Identifying Top Performer’s

Identifying top performer’s is important when screening an applicant. Majority hiring managers attest that people are the #1 resource within the company. It that is true why do we fall into the trap of screening out talent. Top performers want to grow their skills, seek knowledge, and consistently outperform their responsibilities. Below is a list of way to identify these abilities when screening your applicants…

1. Pattern of rapid growth rate

Top performers generally get promoted at a faster rate amongst their peers. Indicators of this is not always reflected in title and job. The reliable employee is the one that is usually asked to take on more. Most manager subconsciously assign work so that they can have the autonomy to do the things that they need to get done. This can be represented in being assigned to lead larger or more important teams, having additional direct/indirect reports, having more spend, or handling more important and more complex projects. The candidate should have examples to reflect their growth of their first day through their last day within the role.

Desired Candidate Attributes

2. Demonstrates strong technical and quick learning curves

Technology allows us to leverage our work to work “smarter and not harder”. IT tools allow employees to work more efficiently and optimize their efforts. It is common that managers will push their teams’ top performers by giving them stretch goals, assigning them to difficult projects, providing early exposure to senior managers and influential executives, and giving them advanced training opportunities. Identifying these patterns and extracting these characteristics are essential in not missing key indicators of hiring a great employee. Interviewing is not a perfect science and the best employee’s are not the best interviewers. Utilizing the right types of questions can help unlock these experiences as most interviews feel awkward talking about themselves and can undersell their value as they believe they were just doing their job.

3. Universal core team skills

Top performers can adapt to their environment. They also could utilize these skills within a variety of people they work with. Showing multiple examples of this within one’s career is a tangible example of showing collaborative and influencing skills that are essential to any employer. The attributes are commonly use but less common to be used with an example. During the interview, ask candidates to describe their role on past teams and the other people on those teams. These project examples should have narrative components (Characters, Plot, Setting, Conflict, and Resolution) to it as the goal is to see what value-added activities this person had to the group members and outcome of the project. Every company has its strengths and weaknesses, true top performers move the needle in the intended direction. It is about getting better and creating sustainable success.

4. Recognition, rehired, referred by others

Some of the top compliments are when other put their reputation on the line someone they believe in. I frequently say that “every day at work is a job interview”. People want to work with reliable people. This can come in a variety of forms (peers, managers, suppliers, customers, etc.), key stake holders have a true appreciation for dependability, reliability, and consistency.

5. Shows ability withstand adversity

Top performers have the innate ability to reach deep down and solve their own problems. It may be performing extra research, finding root cause analysis, or even leveraging their network for the benefit for the company. For many, paralysis can consume an employee when adversity hits which leads to excuses, lack of ownership, and self-preservation. Top performers lean into adversity and take it on head on, they view it as a way to learn more.


Witten By:

Mike DePaulo, LSSBB
All Pro Recruiting, LLC.


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