Skills, Passion and Execution – Tips for Hiring Managers

Career DevelopmentPersonal BrandingReputation Management

Hire for Smarts.

Dig for Passion.

Look for proof of Execution.

When hiring someone … or looking for a job yourself … these are three things you should be aware of and using to insure you find the right fit or are the right fit.

These are especially true whether you are freelancing, consulting or otherwise engaged in what used to be consider non-traditional aspects of the workforce. Today you ability to use your smarts, to show and share your passion, and your ability to highlight your ability to execute has never been easier.

Think about your LinkedIn profile here. If you need help insuring your LinkedIn profile is helping you and your efforts there are a lot of resources out there. Here is one post I wrote for Elite Daily. The point is … it has never been easier to communicate your expertise.

Three things hiring managers should look for:

  • Smarts
  • Passion
  • Execution

You can train for skills and expertise. But you can’t train for passion and you can’t build execution. When it comes to passion and execution they need to be sort of built-in and part of the person. People either have it … or they don’t. This doesn’t mean they aren’t passionate for something.

The best advice I could give anyone is to spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life.
~ Sir Richard Branson

Can execution be learned?

Yes, but the innate ability needs to be there first. As I wrote about here in Tips for Developing your Quantified Self where the idea was to allow people to track, manage and show what they’ve done. Execution is a habit. Execution is something people just do.

Can some aspects of execution be learned? YES! But, there needs to be a fire-in-the-belly to keep people charging forward and executing to the utmost of their ability.

Can you train for passion?

Not really. People are passionate about different things. It’s up to a hiring manager to find out what those passion points are. Then seek to hire for those passion points. Or align them to a different role. Or … kick ‘em to the curb.This last point is harsh, but in the grand scheme of things it’s better to hire someone that will care about the role.

Can this play into the semi-tirade about Millennials wanting and expecting to be entertained and promoted rapidly within any organization they join?

Sure, but the fact is that might be their passion. Sometimes passions are unfounded and untenable.

Square Peg Round Hole

It’s rarely worth the time for hiring manager to try and squeeze passions or squeeze specific execution skills into the wrong package. The end result might work for a while, but too often it doesn’t last and both sides are left with something less than desired.

Find the job that is the EXACT MATCH … then apply.
~Don Dodge, Google

This is a Two-Way Street

It’s also incumbent and important that the candidate takes the time to realize what their passions are and how to align them with their skills and their ability to execute.

Then be honest with yourself and with the hiring manager. If you don’t have the skills, the passion or the ability to execute in a specific role … walk away.

Think about this and answer honestly:
Have you ever walked away from a role because it just wasn’t quite the right fit? 

Is this too Pie-in-the-Sky?

As I read this back to myself I thought this might come across as too idealistic and perhaps it is. However, in this day and age there are people from all walks of life and all generations that bring skills, passion and an ability to execute. These people will keep coming, seemingly out of the woodwork, because of the Internet. Today it is easier than ever before to put yourself out there. To share what you know and to engage with people that are half a world away … all in real-time.

Whether you are hiring or applying for roles I suggest you take these three points into consideration. From my experience these three points will provide a solid foundation upon which to evaluate candidates and roles.

  • Hire for Smarts.
  • Dig for Passion.
  • Look for Proof of Execution.

If you are a hiring manager, recruiter or otherwise interested and invested in the process of identifying and bringing great candidates into the right role please share your tips and best practices here. Inquiring minds want to know.