Entry-level hiring is often undervalued in talent acquisition strategies. The employees hired for these positions can be the talent pipeline that will define the future of the organization. If companies invest in selecting high potentials for entry level jobs they can create a competitive advantage. We have discussed the importance of talent selection as organization culture creation in a previous blog. High potentials will boost company profits, accelerate digital transformation and fill the gaps left by retirees. Entry-level employees often do the tasks that many long-term employees now see as beneath them.

Bring More High Potentials into your Talent Pipeline

A high-potential employee is someone with the cognitive ability, engagement and motivation to grow successfully into more complex positions in your company. Identifying the key attributes of high potentials will give you the talent you need to fill key roles in the coming years. High potential employees often show the ability to grow faster and with more success than their peers. While high potential employees often possess more natural talent than their peers, if their talents are not recognized and nurtured they will look for other career opportunities. Seventy percent of college graduates leave their first job within two years according to the Harvard Business Review. One of the most important reasons for identifying high potentials is to employee people who could become effective senior managers in the future.

Are Micro Internships a Good Strategy for your Business?

Micro internships are short-term, paid, assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or longer interns. These projects enable people to demonstrate their skills and explore career paths as they seek full-time jobs. Micro internships typically create assignments that range from 5 to 40 hours of work over a period of one week or one month. Micro internships can be created in many departments including sales, marketing, technology, HR, and finance. Micro internships are rising in popularity, as are other forms of limited trial engagements that take less than a month and cost less than a traditional internship.

Characteristics of High Potential Employees

We have discussed the qualities of high potentials in a previous blog called Talent Assessment Strategies, USA. Here are a few common characteristics that are often used to identify high potential employees. Many of these qualities can be measured through pre-employment assessments which have also been identified:


The quality of being trustworthy, honest and reliable. (Step One Survey II)


Having integrity means that you live in accordance to your deepest values, you're honest with everyone, and you always keep your word. Integrity is a highly valued trait, especially in leaders. (Step One Survey II)


The ability to collaborate with others to reach goals. (First View Assessment)

High Cognitive Ability

High Cognitive ability can be defined as the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. (First View Assessment)


Ambition is a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. High potential employees show the desire for growth, taking on additional responsibilities and decision making. They make their long-term goals clear. They share a drive to achieve great results not only as an individual but also as a team. They want the organization to succeed and they will support it to reach the business objectives. (Hogan Personality Inventory)

Social skills

Employees who are able to work well with different personalities usually have good social skills. They often display extroversion, warmth, likeability and social influence. A key feature of those in leadership roles is their ability to interact with people effectively. (Hogan Personality Inventory)


When under pressure, high potential employees usually remain calm and can navigate through stressful situations. Circumstances often change and the ability to pivot with relative ease is a highly desirable trait of high potential employees. Performing well in high-pressure situations is an ideal indicator of an employee's adaptability. (Hogan Personality Inventory)


They will respect and understand the importance of quality leadership and they will often aspire to Senior Management roles. Success in these early stages of the employee’s career are good indicators of future success in more complex roles. (Hogan Personality Inventory)

The value that high potential employees add to your business can be exponential. The ability to find and hire high potential entry-level talent gives your company the opportunity to retain and promote high performers throughout the course of their professional careers. Contact us for assistance with identifying high potentials for your entry level positions.

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