As someone working in Human Resources, the task of finding the ideal candidate for your company’s latest job position is the ultimate challenge. Education, experience, and a strong track record are the foundations for a strong candidate. Beyond these foundations lie opportunities for you to find your next high performer.
While that description you worked so hard to write may sound perfect on paper, it might lead to unforeseen issues. Many times, those in charge of hiring create too perfect a candidate in their minds, which can do more harm than good. Often, the ideal candidate who hits every point on your job description does not exist.
Finding a Diamond in the Rough
What happens to other candidates as a result? Many will feel they’re not qualified enough and may not even apply. This means you will be missing out on a skilled candidate who may not have the experience you want but would still be able to excel at the job with some additional training.
Not missing out on the diamond in the rough starts with your hiring process. Instead of over-valuing experience, think of what attributes a candidate needs to be successful. Focus on their potential based on transferable skills, their fit with the company culture, and their drive to contribute to the organization as a whole. These elements are often overlooked and undervalued when finding the next high performer.
Ways to Recognize High Performing Employees
After you’ve established a job description that’s much more likely to bring in a variety of applicants, the next step is to look for core attributes in the hiring process. This will occur naturally when evaluating their performance in an interview or by calling references, but some key attributes you should look for are:
- Focus on quality of work
- Strong decision-making skills
- Communication and collaboration
- Interest in feedback for improvement
- Develops and learns new skills
- Cool under pressure
Employees who show these attributes not only are high performers, but they most often are constantly looking for ways to improve and advance themselves. This means that they’ll likely not only do their work well but also strive to find new ways to benefit the company. As the marketplace grows more competitive, companies are always looking for employees to deliver more value. On the other side of the coin, employees are looking to work with companies that encourage innovation.
What’s the most important and interesting thing about these skills is that they don’t require ten years of prior experience in your business field to develop. These core elements can easily propel someone who’s newer to the industry through their training and bring effective results. When you can recognize this potential, you’re bringing stronger candidates into the company, which can increase the number of high performers you have on the job.