* Passion. A passion for their work. Most employees come to work for the money; great employees come to work because they love what they do in their job. Look for signs of passion for what they like to do.
* Competence. This one can be hard to gauge. Fortunately, as the owner of the business, it is a little easier because you understand what’s required for the job. It is one thing for people to tell you they understand the position they are hired to do, but it is another thing to actually to do it. When you get past the personality issue, don’t be afraid to have candidates go through an exercises. Flesh out a couple of things… do they have the technical knowledge to do the job, can they think on their feet, and are they willing to step out of their comfort zone.
* Integrity. Make sure anyone you hire is a person of integrity! Particularly in the accounting field, we are entrusted with highly confidential information. If we can’t keep confidences, or act with integrity, we shouldn’t hold a position of trust.