Riddle me this: as an employer, would you rather have a technician with top-notch technical skills who’s constantly watching the clock? Or would you rather have someone who is slightly less skilled but who’s constantly trying to figure out how to do their job better and help others?
While you might pick the former, I’d much rather have someone who – on a scale from 0 to 10 – might be a seven in technical skills but who ranks a 10 in passion, teamwork, and commitment.
In today’s competitive job market, hiring talent is important. But hiring the right talent is perhaps the most important thing a business owner can do. It’s not enough that employees have the skills necessary to do the job, they must have a work ethic that adds value to the team.
A bad employee can drain a company’s resources and drag people down, no doubt. But a good employee can be a company’s greatest asset. Knowing what qualities to look for when hiring or promoting an employee is crucial to growing a business.
Here are few ways to determine whether an employee possesses that unique blend of skills and work ethic that adds to the success of an organization.
Are They Driven To Do Great Work?
Let’s say you have someone working for you who looks great on paper. They have impressive credentials with the skillset to match. In the “technical abilities” category they score a 10. But they seem to lack enthusiasm for the work they do. In the “passion and drive” category they rank an unimpressive five. They do good work, but no one wants to be on their team. They’re almost a drain on other people. As a result, they don’t motivate others to do great work, and the company doesn’t get the multiplier effect.
In contrast, the employee driven to do great work says, “No matter what else is going on, we’re going to get stuff done. And we’re going to have fun doing it.” That person has a lot of value because they make everyone around them better.
When interviewing a prospective candidate, here are a few questions you can ask to help gauge their level of enthusiasm and motivation:
- What excites you about this position?
- What was the worst part of your last (or current) position?
- Six months from now, how would you know this was the right move for you?
Listen for the passion in their responses. In a perfect world, the person you hire (or promote) possesses both superior skills and ardent drive.
In the sales world, for example, the top-performing sales professionals are the people who possess excellent skills and are disciplined – they’re strategic, organized and punctual, among other things. More importantly, top performers have a passion for their jobs that translate into: How do I find the customers I can help the most?
They’re not looking at the clock thinking, “Oh here’s an opportunity that came in at 5:02pm on a Friday. I’ll just wait until Monday to take care of this.” No. Instead, they roll up their sleeves and jump into action. That type of work ethic and drive inspires great work.
Professional athletes know this. As NFL player Justin James “JJ” Watts once said:
“If you do the bare minimum expect bare minimum results. You want to be great, work to be great. Nothing just happens.”
Do They Have A Sense of Purpose?
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: If your employees don’t have a passion for what they’re doing, and they can’t see how they’re impacting other people, then it might be time for them to find other work.
Keeping an employee on who is miserable doing what he’s doing is not only a disservice to the company, its employees and customers, it’s a disservice to the employee himself.
Steve Jobs famously said:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
The best, most productive people don’t think to themselves, “Thank God it’s Friday!” They are thankful they get to do work they love and that they were born to do.
Most people don’t see themselves in a position to quit a job they’re not passionate about. After all, that job pays the bills and puts food on the table. For people who want more fulfilling work, I encourage them to start small. Experiment with things they love to do and find a way to turn those passions into a side hustle.
Find something you’re passionate about and it’ll never feel like work.
This article was written by Ian Altman from Forbes.