How to hire the right people – Competence vs Commitment

An evolving startup won’t flourish until a great set of right employees are by the side of an aspiring entrepreneur. Steve Jobs quoted years ago, “People who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones are the ones who do it”. This inspiring quote clearly throws light on how self-motivated candidates being committed to change the world could be the right hire.

Lately, the struggle of every entrepreneur has been a dilemma considering the major factor in the hiring process, either to choose competence or commitment. Siam computing, a startup software development company based out of Chennai has often encountered the hiring complications and has come up with commitment based strategies of successful manpower management.


A person is competent if he/she is highly skilled at a specific task. Now this candidate is enriched with experience and needs no assistance.

Since competence has nothing to do with intelligence, there is a possibility that the person is competent regards to one specific task and not competent to other tasks.

A competent candidate would have acquired the skills to perform a particular task within no time.


Commitment is a quality that refers to self-motivation and a drive to learn more.

A committed candidate will always be eager to learn the tasks even if he/she is not skilled at it.

This candidate will slowly evolve with qualities to lead with the willingness to accept new challenges.

The characteristic of resources in relation to commitment and competence plays an important role in the hiring process. To make the hiring process easier, the resources can be segregated into the following four categories that will aid in finding the right fit.

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S1: Vivacious Fresher. High Commitment & Low Competence S2: Discouraged Learner. Low Commitment & Low Competence

S3: Self-motivated achiever. High Commitment to High Competence S4: The Swinger. High Competence Low Commitment

The 4 growth levels are an effective way to categorize your candidates. While determining the right candidate, the following methods can also be considered.

Questionnaires: Comprising the set of question to find out the level of commitment

Also read The right questionnaires’ to determine a behavioral aspect of a candidate!

Screening of profile/resume:

The history job change, reasons for changes in Behavioral tools:

The Predictive Index and MeritTrac.

“In a hiring process we prefer finding the ideal candidates with the right blend of extrinsic (salary, work schedule, benefits) and intrinsic motivators (Anonymity, work intensity, culture)”,

– Khuze, Founder of Siam Computing.

Let’s consider your own motivation for reading this article, are you reading the article to improve your hiring process, resulting in employing the right candidate? If so, you’re an extinctive motivator and are reading this article to gain external reinforcement (hiring the right candidate). In a similar way, with extrinsic motivators, salary, work schedule, and benefits are prior to all.

Whereas, if you’re reading this article to gain personal knowledge about the personality traits of candidates then you come under intrinsic

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Motivators. Similarly, candidates with intrinsic motivation rely more on work culture, degree of anonymity, and intensity towards the job role.

A candidate might not have experience in coding but is eager to learn and stay committed, is a lot better candidate than someone who is highly skilled at sales but does not love to do it. The advantages of hiring a highly committed person are as follows

This candidate is not just bound but also connected to the goal. Having utter faith in the goal and wanting to achieve it is a certain kind of commitment.

A committed employee is connected to the organization reflecting a psychological state that binds the person closer to the organization and less likely to leave it.

A certain relationship with the job. This relation drives the employ to explore more areas regarding his/her job.

A positive attitude towards the work and work environment.

Qualities to look for in a committed candidate

  • Competitive: A committed candidate with a competitive attitude can take any organization to a path of growth.
  • Time urgent: A person who is resilient to deliver on time by doing the right homework is an advantage to the organization.
  • Passion: A committed employee with passion is the best ever combination.
  • Motivated: Motivation that comes from within to reach a certain goal.
  • Excellent learning skills: A candidate who is eager to learn the different aspects of the same job.
  • Leadership Qualities: A candidate that’s committed to their job will evolve into a leader and support their teammates with different aspects.

Prof, Preeja Sridhar, a leadership coach at Mu Sigma Inc. says,

“Commitment is the most important trait an ideal candidate should carry. Competency, either inherent or threshold can be developed at any point of time. If a candidate does not carry right commitment values, right organizational behavior then no matter what kind of competency he has developed, he cannot display leadership skills”

Commitment certainly makes all the difference. A committed employee adds value to an organization. Through their determination, proactive support awareness of quality, they can lead a business to climb the ladder of growth and success. We take startup founders through a 2-week discovery process helping them understand how to go about building their product. Get a free consultation, send us an email to