Sometimes, the best applicant is not the one with 20 years of experience. Sometimes, the best applicant is not the one with the Master's degree. Focus your interview questions around all five traits, and the "right" employee will emerge.
What if it's a toss up? Look closely at the experience, because past experience is the best indicator of future success.
If you're struggling with current employees, here are four guidelines to determine it's time to let someone go:
You are doing (or re-doing) their work
They fail to reach their goals on a regular basis
The employee has not taken your admonishments to heart
They negatively impact other employees around them
Small business owners do not have the luxury of keeping poor or mediocre employees. You must keep only the best employees for your business. And, don't feel guilty for letting go of inefficient or unproductive persons. You're growing a business, not running a charity.
Plus, I've learned by experience that I'm not doing anyone any favors by keeping a bad employee around... not the employee, not my customers, not the rest of my staff, and not me!