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Passionate Employees: Why You Need Them, How to Find Them

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Passionate employees = Quality business

It’s probably not a long shot to surmise that every company has listed somewhere at the forefront of its mission statement something along the lines of ‘to provide the best quality product or service possible.’  The definition of “quality” can be different for different companies, but when it comes to implementing quality, one thing MUST be constant: passionate employees.

How to assess for passion

But how do you know what to look for when interviewing for passionate employees?  Passionate employees don’t have a special certification on their resume, or show up to the interview wearing telltale pieces of flair.

As Kathy Marshall, Decision Toolbox’s Director of Quality and Training, blogged recently, you can interview for certain behaviors characteristic of passion by the kinds of questions you ask:

  • How do you tap into your entrepreneurial spirit when you care for your client? (the ideal response: “Well, there are so many examples I could share . . .”).
  • Using examples, give me an idea of how you respond to quality issues raised by a client (you’re looking for something like, “Those are the kinds of challenges I love to sink my teeth into!”)

Decision Toolbox CEO Kim Shepherd calls this concept “finding Colonels with potential.”  Kim’s advice is rather than go out and search for your next General, to instead hire people with potential, preferring energy and enthusiasm over experience any day.   Colonels with potential have passion and something to prove – both to themselves and to you.  Their passion will drive themselves and everyone around them to up their game.

Passionate employees interview differently

Ben Peterson of Bamboo HR  offers some additional advice on identifying your next passionate employee:

  • It won’t feel much like an interview. An interview with passionate candidates should be more like a conversation you could have with anyone with whom you share an interest.
  • They’re asking questions. They’re not just reading a script and asking standard questions they Googled before they started the interview.
  • They back up how excited they are about their industry. Are applicants following industry trends? Do they study them out and follow thought-leader blogs and articles?
  • They’re talking you into loving their work, too. If your applicant is as passionate about their industry as they’re telling you, then they’ll be trying to convince you to care too (if you don’t already).
  • They believe work should be fun. Passionate people can get lost in their work. It’s hard to make them not enjoy it.
  • They’re truly happy people. Those who have actually followed their hearts are happier.
  • They’re unstoppable. Ask applicants what setbacks and challenges they’ve experienced in the past within their industry. They should be able to regale you with stories about when they found a way to defeat a problem.

You can’t meet your quality goals without having the passionate employees to drive business results.  Once you identify your Colonels with potential, move quickly and don’t let them get away.  Your business, your customers, and your culture need that passion, and you won’t regret taking the extra effort to find it.

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One Response to “Passionate Employees: Why You Need Them, How to Find Them”

  1. September 26, 2014 at 4:00 am, MARYROSE STANSLAUS BAREGU said:

    I enjoyed the article expect to get more on correspondence for future business.


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