal for startups with smaller teams.

3. Hire candidates with ambition and drive

Having staff that are ambitious has a massive impact on the success on your business. If they share your vision, they’ll want to see your business succeed and will put in any extra work in order to grow the company. A well-written CV will highlight any promotions, which can demonstrate to you that they’re motivated to move up the career ladder. If they’ve had several jobs in the past, check whether it was for an advanced position.

Hobbies and interests outlined on a CV can also hint at ambition. For example, having a side business or blog shows that they have the drive to launch something for themselves, as well as skills they can bring to your business. Achievements such as running a marathon, learning a new language, or even setting up community projects all show that someone has the ambition needed to thrive in your business.

Business people learning on the job

4. Previous experience and eagerness to learn are both essential

It’s important to find skilled people who know what they’re doing. For example, hiring an experienced marketer can help boost your exposure as you look to gain more customers and clients. Bringing on expert knowledge can only be a positive for your company, so look for those who have had experience working in the industry.

On the other hand, hiring less qualified employees allows you to mould them to fit your business and work ethic. Graduates will not have picked up any bad habits from previous roles, and will be more willing to learn about your business. They can also offer a fresh perspective, and can bring on their own ideas from an outsider’s perspective, which could give your business an edge over any competition.


Scaling up your business can be daunting, and you may be wary about bringing new people into your business. However, knowing what to look for when searching through applications can make the process much easier.