How To Identify and Hire Passionate Employees

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're passionate about your company, you probably want to hire employees that share that same passion too. A passionate team can have a direct impact on a company's operation and quality of products or services. Hiring passionate employees can be a smooth process when you have the right resources. In this article, we discuss the benefits of passionate employees, how to spot and encourage passion in your current employees and how to hire new passionate employees for your company.

What are the benefits of hiring passionate employees?

Passionate employees can bring numerous benefits to your company such as reduced employee turnover, increased productivity, helping other team members improve their conduct, exceptional customer service and an increased chance they'll stay with the company in the future. Passionate employees also tend to handle stress and obstacles well, work extra hours as needed, stay focused on their objectives and continuously hone their skills. All of these characteristics can propel your business forward while providing your customers with the best experience possible.

Related: 9 Qualities of a Good Employee

How to identify passion in your employees

Here are some attributes you can use to identify passion in employees:

  • Curiosity. Someone who is passionate may be unafraid to ask questions or challenge an idea that they think could use reconsideration. Curious people also usually value clarity for pursuing their passion.

  • Adaptability. Passionate employees are usually extremely motivated to meet requirements and submit their best work, even if it means adapting to difficult conditions to complete a project or deliverable.

  • Motivating or helping others. You can sometimes measure passion by witnessing employees taking extra effort to help and motivate their team. Passionate people often enjoy sharing their expertise with others and can even extend help by taking on extra work.

  • Achievement motivation. Those who are passionate about their work often strive to be the best at what they do, which means they may earn numerous awards for their achievements. If your employee is constantly achieving their goals or receiving recognition for their efforts, they are probably a passionate individual.

How can you encourage passion in your employees?

Here are a few tips to help you encourage passion in your employees:

  • Communicate with your employees. Asking how your employees feel at work can prevent disengagement by showing that you actually care about their opinion and wellbeing. You can also communicate with employees about the office environment such as lighting and employee workspace size to encourage adequate productivity and make sure your employees are happy in their work setting.

  • Build a passionate work culture. Your company, if possible, can encourage employees to work on projects that interest them and connect with others in their field. Employees that love what they do can attract new candidates and even inspire passion in existing employees.

  • Connect with your employees and encourage them to connect with each other. Your team can become much more engaged when they share interests, skills and passion for common goals. One way to achieve this is by letting employees choose what projects to work on and connect with their team members. After the completed project, you can ask for feedback and create other projects based on the comments you receive.

  • Reward achievements. You can reward your employees for achievements to encourage them to experiment and keep working hard, which can make them feel appreciated when they know that your company is ready to recognize them for their accomplishments. A reward system can encourage initiative and teamwork through compensation such as giving employees opportunities to attend professional conferences and skill workshops, extra days off or monetary bonuses.

Related: How To Engage Employees

How to hire passionate employees

Here are a few steps your company can take to hire passionate employees:

1. Pay attention to awards, hobbies and volunteer opportunities on candidates' resumes

One way to gauge a candidate's passion for their work before the interview process is by observing what information they choose to include on their resume. Numerous high marks in their awards and achievements section can signify that they are a hard worker that excels at what they do.

A candidate's hobbies and volunteer opportunities can also give some insight into their other passions and can give clues to what their work attitude may be like. For example, someone applying for a job at a health care organization may include that they volunteer at a local hospital reading books to children. This can let the employer know that the candidate is truly passionate about their work and can positively impact the lives of the people the organization serves.

2. Call the references listed on a candidate's resume

Another helpful way to gauge a candidate's passion is by calling or emailing the references listed on their resume. If the resume states references are available by request, you can ask the candidate to supply you with that information. You can ask references questions about the candidate's passion, work ethic, achievements or general opinion about the candidate. Sometimes another person's opinion about a candidate you've never met can be a helpful resource to use before requesting an interview.

3. Use behavioral assessment tools

Behavioral assessment tools can help determine if a candidate is the right fit for your company. They also allow you to prioritize candidates that respond well to these quizzes or surveys. These tools can measure how a candidate acts in certain situations, how they interact with coworkers and their enthusiasm for their work. Behavioral assessment tools can be used online as the last step before submitting an application or they can be sent as emails later on in the hiring process.

Read more: 14 Benefits of Using a Behavioral Assessment for Recruiting

4. Ask specific questions during the interview

If your candidate has made it to the interview phase, it's important to ask them questions with keywords such as "how" or "why" instead of "what." You can see "what" they've done on their resume, but it's important to ask why or how they achieved those things. This is one way you can gauge how passionate someone is about their work. Here are some questions you can ask during the interview:

  • Why do you want to work for our company?

  • What motivates you?

  • How do you define success?

  • What makes you excited about this role?

  • What do you think you/we can do better?

You can also ask the candidate about their hobbies, interests and volunteer opportunities. If they are excited to tell you, they are probably a passionate person. People who are passionate about other elements of their life often carry that passion with them to work too.

Related: How To Structure Interview Questions

5. Observe candidates' body language during the interview

You can learn useful information about a person by how they present themselves and how they interact with you or others. You can gauge their passion and confidence by how they explain their achievements or talk about their interests, if they maintain eye contact with you or if they seem restless during the interview. If they seem excited and engaged, they may be a good candidate for your company.

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