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You know who your high performers are, but are you able to just as quickly identify high potential? While some overlap may be common, they are not always the same. Your best sales person may not be a strong sales manager, for example. They require completely different skills and attitudes. Assess existing and prospective employees carefully to identify those with the most long-term potential.

What Traits Indicate High Potential?

Flexibility. Change is inevitable. Look for people who don’t dig their heels in at any sign of progress. Choose those who solve problems creatively, look for new challenges and adapt to whatever each day brings them with ease.

Proactivity. High-potential people don’t wait around for things to happen to them, they go out and make things happen. They have a plan for their career and know the steps it will take to get there. They self-manage with a plan to develop their competencies and improve their performance.

Likeability. High-potential people can engage with people and work well as part of a team. They don’t mind sharing credit and are eager to collaborate. They know how to motivate people, and can lead and inspire them to create loyalty and a sense of community.

Ambition. They are not satisfied with the status quo. They always have an eye on the next rung or the next challenge. They are constantly driven to excel and improve themselves. High-potential people take criticism well. They know that there is always room for improvement and are eager to hear constructive actionable items they can improve.

How Can You Make the Most of High-Potential Talent?

  • Know where the talent gaps are in your organization.
  • Establish criteria for must-have qualifications.
  • Pair the right people to the right role.
  • Establish metrics for success and assess progress regularly.
  • Provide high-potential people with ongoing feedback.

Developing a successful process for identifying and attracting high-potential talent can be complex. Yet it’s worth the time and effort involved in building a team of “A” players. Top talent can garner some of the highest return on your investment of any business decision you make. However, you don’t have to go it alone.

Consider partnering with the executive search consultants at BrainWorks. We have proven success in delivering talent to some of the largest and most highly selective organizations and can do the same for your business. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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