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Blog>Guides>How to Find Employees Who Are Passionate About Working for Your Company

How to Find Employees Who Are Passionate About Working for Your Company

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  • Passionate employees are a valuable part of any company, as they’re more engaged with the work they’re doing and more productive than their co-workers with less passion for the field.
  • Hiring managers and recruiters can find creative ways to tap into a pool of passionate workers, including considering the company’s best customers, asking for employee referrals, and reassessing your company’s job application process.
  • Use your interview with a candidate to gauge their passion for the work by asking the right question, paying attention to body language, and getting an understanding of who they are by inquiring about outside passions and hobbies.


Good employees are extremely valuable for businesses of any size and in any field, as they’re smart, engaged in the work, interested in self-improvement, and highly productive.

Sounds great, right? Now, here’s the bad news: Only about 20% of American workers are passionate about what they do. This means the other 80% are not only less passionate about their jobs, but they’re also likely not to contribute as much to their workplace.

This means your business needs to put significant thought and effort into engaging potential employees who are passionate about your company’s mission and work. This article will walk you through finding employees who are brimming with passion to fill open positions.

How Important Are Passionate Employees?

Workers who are passionate about their company and engaged in the work they’re doing are 21% more productive than other employees. In the long run, this means greater profits and better customer ratings for your company because they provide higher-quality work. These workers are more reliable, dependable, and driven, as well. So, as you recruit employees, consider looking for the qualities listed in the sections below in new hires.

However, it’s not all about what a passionate employee can bring to your team. You can’t afford to hire employees who are disengaged workers. They tend to cost employers about $3,400 for every $10,000 they’re paid because of lost productivity — and cost the U.S. economy about $350 billion each year.

Smart hiring and recognizing prospective employees with a passion for work can avoid this loss and turnover, making sure you bring the right hire on board.

How to Find Passionate Employees

Passionate employees can be your company’s most valuable assets, but how do you recruit them? Below are some ways to find the right new hires for your business.

Consider Your Company’s Best Customers

If you’re truly looking for workers who are passionate about your company, consider hiring your best customers. They already love your brand and are loyal to your business.


They also come with some institutional knowledge, as they already understand your products or services and feel an affinity toward them. This means they’ll be easier to train and will likely be brought up to speed faster during onboarding. As customers, they might have previously interacted with your team, which could make for an easier training and transition process.

Any time saved during the training process means your new hire will get to work and be more productive sooner. What that boils down to is more profits for your company.

Customers who become employees also have unique insight into your company and the customer experience based on their personal interactions with your brand. They could have useful feedback on how you might make improvements to your business in the long run.

Use Employee Referrals

If you’re struggling to find dedicated new hires, consider reaching out to your best, most passionate employees for referrals. These workers likely know other intelligent, dedicated workers who will make excellent hires, which can only lift your brand up.

The stats about employee referrals say it all, too. Employee referrals are four times more likely to be hired and considered the right fit for the job. Also, more than 80% of employers believe that employee referrals are the “best sources for generating a return on investment.”

Workers who are suggested by current employees also have a longer stay in a position. Referrals tend to have a higher retention rate and usually stay with a company for at least four years, if not longer. Meanwhile, employees found through other means generally stay for about two years.

There are a lot of reasons to reach out to current workers when looking for potential candidates. For an additional incentive, offer a referral bonus to employees who suggest smart, savvy, reliable hires who stick around for a specific amount of time.

Reassess Your Job Application Process

If you really want to build a team of employees who love their work and are passionate about your company’s services, it all starts with how you recruit and hire workers. Reevaluate your job application process and recruiting strategies, as it’s the first time potential employees usually interact with your company. You’ll also want to make the most of this hiring process so you can truly get a good feel for a candidate.


When advertising your position, beef up your job ad — from your job title to your job description — so it captures the spirit of your company and the passion your team has for its work. An equally passionate candidate will be drawn to this. If your job ad is lifeless and lackluster with little feel for the work you’re doing and why it’s important, you might not recruit the type of workers you want. If you use the right words to capture what your company and the position are all about, the ad will turn up during search engine searches for the right candidates.

Also, ask a specific question or two in your job posting that you’d like job applicants to address, something that will help you feel out whether they’re passionate about your field. Ask “why” questions rather than “how” or “what” to get the answers you’re looking for. The same goes when it comes time for screening or interviewing qualified candidates. Those “why” questions will provide some insight into their passion for the work.

This recruitment process is also a time for your company to shine when interacting with the most desirable candidates. Give them a true feel for your company culture and passion for your field every step of the way. As a business owner, make sure your company website is updated and reflects your passion for the work. They want to know you’re a good fit for them just as much as you want to understand if they’re the right candidate.

Examine What Your Company Has to Offer

If you want to hire the right new employees, think about what your company has to offer — such as your environment, values, benefits, etc. — and what type of people these perks might appeal to.

Workers who truly care about what they do are always interested in improving themselves and learning more about their field. Your company’s culture should offer them opportunities to better themselves and their work whenever possible.

