September 25, 2006

Passion

A follow up on Hiring - some organizations will have the best process to select the candidates based on technical skills, only to realize  fallouts on other fronts. One front that I believe we typically lack formal review during the interviews is how passionate is the interviewee. A candidate can be a good fit technically, but organizations like ours need go-getters, or people going beyond what they are asked to do. Problem solving questions will not help you much identify passion in your candidates, they will help you assess the raw talent/intelligence. Erik Sink
wrote a great essay along the same lines. In his equation I would replace the L(learning) variable for P(passion), which to me represent better the successful candidates at Macadamian. The calculus equation is now:
Successful candidate = G + Pt
  • G = gift out of the factory, how intelligent one is, the raw talent
  • P = drive, desire to make things happen, look beyond, learn, take on challenges
  • t = time
Initially our interview process must really assess G, but over time (t), the amount of P one has is more and more important, this is what the first derivative tells us. So assessing P is very important to finding good long term candidates for our oragnization.

How does one go about assessing Passion? A lot of it is in the unsaid, the reaction of a candidate to a question they can't answer, or one they got wrong, are they willing to dig more, fight it out - it's the job of the interviewer to dig, a wrong answer or no answer can tell you a lot about someone. Understanding how does one go about finding out what he/she doesn't know, and how bad they want it is where the questioning must be taking place. Doing full circle to my initial post on hiring - Bringing the candidate and your interviewer on the same playing field is key to find a good fit, whether it is talking about warcraft or monopoly!

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