There is a common misconception that top performances are the result of hard-work. It’s assumed that, as long as we hire people with exceptional work-ethic, they’ll succeed. While this assumption may be true from time to time, it isn’t hard-work that dictates success. There’s another crucial variable that’s mandatory for every great performance. Passion. It’s often overlooked and misunderstood by hiring managers. It doesn’t matter how meticulous, dedicated, or smart your employees are, if they aren’t passionate about the work you need them to do – they won’t produce exceptional results.

Now, I’m not suggesting that without passion your employees will crash and burn. There are plenty of people who will do their work as instructed and produce mediocre results. Large enterprises can afford to keep ordinary performers on the payroll – in many ways, they don’t need overachievers, do-ers are good enough. However, if you’re a manager with a small company, you need see the sparks before you hire. Passion is contagious and infects your team; it elevates your brand and aspires to excellence.

So, how do you search for passion in prospective employees? You have to look past the resume. Use your interviews to probe for personal interests, excitement, and a connection with what your company does. Skillsets can be taught; they come and they go. What you need is someone who wants your business to succeed as badly as you do. That individual may not have the ideal experience. They may not have the track-record or numbers to boast their success, but they’ll put in as much time and effort as you need.

Don’t be seduced by what people can do, look for what they want to do. Choose wisely.