In his recent blog post on Upstart, Definity Partner’s Ray Attiyah talks about the benefits of hiring for passion as opposed to (strictly skills) for startups. WE might argue that this would hold true for any hire. Certainly, requisite skills cannot be ignored, especially when the job role calls for technical capability that no amount of “passion” will supplant. However, the point is that, given a choice between hiring someone with basic skills and lots of passion for the corporate goals, versus someone who has more refined skills yet little interest in the overall vision and mission of the company – go for the passion.
Skills can be improved and learned; passion for the vision is more difficult to instill. Sure, one might acquire it over time; but if someone is interested in something else, they will always be scanning for opportunities (whether they know it or not) to pursue them. It is better to get a good fit – passion, work style, personality (with respect to fitting into the team/company climate) – than a highly skilled square peg for a round hole.