A small business depends on its people. Without a strong company full of dedicated, driven employees, it will be challenging to achieve success. To make matters worse, having a staff filled with disinterested, unhappy people can take the venture in the opposite direction.

With that in mind, you should look for the best possible candidates when hiring. Finding new employees is a job that never ends – you should be on the lookout year-round, whether or not you have a position that needs to be filled. This way, your small business will be made up of skilled, productive workers, which is good news for your financial plan and your bottom line. 

In order to help you out during the employee search, here are four effective tips to bring the best possible talent into your company:

1. Value happiness in a potential hire
Naturally, the first thing you look at when thinking about a new hire is what is on his or her resume. While this is important, you should also be interested in several other traits that can be strong indicators of skilled labor. According to Inc. magazine, one such factor is happiness. During the interview process, see how their attitude holds up. Do they come across as too negative? Are they likely to bring in extra drama? These are all things that can hurt your company, but a happy, smiling person might be able to provide a much-needed boost.

2. Make sure they are flexible
Your new hires should bring a lot to the table, but they must also be willing to jump right in and learn the ropes. Inc. magazine explained that flexibility is a key trait for employees to have. While they are brought in for a specific role, it is better if they can pick up many skills, help out where needed and pick up the slack, if any should appear. Having employees willing to do what it takes for the business is a very good thing.

3. Allow new hires to prove themselves
A lot of employers place a significant emphasis on the resume. It is understandable that you may want to hire candidates who are ready to take over from the start, with little training required. However, your financial plan may be better served if you let potential workers prove themselves first, regardless of what their resume says. 

"It is critical to give the top applicants real-world tests," John Overton, a partner at Turn Key Solutions, told Monster. "A hands-on exam gives the hiring team a chance to evaluate the candidate's problem solving skills and how they operate under pressure."

With that in mind, try giving candidates a test, such as a freelance project or an hour on the job, according to Monster. This way, you'll have a pretty good idea of what they can do.

4. Don't limit yourself by credentials
When searching for the next great employee in your company, you may be concerned with their credentials. Sure, it is nice to have a highly skilled, well-trained person walk through the door, but oftentimes their resumes can be deceiving. Instead, Monster suggested you think about hiring non-degree candidates. These people can have the real-world skills you want, and their lack of higher education may not be a bad thing.

"Take non-degree applicants seriously," Chris Sonjeow, of LoveBookOnline, told Monster. "They sometimes feel like the underdog going into an interview, but they tend to be more hungry and have more to prove as opposed to someone who graduated and may feel entitled."