Encourage them to work across teams and learn new skills. Allow them to work on the projects that align with their interests and goals — you’ll get better work from them, and they’ll be happier. If they’re interested in connecting with others in your field through conferences, networking events, or other means, don’t turn them down. And if they have educational goals and an interest in learning new skills, help them pursue the classes, workshops, and other opportunities that will help get them there.

How to Evaluate Job Candidates for Passion

As you consider candidates and move them through an applicant tracking system (ATS), look for their passion for the work as much as their experience, skills, and capabilities. Below are some tips for evaluating candidates for passion.

Understand Their Motives for Past Positions

A candidate’s motives can reflect their passion for the work. We’ve already established that asking a “why” question in your job ad can provide a better understanding of candidates’ passion when they reflect on that question in their cover letter.

The same goes when you’re screening a recruit or interviewing them. Try to get to the “why” of their accomplishments or even of their past positions. What was their drive? What motivated them? Were they simply going through the motions and just needed any job? Or were they engaged workers drawn to and inspired by their previous work? Also, why are they looking for a new job opportunity?

This should lead to other questions about why they were drawn to your position and why they think they’d be a good fit for the job.

Observe Body Language

Observing the body language of a candidate is a powerful assessment tool during the recruiting process. How a person carries themselves during the interview process can say a lot about their passion for the position and the work your company does.


Look for nonverbal physical clues as to who they are as a worker and how they might feel about the job, your company, and the interview. Are they smiling throughout the interview? Do they seem excited and happy to have the opportunity? Do their eyes light up when they talk about their work and accomplishments?

A head tilt indicates a candidate is taking an interest in what you have to say. It shows that they’re actively listening to you during your conversation and is a sign of engagement.

Their posture is also another giveaway of how they might be feeling about the interview. A person who is slouching is showing signs of disinterest. A more passionate worker is likely to lean in when talking about topics they’re excited about.

A person’s eyes can say a lot about what they’re thinking and who they are as a candidate, as well. A person looking directly at you while discussing the position is interested — an active participant. If they aren’t looking right at you, this can say a number of things about them, including that they’re disinterested and less passionate about the job.

Learn About Their Hobbies and Other Passions

If you’re looking for a passionate worker, ask about their hobbies and interests outside of work. Maybe they’re writing a novel. Maybe they volunteer at a local homeless shelter every weekend. Maybe they play in a softball league.

If they’re passionate about outside interests, that’s a cue that they can be passionate about your company’s work, as well. You want to know that they get fired up about the things they do, whether it’s at work or in their own time. Their hobbies are an indicator that they’re not the kind of person to run on autopilot.

Passion is a character trait, and you want to see that the potential employee is demonstrating passion off the clock, as well. By having interests and hobbies, candidates show you that they’re capable of being passionate workers in the office, as well.


These outside passions come in handy in other surprising ways, too. Depending on what the candidate’s hobby or interest is, it puts them out there in the world, providing an opportunity for them to network and meet other people. Successful employees excel at building connections, even when they’re not at work.

A job seeker’s hobbies are also an indicator of how good they are at learning new skills and applying them to what they’re doing. Even if they’re unrelated to the field, their interests show that they take the initiative to learn and improve, which is a trait any hiring manager wants to see in a worker.

Ask the Right Questions to Gauge Their Interest

Your best interview questions will help you gauge a job seeker’s character and enthusiasm for their work. While you want to know about a potential hire’s accomplishments, that’s laid out before you on their resume and in their cover letter.

When interviewing them, dig deeper, try to understand what makes them tick, and assess whether they’ll be a good cultural fit for your company. As you ask questions, note moments when they seem most enthusiastic and emotional about the topic they’re speaking about.

Below are some potential questions to ask a candidate:

  • Why did you choose this field? This is a fairly simple question that helps you understand a candidate’s personal backstory and can provide an indication of their passion for the field. Look for physical cues when asking this to gauge their interest.
  • How do you stay up to date in this field? Passionate workers are constantly learning and improving their skills. When asking this question, an employee who has a passion for the field should be eager to share how they stay updated on industry news and techniques.
  • What is your most satisfying career moment? Asking a job candidate about when they were most satisfied with their work is an opportunity for them to show their passion. It will also give you an understanding of what they might need to be happy with the position.
  • Describe a challenging situation you’ve faced during your career and how you tackled it. This is a classic interview question, but one that’s ripe for gauging a candidate’s passion for the work. Asking them to discuss a challenging moment in their career is likely to elicit an emotional reaction and provide an understanding of how passionate they are.

Joblist Helps You Find Candidates Who Love What They Do

If you’re looking for some of the most passionate candidates out there, Joblist is here to help! Post your opportunity to Joblist, and we’ll make sure your job listing turns up for candidates who are specifically looking for the type of work your company offers.

We stand out from other job sites by offering personalized online job searches to those searching our site, matching each candidate’s unique set of goals, interests, skills, and experiences with job openings. This means that the most serious candidates will find your job ad and you’ll have a greater pool of talented, passionate workers to consider during the hiring process.

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