How to Hire Leaders with the Highest Potential

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1.9 min read

How to Hire Leaders with the Highest Potential

Although there are programs created to identify high potential leaders, most of them aren’t making the cut. A research study by the Corporate Executive Board concluded that although 60% of organizations have programs to help spot potential candidates, only 24% of senior executives consider these programs to be a success. So, what is causing the hiring gap which is preventing organizations from finding the best potential leaders?

Create a Plan

The answer lies in the predictors that the organization are using, and the approach being taken to find the best leaders.

According to the Harvard Business Review, if you want to find leaders with the highest potential, you must be looking at the right predictors which strongly correlate to high-performing executives. The most important predictor is finding someone with the right motivation. The leader must be willing to align their vision with the organization’s and create the appropriate goals. Other important predictors that should also be assessed include curiosity, insight, engagement and determination.

The next step is to develop an action plan to seek out the highest potential candidates. The organization must determine additional important competencies for their respective roles and then compare the fit against the criteria created. When you assess potential candidates, it is important to create a scoring card or system which rates the fit of each employee against the determined predictors and criteria.

The final step is to see which candidate has the best overall fit. It is important to realize the perfect leader does not exist, so you must also focus on development opportunities that you can provide to incoming leaders to assist in their shortcomings. Choosing the right predictors and creating development opportunities can ensure that you will be hiring the leader with the highest potential.

You can determine which candidates best align with your criteria through asking the right interview questions. The Predictive Index and CATIL Interview e-Guide will allow you to create structured interviews and help you find the most relevant criteria. With tailored questions for each interview and position, you will be able to find the best leaders with ease.

Source: Roscoe, A. (2019, December). Turning Potential into Success: The Missing Link in Leadership Development. Retrieved from

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