The Power of the High-Potential Hire

Indeed Small Business Hiring

What makes a great employee? When you’re looking through your applicants, you might first be drawn to their experience, trying to understand if they’d be the right fit based on what they’ve done in the past. For growing businesses, though, the answer might not always lie in experience. Instead, you need to identify the potential of your applicants and select the candidates who will bring both passion and possibility to your organisation. We call this kind of person a high-potential hire.

The high-potential hire can have an outsized impact on any business and for the right candidate, a smaller company can be the ideal work environment. Growing businesses are characterised by evolving needs and new challenges. In this setting, the ideal employee is someone who can jump in and wear many different hats. They confront new situations with confidence and not too much guidance. As your company grows, your ideal employee may need to take on new responsibility and leadership, so hiring the right person up front is a high-stakes endeavor.

Identifying these candidates is one part of the equation. The next part is figuring out how to hire them. Here are three steps to help you attract and bring on high-potential candidates.

Write a job description that details the possibilities

In your job description, make it clear that your workplace is an environment where talented employees get as much as they give. For a high-potential employee, the chance to learn is as important as compensation, so emphasise opportunities to exercise leadership and take ownership of critical projects. Detail organisational goals along with specific roles and responsibilities to help high-potential candidates see chances to make a difference.

This job description from Bassa Chartered Accountants does a great job of describing what type of company they are and the kind of candidate that will thrive there. They highlight their need for a high energy and self-motivated employee that will make great contributions to the success of the company.

Example of a job posting - a part time business service accountant

Part time business services accountant Bassa Chartered Accountants – Brisbane QLD Part-time Basa Chartered Accountants is a well respected accounting firm that thinks outside of the box and approaches tax and accounting compliance differently. We are providing an exciting opportunity fo an Accountant who is passionate about small business to join our team on a part time with a view to full time basis. The person we are looking for has high energy and is a self-motivated accountant who is ready to make a positive contribution in making our business a huge success.

Another growing business, NOJA Power, is looking for a candidate that has the “maturity, focus, and intensity” to prioritise and manage projects.

Example of a job posting continued

Responsibility: You will have the maturity, focus and intensity to manage your priorities and projects, while providing a reasonable degree of transparency and progress to the R&D Software Development Manager. Personal Attributes: You will be expected to have a “team-player” attitude, while also demonstrating strong leadership, and accountability for delivering the best design solutions in an effective, responsible and timely manner. You will be energetic and pro active with a determination to successfully meet objectives. Only Brisbane applicants will be considered as there is a need for this position to be filled immediately. Apply Now | Save this Job

Because these jobs are posted directly to Indeed, they are easy for candidates to apply to. When the job speaks to the right person, they will be able to get in touch immediately.

Learn to recognise signs of potential

Most resumes are written to focus on the verbs, with candidates highlighting the projects they managed, the things they created or the efforts they led. These words are important because they help employers understand the true potential of the candidate.

Without ignoring that kind of impact, see if there are any other indicators of potential you can glean from a resume. Take note of how a candidate describes their experience: the adjectives and adverbs that candidates use in their resumes. Do you see signs of passion and ambition? Do they use words that convey the emotional impact of their work?

Even if you don’t find concrete answers to those questions while reviewing the resume, it can be a helpful way to prepare for an interview. Now that you have potential on your mind, pay attention to what’s on the page and what’s not. Ask the candidate to fill in the gaps for you once you’re in conversation.

You can search resumes for free on Indeed to get an idea of how people describe themselves. If you find resumes you like, you can reach out to candidates directly and schedule interviews with those who express interest.

Create a hiring process that lets potential shine

Once you’re in the interview, take note of how the candidate prepared. Does this person have insightful questions about how your company works? Does the conversation move quickly to issues of strategy and process improvement? Can they talk about the nuance and complexity of their past accomplishments? If so, you may have a high-potential candidate.

If you’ve posted your jobs on Indeed, you’ll have access to an applicant dashboard that enables you to manage the hiring process end to end. You can take notes from your interviews and share them with other stakeholders. Make sure that you’re collectively taking notice of a candidate’s potential and sharing your observations.

Once you’ve spotted the high-potential hire, don’t let them slip through the cracks. Extend your offer as soon as possible. You can email them directly from the dashboard so they aren’t put off by a long wait time. You can also send customised emails to rejected candidates so that you don’t alienate people who have an interest in your company. You might want to reach out to this same pool of talent for another opening, so make sure to tactfully let them down.

To learn more about how Indeed can help you hire for your growing business, contact us. You can also post a job on Indeed to begin attracting high-potential candidates.

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