A recent study of Right Management and People Matters reveals the gap between the efforts by employers on creating HiPo programs and leveraging the full potential of high potentials as levers of attraction and retention of top talent.
Research suggests that today, HIPO programs are mainstream in many organizations. The Right Management & People Matters Study, HiPo’s - Your Brand Ambassadors Survey 2016, reveals that 73 per cent of companies have a HiPo program. However, the question is how robust these programs are regarding identification, communication, and management - and that is where the real value of these programs lies.
The Study also explores the most commonly used methods for HiPo talent identification. Even today, 73 per cent of organizations rely on performance data, and as many as 63 per cent rely on manager's recommendation. The Study also reveals that 43 per cent of companies use assessment centers as part of HiPo identification. While these inputs are critical for HiPo identification, they are not sufficient. Right Management’s 4P approach looks at Personality (essential ingredients such as the drive to grow), Potential (ability to perform at a higher level within a timeline), Performance (from performance data and manager's inputs) and Perception (perception of stakeholders) as a holistic way to identify HiPos.
Now in its 4th year, the HIPO Week, which is a running partnership between Right Management and People Matters, focuses on leveraging HIPO programs and HiPos as brand ambassadors. Brand matters and it matters a lot. Employers with strong employment brands see a 43 per cent decrease in cost per hire (LinkedIn). According to Glassdoor, 84 per cent would consider leaving their current jobs if offered a role with a company that had an excellent reputation. So how can an organization leverage their HIPO programs and HIPO talent as brand ambassadors?
The Right Management Study reveals that 57 per cent of companies perceive that less than 50 per cent of their HiPos play the role of brand ambassadors. But 90 per cent respondents believe that robust HiPo program translates into a stronger employer brand. Additionally, 79 per cent of respondents believe that the quality of candidates referenced from a HiPo is higher than the rest. These are all indications on how participants think that HiPos can play a significant role in enhancing the brand and translating it into attracting more quality talent and higher retention.
The Study exposed that only 46% of companies leverage HiPo's in external forums and only 31 per cent in social media. These are the low hanging fruits for the organization to leverage externally as well as creating opportunities for this talent pool to become mentors and coaching internally.
As part of some other conversations and polls taken during the HiPo week, it was revealed that most organizations are having difficulty in leveraging Hi-Po programs as levers for enhancing their employer brand due to reasons like not being sure about the efficacy of the programs themselves, and the impact it may have on both the HiPos and the larger organization.
The need of the hour is for companies to take more risks with their HIPO talent. Invest in the foundation of the right selection and management of the HiPo program and provide opportunities for internal and external interactions with HiPo talent which can yield higher engagement, alignment, and pride of belonging to the organization - in turn increasing retention of HiPos.
As told by Prashant Pandey, Country Head, Right Management