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6 Criteria to Identify High Potential Talent In Your Organization

January 23, 2020
Identifying high potential employees in your organization

Key tips to help identify high potential talent

Is your company utilizing all employees to their highest potential? Did you know that high potential (HiPo) employees are 91% more valuable to a business than non-high potential workers? Simply adding a superstar performer to a team can boost the effectiveness of other team members by 5% to 15%, but unfortunately many organizations struggle with identifying high potential talent.

How to Identify High Potential Talent

Identifying high potential employees is one of the hardest steps for organizations because there is no one criteria or checklist to follow. So, what do employers need to look for?  When we’re talking about high potential talent, we are speaking of employees who have the ability and ambition to be successful leaders within an organization. When identifying who is a high potential employee, it may seem obvious to emphasize high performing employees, but while an employee may be great in their role, they may not have the potential or even desire to take on a leadership role. The key to remember is that not all high performers are high potentials. Here are six key personality traits that that organizations can use to distinguish high potential employees:

  • Adaptability: Individuals who are highly adaptable can adjust their behavior and attitudes to fit the needs of a given situation, particularly in a quick manner.
  • Dealing with Pressure: Individuals who handle pressure effectively can do so by remaining positive in hectic times and high pressure situations and remain productive despite the stress of ambiguity of a situation.
  • Learning Orientation: Individuals who demonstrate high learning orientation look for opportunities to develop skills and actively seek out challenges for self-enhancement.
  • Drive for Results: These individuals demonstrate determination, pushing themselves and others to meet challenging goals with a commitment to produce exceptional results.
  • Strategic thinking: Individuals who possess strategic thinking focus on the future. They consider longer-term goals aligned with a vision and consider the broader context with a future-orientation.
  • Self-Awareness: Individuals with high self-awareness understand their own strengths and limitations and more importantly, understand how their own feelings may impact reactions and decisions.  

With the right strategy and tools in place, uncovering and identifying these talented individuals will become easier for organizations to utilize their high potentials. 

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Jessica Petor Jessica Petor is a Research Analyst located at PSI's Pittsburgh office. She holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Northern Kentucky University.