What is the most important trait to look for when hiring new employees? Is is an enterprising, creative spirit? Is it a strong work ethic and a pragmatic approach to the workplace? Let me put it to you that it is in fact how driven the employee is that makes the most difference in their output and commitment to your company. Sure, they may have a real nose-to-the-grind-stone outlook for the first 6 months, but if they lack passion for the work then they are missing the key ingredient for sustained, long term performance.
At this point you might be saying “But everyone tries to seem passionate during their job interview. How do I even start looking for passionate hires?” For a little help, we’ll use Deloitte’s article on “The Passion of the Explorer” (basically their blueprint of perfect employee passion). According to them, passion is made up of the following 3 characteristics: a long term commitment to a specific domain (goal oriented and unruffled by short term turbulence), a questing disposition (always seeking knowledge from new challenges) and a connecting disposition (tendency to form strong, trust based relationships). Apparently, 79% of employees that surveyors found to be passionate said that they were working for their “dream organization” even if they were not in their “dream position”. Clearly, these traits correspond to comitted, happy employees.
As hard as passion may be to quantify, it is one of the most valuable attributes that you can hope for in an employee. By encouraging your passionate employees and hiring people that share their drive for business, you’ll get more out of your team than you ever expected.