Constraints on budgets after Covid-19 will force many business organizations to be much more selective about who and they invest in for talent development. This is why your talent assessment strategy USA needs to identify high potential employees (HIPOs) who will become even more valuable in the years to come. An employee’s potential sets the upper limits of their development range.

Scientific research has shown that investing in the right people will maximize the organizations’ returns. The research shows that across a wide range of businesses, a small percentage of the workforce drives a large percentage of organizational results:

  • the top 1% accounts for about 10% of organizational output
  • the top 5% accounts for about 25% of organizational output
  • the top 20% accounts for about 80% of organizational output

The Covid-19 crisis creates an ideal time to identify high potentials (HIPOs) and next- generation leaders. Having a strong pipeline of high-performing managers is the key to overcoming future obstacles and developing business opportunities in times of adversity.

Here are a few things to look for when identifying high potentials (HIPOs):

1. Leadership Potential - look for individuals who reach out to assist others in solving difficult problems. You will see HIPOs pulling others together to work through details, ensuring that their efforts are closely aligned with the needs of the organization.

2. High Performance - top employees outperform average employees by about 50%. For medium complexity jobs, such as trainers or first line sales managers, that difference grows to 85-100%. For highly complex jobs, such as senior leadership roles, the contribution of top performers is more than double that of the average performer.

3. Exceptional Interpersonal Competencies – High EQ (i.e. the ability to manage yourself and the ability to manage other relationships.) HIPOs are enjoyable to deal with and they are likeable. They have high ethical standards or values and they are good organizational citizens overall. They are perceived as bright, influential, action-oriented and even charismatic in how they approach challenges.

4. Getting Things Done Through Others – HIPOs have high performance expectations of others thereby raising the performance bar for their teams and their direct reports. They lead by example. They model the behaviors that shape high-performing work cultures. Adding a star performer to the team boosts the effectiveness of other team members by 5-15%.

5. High Cognitive Ability – Identify the person’s potential to excel in a more complex job at some point in the future. The single-best predictor of the ability to master more complex responsibilities is cognitive ability. Cognitive ability includes learning speed but also the motivation to learn new knowledge and competencies.

6. Vision and Imagination – Vision is the ability to imagine the future with an entrepreneurial mindset. Other indicators of the ability for senior organizational leadership would include creativity and systems thinking.

7. High integrity – HIPOs treat people fairly and honestly. In this way, they build a broad network of relationships and form alliances, and they can be persuasive with a wide range of stakeholders. In senior manager roles, they also need to sophisticated political skills.

8. High Work Ethic and Ambition – HIPOs have the motivation to work hard, achieve, and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Drive can be assessed by standardized tests that measure conscientiousness, achievement motivation, and ambition. It can also be identified behaviorally — as signaled by how hard an individual works, willingness to take on extra duties and assignments, eagerness for more responsibility, and even readiness to sacrifice.

Businesses that take advantage of talent assessment strategy USA for the purpose of identifying High Potentials (HIPOs) and succession planning, will develop a strong and healthy pipeline of leaders for the future.

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