Find the Passion! September 27, 2022
I just finished the final interview, and hiring, of a new member for Team Cleinman. I’ve known this individual for many years. She’s been a community leader and had been working for a local radio station for 30 years, through several different owners. Much to her surprise, recently her position was eliminated in a downsizing. As I’m pretty visible in our small town, she came to me asking for advice on her next career move.
As we talked over morning coffee, I began to recognize that she had some talent and experience that might be a good fit for our firm. Following up on our personal chat, I suggested a formal interview with us. As that interview progressed, I conceived of a new position that will connect her talents with our mission. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. I’m excited about the addition of an experienced individual whose talents will be well received by our team and our clients. She clearly has the experience and skill for this new opportunity and will be a great cultural fit in our organization.
As CEO of my enterprise, my hiring opportunities are somewhat limited. I’m heavily delegated. Each of my department leads are responsible for the hiring and development of their people assets. I’m certainly involved with key positions, but generally only as the final adjudicator of cultural fit. In this case, as this was a new position, I took an opportunistic approach and handled the hiring personally.
When we were done with the final interview, my CFO, who joined with me for this process, commented about the new addition. “I can tell that she has been completely committed to her former role and will do well with us,” she said. “SHE’S GOT PASSION!”
I thought about my CFO’s comment. At Cleinman Performance Partners, we seek individuals who are intelligent, organized, committed and collaborative. But that word, passion, has stuck with me. And as I thought about that attribute, I wondered how often you think about passion in your hiring processes. All to often, we observe hiring in optometry practices as simply hoping a candidate will apply that can walk and talk. “Sally quit and we need a front-desk person! Who’s next on the list? Can she start tomorrow? Your hiring is typically reactive. For many practices, the interviewing and onboarding process is not very sophisticated. And we hear all the time how difficult it is to find and retain good employees. Perhaps your process is at fault?
In today’s full-employment environment, people are no longer looking for a job…they want a career with a firm, and a mission, with which they can connect. Like this new team member, they want to be passionate about their work. The demand for good people is high. She had the choice of several opportunities. What made the difference? Why choose us? Her conclusion was that we offered a chance for her to grow and further develop her skills.
My CFO has it right. You see, at Cleinman Performance Partners, we’re passionate about our work and our team. It comes across in our discussions with clients…and prospective team members. The word can be used to describe each of our team members. We don’t have jobs…we have callings. Our passion to helping our clients both recognize and realize all their possibilities comes through. Passion to understand. Passion to solve. Passion to do the right thing by our clients. Passion!
So, the next time you find yourself interviewing a candidate for a position, look for their passion. What floats their boat? What descriptors generate energy? What would they be doing if money weren’t a factor? When you marry their passionate interests with those of your own, you’ll have an employee that represents your brand…and sticks around.
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