Following an extremely insightful conversation with a client earlier this week I did some reading into the idea of "high potential" employees.
Most organisations have a different perception of the term, and would identify the key attributes displayed by a high potential employee slightly differently.
There are vast amounts of material to support the idea that high potential individuals add significantly more short, and long term value to organisations. However, I am curious as to how many organisations genuinely search for high potentials, and how many just stumble across them.
At the start of any assignment we spend lots of time understanding our clients, their business, the role and their culture. But all too often when we seek to understand what the ideal candidate looks like, companies focus on the now, and what skills the candidate needs to fulfill the current requirement. Not on what they want them to be or achieve in the future.
The companies most successful in securing high potential employees make the desired traits an integral part of their recruitment process. They focus on not only the black and white core competencies needed to perform immediately. But also in the harder to identify patterns that are typical with high potentials. Things like leadership qualities, rapid career progression and a hunger and competitive determination are as equally important to identify - as they acquire this talent not only for the current vacancy, but for the next 2 or 3 promotions. They have "run way".
For any organisation to be confident of future success it is important that they have complete confidence in their people's ability now, but also their ability to grow and develop. Identifying and acquiring high potentials is a great foundation for future success.
“High potentials consistently and significantly outperform their peer groups in a variety of settings and circumstances. While achieving these superior levels of performance, they exhibit behaviors that reflect their companies’ culture and values in an exemplary manner. Moreover, they show a strong capacity to grow and succeed throughout their careers within an organization—more quickly and effectively than their peer groups do.”