Owning a business can be a challenging endeavor. Is your product or service relevant? Can you compete with the companies out there who are doing similar work? While these questions are paramount in the success of your business, it’s also critical to focus on your employees.
Hiring the right people can make a big difference in the outcome of your sales and your success. You may be steering the ship; but your employees are lifting the sails, testing the wind, and picking the the paddles to veer your boat to safety.
Passion is the fundamental key in retaining employees in the long run. When employees feel fulfilled by their jobs, they’re happier and more inclined not only to stay, but to progress the the company as a whole. What does this look like? A salaried employee might pull late nights to complete an exciting project. A seasoned teammate might take extra time to mentor a new employee. You see high participation in group gatherings and work events.
All these examples are signs that your company is fueled by people who enjoy their job and whose missions align with the business. So, the next question naturally arises. What’s the best way to find these people?
State Your Values Early
When you are planning or leading the interview, one of the best things to discuss with the applicant is the vision or mission of your company. Take the time to talk about the history and what makes your business unique. Why are you proud to work there? What excites you about the product or service you sell? You’ll be able to assess the interest level of the applicant during this portion. Keep your eyes out for thoughtful questions or signs that the applicant has spent time researching the company. This can be a positive indicator that a similar passion exists!
What’s Your Passion?
There’s nothing wrong about veering off the path of traditional interview questions. Of course, you’ll want to talk about their previous work history and how they’ll use their previous skills in the current position. But, what about digging deeper? This is a person who could be spending a lot of time with you and your team. How can you be sure they’ll be the right fit?
Take the time to ask them questions that are related to their values or mission. What did they find fulfilling in their previous role? What are their favorite interests outside of work?
If you’re looking to suss out competence and passion, try this exercise. Ask the applicant to think of something they can do very well outside of work. This could be cooking a favorite recipe, riding a bike, planting a flower. Now, ask them to teach you how to do this activity. Encourage them to break down the process step-by-step.
This is a fantastic exercise not only to test the communication skills of an applicant, but you’ll be able to get to know them on a more personal level. Bonus points to the applicant who goes above and beyond the traditional steps. For example, if they offer a secret or tip to the event they’re describing, this is an excellent sign that they’re passionate innovators.
Combating Nervous Energy
Beware of nervous energy. It can scare off the interviewer who might see this lack of confidence as a warning sign that he or she will not be a good fit. While there is merit in this response, nervous energy can also suggest the interviewee’s excitement for the job. Do your best allow the interview to move freely in conversation. It’s quite possible that the applicant is so excited by this opportunity that he or she is unable to speak confidently. You don’t want to miss out on a passionate leader who is consumed by the weight of the interview!
When you find employees who are passionate about the work they are doing, you’ve struck gold. To learn more about ways you help motivate your employees or enact better hiring process, contact Stephen Koppekin of Koppekin Consulting, Inc.
The right hire has the power to transform your entire business. It’s well-worth the time and effort to seek out the right leaders during the interview process.