Haas came close to signing the former McLaren man before opting for Romain Grosjean, but Magnussen will switch the the American outfit in 2017, and comes highly acclaimed by his soon-to-be former team.
"Everyone knows that we spoke with Kevin already last year," Steiner told the Danish broadcaster TV2 in Abu Dhabi. "At the time we chose Romain Grosjean because he had more experience. But now he has run through this season and we have been able to see what he delivers."
"I spoke with people at Renault, the engineers and technical staff, and they are really happy to work with him."
He is also quoted by the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet: "Many people in the industry regard Kevin very highly. Other drivers, other team bosses, other team owners. He is highly respected.
"It is people with experience who said to us: Look at Magnussen," Steiner added.
Steiner also revealed that the agreement with Magnussen took little over a week to complete.
"From the time he said 'Yes I want to change' it took ten days. It was simple," he revealed.
"I think he got a good feeling for us. We are a small and simple race team. We race with no politics. Gene Haas owns the team, I control the operations and there is no need for politics.
"My impression is that Kevin likes that approach, because he loves to race and we are racers."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing