A Masterclass Webinar on “Demographic diversity and HiPo careers” marked the first day of what promises to be an enthralling HiPo week ahead.
Divya Jain, Associate Vice President, Right Management, shared her insights on the necessity of diversity, both in HiPo talent pool and HiPo careers. According to Divya, diversity isn’t defined only by a varied HiPo talent pool with multiplicity in terms of gender, race, culture, age or tenure of employees, but also by varied HiPo careers. Cross-functional experiences, global exposures, and coaching and mentoring mark diversity in HiPo careers. The richness of these experiences underlines whether the employee will continue as a HiPo employee or not.
Diversity brings traits such as employee engagement, community engagement and innovation to the table. And its significance increases when identifying and selecting HiPos. “Failure to select varied HiPos leads to homogenous talent pools. A similarity in thinking and personality is a roadblock for creativity, innovation and leadership and it eventually hampers organisation’s growth,” said Divya. Homogenity in HiPo talent pool is not ideal for organisations in the long run, she added.
The functionality of identifying and developing HiPos was discussed further. Divya argued, “There are three basic ingredients of DNA to build HiPo talent pool – career drive and aspiration, agility, and organisational confidence and work performance.” Once an employee is identified as a HiPo, then diversity in the talent pool must be sought after.
Identifying HiPos comes with its set of challenges. When asked about the challenges with identifying a diverse HiPo talent pool, 32% of the audience cited outdated success profiles as the reason, 12% said high performers are mistaken for high potential employees, 8% said that single criteria used for identifying HiPos from diverse background is a challenge, while a majority 48% said that there is more than one challenge out of these three when identifying a diverse HiPo talent pool.
The identification is followed by development. It should drive diversity in careers. The scope must be increased, horizontal movement must happen, a HiPo must be exposed to new initiatives, and must be coached by mentored by seniors and external partners as a part of the development process. The key is to be patient, as it takes two-three years in developing HiPos.
Divya articulated that the talent shortage faced by companies is for real, as indicated by three Right Management studies. 61% employers in India cannot fill available jobs, and this includes leadership roles. Identifying and developing high potential employees within the organisation and ensuring diversity in HiPo talent pool and HiPo careers becomes indispensible for organisations in the light of these statistics.
The webinar ended with a Q&A session where Divya answered queries of a curious audience and left with a desire for more.
For the audience, there is a whole week peppered with events to look for. Day 2 of the HiPo Week will feature a radio program on “Fast-track or Smart-track” and a virtual coaching session on “Navigating my HiPo Career Path”. Stay on for more.