Reverend Parris is both "delighted" and "a little scared," according to the stage directions. The Putnams seem very glad of Hale's presence, immediately telling him about their afflicted daughter, Ruth, and her condition, hoping that he will come to see her and help to wake her up. John Proctor is, perhaps, comforted and hopeful that Mr. Hale will prove to be a man of sense and that he will "leave some of [that sense] in Salem." Proctor obviously has little faith in Parris's leadership in this matter (or any matter). Parris is eager to "abide by [Hale's] judgment," so it is evident that the company holds him in high esteem; they are desirous to hear his pronouncements. Parris even seems to be in some awe of Hale and Hale's extensive knowledge, as he speaks in "hushed" tones. Giles Corey addresses Hale, calling the minister a "learned man" and speaking respectfully to him. When Hale explains that the Devil would consider it a bigger victory to conquer a minister's faith than a layman's, Giles replies, "That's deep, Mr. Parris, deep, deep!" People seem to have a lot more trust in Hale than they do in Parris (with the possible exception of the Putnams).
Overall, the community felt that Hale was to be their savior. Much of the town had become hysterical over the "condition" of the girls, and Hale had the reputation of saving another community. Reverend Parris feels that by bringing Hale in, he will be seen as a hero. Hale is not a fraud, but he has very naive beliefs in his own ability to cure the situation, and quickly becomes overwhelmed by his inability to help.
Community reaction is mixed. Rebecca Nurse "fears it" John Proctor hopes to impress Hale that there are no witches. Giles Corey asks Hale about Martha's strange reading habits and his own inabilty to pray. Reverend Parris is hoping to be viewed as proactive by bringing Hale into the community. Hale, himsel, is deadly earnest in looking for signs of the devil in Salem.