Is Passion Overrated?

Passionate Person

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Some companies concentrate on hiring people that are passionate about 1) what they do personally and 2) what the company does.

Companies like Google or Apple come to mind. It probably wouldn’t make sense for Apple to hire someone who has never used an Apple computer or an iPhone or someone who did have an iPhone but wasn’t all that thrilled about it.

Google zeroes in on passionate candidates because they know passion drives innovation, and Google is determined to be much more than a search engine.

Some companies, however, are not concerned about passion overall, but for certain positions they want to see great quantities of it.

For example, hiring a sales person.

For this position, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little something to your hiring ad:

“Faint-of-heart need not apply.”

Or

“Please do not apply unless you had a lemonade stand at the age of five.”

But here’s another interesting perspective: what about the person whose passion was awakened or ignited—don’t you just love those two terms—when they got going on a new job AND when they began the job, they had no real inkling they’d even enjoy doing it. I mean, passion starts somewhere, right? Sometimes a completely different job or type of job will bring this out of us.

So I’d say “passion” is a variable quality. If you’re selling shoes, it’d be great to have a salesperson passionate about what a shoe looks like on each and every person in front of them. Even to the point where the salesperson could say, “Oh no. That is absolutely not you.” The prospective customer may respond back with, “Well, thank you for being so honest!” And ten minutes later a shoe sale is made with the right shoe.

But are you always going to find that passionate shoe salesperson? Or hygienist? Or billings and collections person?

Not always. So, hold out as long as you can for passion, but remember, with the right person, you could very well create a bit of this infectious quality as things move along.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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About Stan Dubin