Adding the right people to your team should always be carefully considered. How someone will ultimately perform cannot be assessed in an interview alone. So how can you read between the lines?
Some companies probe candidates about their family history and their tilme at school, college or university. Furthermore, they look to measure intellect first followed by values, passions, work ethic and lastly experience. Values can be hard to discern but by asking about parents, teachers and role models the answers may give you an idea in interview about who inspires them. The same goes for work ethic, ask them about their work from a young age and what they have sacrificed for previous jobs.
Here are some points to consider and things to ascertain: -
- Clues in their CV, have they excelled in education or risen quickly through the ranks of previous companies?
- Ask your candidate how they would deal with situations by giving them hypothetical situations and noting how quickly they can construct a solution.
- A high performer will usually be able to present their goals quickly and have a clear understanding of how they will achieve them.
- Do they push themselves ahead of others (which can sometimes be seen as selfishness!) but for high performers they often wait for no-one.
- Are they self-motivated and can they give examples of responding well to pressure?
- Are they able to prioritise and recognise where spending time effectively will give the biggest return.
- Do they make excuses instead of demonstrating how they found solutions?
More often than not you cannot train someone to be a high performer, it is a personality characteristic. High performers can also be difficult to manage and keeping them may be problematic. They have a high number of options and in this networking climate their skills can be widely known to other employers without you even being aware. This applies in particular to younger employees as they search for new opportunities.
High performers are often motivated not just by salary but by progression, so indicate where you can offer a career path they can aspire to. By learning what motivates them you can tailor your management of them to suit.
Use your high performers as ambassadors for your company; they can raise your profile and image with clients and potential employees.
“Clearly, for most companies, people are the most important asset. The current and worsening shortage of high-skill, high-will workers requires employers to adapt and extend traditional talent approaches. Your company must strive to sustain high performance and explicit strategy that attracts talent as well as ensures retention, engagement, and motivation”. *