Hire Passion, Not Experience

There is an ocean of people out there that would like to work for your organization. The challenge is, finding the right people. I only have one hard and fast rule; hire people who are passionate about your organization’s mission, not people who have experience solving the problems that you might be facing. If, for example, you find someone that has both of those qualities, then all the better, but passion trumps experience any day.

As an example, The Library Project is looking to expand our fundraising team. We’ve been on the fence regarding bringing one particular team member on. She has been interning in our office over the past month and has been doing great things, but she has no “real world” experience working at an International Nonprofit Organization. Tomorrow we’re going to make her an offer. Why? What changed?

She demonstrated that she is passionate about our organization and our organization’s mission. She says things like, “My dream job is to work at The Library Project,” and she proactively provides ideas that she would like to implement at the organization. Now, honestly, not all of her ideas are appropriate, but it’s that she believes in herself enough to say, “Hey, I have an idea, here it is, what do you think?” That is rare, and if you find that quality, then ignore it at your own peril.

Team members with very little or no experience, but who are passionate about your organization’s mission, should not be overlooked.