Article: HiPos as Talent Magnets

Talent Acquisition

HiPos as Talent Magnets

According to the ManpowerGroups 2015 Talent Shortage Survey, 58% of Indian Managers said that they find it difficult to fill open positions in the organization.
HiPos as Talent Magnets

The world has undergone a sea change in the last couple of years. The economic conditions are dynamic and suppressed. With slowdown in China, and Britain all set to move out of the EU, the volatility of the world is more than conspicuous. However, even in this volatility, India is the only major economy which is growing at a rate of more than 7%.

There are new booming sectors in India like e-commerce and very soon the government will be investing substantially into infrastructure and defense sectors. With the stable government at the center, India is the destination to be. It is also complimented with a great demographic dividend that India possesses with the workforce of about 47 crores in 2015 (Source: NSSO). With such a large workforce, isn’t it logical to expect that there is enough and more talent available in the market?

Well, the Human Resource Managers differ from what is mentioned above. According to the ManpowerGroup’s 2015 Talent Shortage Survey, 58% of Indian Managers said that they find it difficult to fill open positions in the organization.


What could this mean?

That despite such a large workforce in India, there is a Talent Shortage. 

To tackle this challenge, organizations need to look at new and effective ways to recruit talent and fill vacancies. The recruiters can no longer rely on conventional recruitment tactics and are forced to explore new ways.

A few years ago when I was in a B-school, the most awaited time of the year for all the students used to be the Placement Week. Some 100+ companies used to come for the Placement Week and there used to be a healthy competition amongst the companies to pick up the best talent. Pre-placement talks used to be conducted by organizations to build their employer brand and make it aspirational for students. Yet, there were some organizations which didn’t need to sell themselves much to the students. The brand speaks for themselves (like GE or HUL). They were referred to as “The Dream Companies”. 

Now when I look back and think of it, I realize that these companies were Dream Companies because they offered great HiPo programs and students were enticed by them. 

This brings me to the most important question. If HiPo Programs can attract talent, can HiPos act as your Talent Magnets?

Before I try to answer, let me try to get the definition of HiPos:

“High potentials consistently and significantly outperform their peer groups in a variety of settings and circumstances. While achieving these superior levels of performance, they exhibit behaviors that reflect their companies’ culture and values in an exemplary manner.” (HBR)

Usually HiPos have a fast-tracked career in an organization and many professionals aspire to join the elite group. HiPos are often looked up to by other professionals in the organizations and in some cases, beyond the organizations. They are perceived as role models.

There are many ways of leveraging HiPos as Talent Magnets to build Employer Brand. The mediums which I found most effective are:

  • Social Media Platform: Most of the millennials spend a considerable time on Social Media today. It can be leveraged as a great platform to share the success stories of HiPos to build the employer brand. Recognition of HiPo not only engages HiPos but also allures others.
  • Public Forums (Industry seminars and conferences): In public forums, organizations can take the opportunity to brand their HiPos in front of delegates across organizations and industry. This can act as a great platform to showcase the talent and a medium to enhance organizations’ and an individual brand. When a HiPo speaks, others listen more and they also wish to be the part of the group.
  • Academic Interactions: Organizations can nominate their HiPos to talk about the organization. HiPo‘s advocacy is well heard and the response from this initiative can be phenomenal. 


There is no cookie-cutter method for making a HiPo a successful Talent Magnet. But for this to be successful, two things are needed. First, the strategy and execution needs to be aligned to the objective. If your organizational strategy is to expand inorganically through acquisitions in emerging markets, you’ll need a different type of branding strategy. Second, strategy and culture of the organization need to talk to each other. It is important to walk the talk. Advocacy is the final product of organization’s values and culture.

In this disruptive environment, let’s make the best use of the great asset we have – HiPos.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Employer Branding, #Hiring

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