When hiring someone, motivation is more important than qualification.


08 Sep

Inspiration is a real thing.  Don’t disregard it.  If you’re hiring a writer, designer, salesperson, assistant, or any type of freelancer, don’t make the mistake of deciding solely based on their qualifications. Find someone inspired. Email LetsDoIt@BossContent.net and tell us about your project.

Inspiration is a kind of energy that makes it possible for people to feel motivated. They’re only motivated when they feel inspired.  Many struggle every morning just to get inspired enough to get out of bed.  But they do, because the origin of all inspiration and motivation is need.

Needs change over time, so inspiration rises and falls. If you search for the most qualified person, you might make a costly mistake. Don’t just settle for someone who is qualified. Choose someone who really wants and needs the gig.

Qualifications are useless if the person has become too complacent to apply them.

Over the years, I noticed something that should have been obvious from the start.  When a qualified person lacks motivation, her/his qualifications and skills are inoperable.  But when an unqualified person is highly motivated, s/he can become qualified.  And if you understand deeply, you know that the only way to successfully hire someone is to catch them during part of their process where they are open to learning something new.

When a person has a lot of experience/qualification, that person’s accomplishments will bring lots of opportunities and s/he will have less incentive to go the extra mile for you. It’s ironic, but that’s how it goes.  The best freelancers are the ones who learn to manage their own inspiration and going the extra mile because they are enjoying their work.

When you hire someone, don’t you want it to be someone who will enjoy the work?  That’s the only way they can have intrinsic motivation.  It’s stressful for you to hire someone, because you don’t want to get someone who does a mediocre job.  You don’t want to have mediocre success and a mediocre life.

I’m a freelancer who hires freelancers, and I know what it’s like to be highly motivated, trying to do a great job for every client.  I also know what it’s like to become complacent and unmotivated!  So, when I hire a freelancer I need to remind myself…

A highly motivated freelancer can become qualified.  

Effective hiring is all about empowering people and helping them take their freelance work to the next level. Don’t ignore proposals from freelancers who lack experience. Maybe you set out to hire the most experienced person, but the most experienced/qualified person is almost always someone who has too many other opportunities, so they might lack motivation.

Every one of us becomes a totally different person every morning. Instead of hiring the perfect person, hire the perfect process. Find someone who is in the process of growth and creativity.  Find someone who is so motivated that they are willing to learn whatever you need them to learn.

For example, if you hire an expensive Social Media Manager with a lot of experience, that person might have a lot of clients and a particular way of doing things.  Do you think s/he will take the time to learn the perfect way to promote your particular brand to your unique target market?  Maybe.  But it’s also possible that you’ll do better if you hire someone who is still learning.  Try hiring someone who is a self-taught social media freelancer, hustling to build a clientele.  That person will go the extra mile.

Someone who is still learning is always motivated.  If s/he wasn’t motivated, s/he wouldn’t be learning.  Someone who is still learning is also unqualified in some ways.  After many years, this person will be less unqualified and consequently have less incentive to learn.  With a large clientele, s/he is less inclined to go the extra mile for any single client, because there are only so many hours in the week.

If you are a big spender, you can pay extra and get more time from the highly qualified person, but even in that scenario you need to really use your intuition and decide if the person is truly motivated. Decide if the person is inspired.  Is this person going to enjoy working with you and really try hard to make the project successful?

Keep this a secret!  Don’t tell people “I’m looking for someone motivated” when you post an ad.

Looking at ads for freelance gigs, I see a lot of them written by people who actually explain this stuff in the ad.  “I’m looking for someone highly motivated.” Don’t tell people that.  If you tell them that, they’ll act more motivated than they really are.  Don’t tell them anything that will influence how they present themselves when they bid on the job.  Let them choose how they present themselves, and then use your intuition to decide who is motivated enough to do the job.