Ambition and Ability in Sales Staff
When Hiring Sales Staff, Know the Difference Between Ambition and Ability
In a nut shell, ambition is wanting more whereas ability is the drive and skillset needed to get the job done. An ideal candidate will have both the ambition and ability needed for a specific job because you just can’t have one without the other.
Why is ambition important? Ambition is a strong desire to achieve a goal even in the face of hard work. It is perseverance. It is determination. It is grit. However, a skilled recruiter will look to see how well a candidate’s ambition balances with ability. Why is ability important? Ability is possessing the means to achieve that goal. A couch potato may want to go from sofa to completing a marathon overnight, but, no matter how deep his determination is, he has to earn the ability and sometimes ability comes with years upon years of training and experience.
Before interviewing a candidate, it is important to verify ability not just by reading over the applicant’s CV, but by contacting universities and previous employers to fact check. Thousands upon thousands of people admit to successfully exaggerating or even outright lying on their CV for a job.
Ability can be determined based on the candidate’s work history and education, but a skilled recruiter will look beyond the basic information and dig deeper before even getting to the point of an interview. Once a candidate is selected for an interview, the interviewer will ask key questions that challenge the candidate to prove ability — questions that, for example, may put the interviewee in a hypothetical work-related situation that needs problem-solving.
Ambition is Needed
Yet, ability is not the only factor when deciding on the right candidate. Ambition is not everything, but it is so important that it can, in some cases, outweigh ability. If a candidate, when asked to predict his job future, shows a lack of drive and determination, it may be a sign that his ability alone is not enough for the position. A person may have all the skill in the world, but without determination and motivation, nothing gets done.
Ambition creates motivation and motivation creates production. Highly skilled employees without ambition will not produce, but a determination-bound employee with a lack of skill may produce poor work. This is why it is so important for recruiters to find a healthy balance of ambition and ability.