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Onboarding Performance Management Recruiting & Hiring

How to Model Your Ideal Candidate Profile After High-Performers

May 4, 2015
4 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


You may have heard about the benefits of high-performers. You may have heard, for example, how they can deliver 400% more productivity than the average performer. Then you realize your ideal candidate profile probably won’t attract the high-performers you’re looking for. You want a “hard worker? A “team player?” So does everyone else. If you want to model your ideal candidate profile to attract high-performers, you have to be more specific. Look for candidates who’ll be satisfied on the job, hold themselves accountable, and not be afraid of failure.

High Performers Demand Satisfaction!

You may be able to identify a high-performer from a mile away, but if the job you’re looking to fill isn’t what they’re looking for, you’ll have a hard time getting performance. On average, high-performers are more satisfied with their jobs than regular employee. If you spot a high-performer on your list of resumes, focus on finding the best job for them to grow into instead of trying to wrangle them into a job that they may not be suited for.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.pngHigh performers are worth the extra effort, but only if they’re engaged and satisfied with their job.

Once you’ve found a good place for your high-performer, you can increase their workplace satisfaction by defining long-term goals to give purpose, creating an environment of continuous collaboration and offering plenty of opportunities for development.

High Performers Keep Themselves Accountable

As the old adage goes: “Don’t work hard; work smart.” High performers know their own value, and will work not to appease others, but themselves. This may sound selfish, but in practice, high-performers set goals and define success by meeting them, not catering exclusively to what others want out of them. Denise Cummings (@MindWithAView), Research Psychologist, describes how high-performers view accountability:

"Higher performers create their own feedback loops in the workplace rather than waiting for feedback from others . . . While working, they keep track of how their work has benefitted their team, their department, and the company, and will find ways to bring that to the attention of superiors. They will also seek feedback from others on their performance rather than waiting for quarterly or annual reports (just not so frequently as to appear insecure or needy).”

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.pngFinding someone who can work for themselves and you means they won’t let either person down.

High Performers Aren’t Afraid of Failure

In larger companies, a fear of failure can inhibit speed and risk taking. This doesn’t mean you should let your employees do as they please and not correct mistakes. Instead emphasize a need for people who aren’t afraid of recounting their failures. Creating a culture where employees aren’t afraid of trying new things and failing leads to the innovation high-performers are known for and a culture of humility can go a long way to fostering growth.

Ask candidates what their biggest failure was and what they learned from it. Look for candidates who tell you without acting embarrassed. If they can admit their failures, chances are they’ve taken the proper lessons from their mistakes and are confident they won’t repeat them. Give honest, real-time feedback to your employees so they can learn from their mistakes and reach for a higher bar next time.

Armed with your newfound high-performers after implementing these tips, you’ll have the increased productivity, competitive culture and creativity you’ve always hoped for and your employees will be all the better for it. Keep in mind that HIPOs can be created, hired and managed!

ClearCompany’s performance management software helps carefully manage performance, allowing you to find and reward your best workers. To achieve better insight into who’s best up for a big project, sign up for a free demo of ClearCompany today!

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