Finding the right person for the job can be a real challenge for employers, but finding the right person who also has long-term potential to grow and flourish within an organization, can seem all but a matter of luck. Hiring managers don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future of a candidate, to judge whether they’ll take a leadership role and grow in their responsibilities with the company from the onset. But there are a few indicators that science has proven to be helpful in identifying those high-potential employees and candidates who can really make a big difference for an organization.

This blog explores how scientific studies have suggested that investing in the right people will maximize organizations’ returns.

The Right People Drive Businesses Forward

According to the Harvard Business Review, studies have consistently found that a small proportion of the workforce tends to drive a large proportion of organizational results. This is true across a wide range of tasks, industries and organizations. A clear pattern is revealed where the payoff of employing top talent, those vital few individuals who will account for the biggest chunk of organizational output, is where the real value lies. And that value increases as a function of job complexity. For highly complex jobs, such as those of senior leadership, the contribution of top performers is more than double that of the average performer.

The Right People Help Teams Grow

Interestingly, it’s not just about the work these individuals do. It’s also about the work their team accomplishes together. Talented employees act as “force multipliers,” raising the performance bar for their colleagues, team members, and direct reports, as well. These rock-stars model and teach the behaviors and work patterns that shape high-performing cultures. This, then, leads to stronger effectiveness overall, and inevitably stronger financial performance by the companies that make greater investments in identifying and developing top talent.

What Does a High-Potential Employee Look Like?

Hiring for potential is clearly a win for an organization, but what do you look for when recruiting this type of individual? Is it technical skill? Past experience and success? The academic reviews might surprise you, as, in truth, a key indicator of future success is a combination of ability, social skills and drive.

Ability is a common trait interviews are well designed to identify. The demonstration of the knowledge and skills needed to perform key tasks of the job are critical. Without that ability, a new hire will never even get off the ground in a new job. Identify ability with technical questions or a work sample test. This will give you clear insight into the candidate’s work product.

Social skills are also pretty easy to identify in an interview setting, but not every interviewer knows what to look for. Focus on two fundamental abilities to determine social skill: The ability to manage themselves and the ability to manage others.

Lastly, look for drive, or the will and motivation to work hard, achieve, and do what it takes to get the job done. Work ethic is something not everyone values, but the high-potential employees who will help grow your business have it in spades.

For more tips on how to recruit the rock stars who will bring your business to the next level, contact a recruiter at Verum Technical today.