A huge amount is invested in HiPo programs; hence the selection becomes a critical component. The criteria for selecting HiPo’s not just includes performance, but also potential and aspiration to take up more successive leadership positions in the organization. Research indicates that organizations can experience approximately two times increase in profits and revenues with the presence of stronger leadership and HIPO bench strength. The key to making right selections for the HIPO program is benchmarking of employee potential on a collective set of competencies, and accurately predicting employee aspiration and engagement levels. To avoid wrong selection and dropouts, and ensure the success of HIPO program, leading organizations are increasingly using psychometric assessments and benchmarking the results with global benchmarks of leadership.
The next question arises about how to use analytics to correctly identify HiPo’s at work. It is well known that few HR functions are realizing value from their investments in talent analytics, but this is a possibility of ineffective application of this analytics. Some studies mention that” the way HR functions use talent analytics and its actual effect on organizations’ strategic planning vary widely”. Thus, it is not only important to use objective and predictive measures of high-potential, but also to validate and benchmark the results with global and competitive data to make it relevant for business decision-making. This practice can significantly improve the extent to which talent analytics supplement HR’s ability to provide data-based actionable guidance on key talent areas such as HiPo selection, HIPO development, etc.
Most organizations have figured out the right way of measuring employee performance; employee potential is also widely measured, though its interpretation varies broadly.
However, organizations are still struggling with the concept of measuring career drive and aspiration or inclination towards a leadership role among employees or selected HiPo’s.
For example, often organizations will have certain employees who lack some leadership skills or competencies, but are consistently self-motivated and self-driven for results. How does an organization validate these unique characteristics and decide if such people can or cannot be a part of HIPO programs? The answer is that organizations must use scientific, reliable, predictable, and tangible assessments to measure an employee’s specific cultural traits that are of great value. These softer measures can be deliberated upon along with data on potential and performance to select or further filter out HiPo’s.
Talent analytics emerging from HiPo selection assessments/ measurements can become instrumental in identifying and collating development needs of the entire HiPo group. Thus, talent analytics can help in seeking answers to the following questions:
- What do high-potential employees have in common? What are some common leadership gaps and strengths? What are some common interventions that organization can undertake to further develop these high-potential employees?
Group analysis of assessment outcomes can help identify common leadership gaps, strengths, and develop a structured development plan
- Who are the right people for right roles?
Assessments help identify and quantify factors such as preferences, motivators, unexplored strengths, and unique personality traits. This helps HR and business leaders place high-potential employees in the right development opportunities and match them to the appropriate roles.
Organizations realize the immense amount of investment it makes in development of high-potential employees, and the risk of losing them to competition, especially in a talent war. With very few companies using a structured approach to HiPo identification and even lesser investing in assessments and talent analytics, the risks of the ineffectiveness of HiPo program are not going down anytime soon. Using performance appraisals and manager recommendations are popular yet outdated methods of identifying high potential employees. These techniques have to be significantly augmented with validated scientifically and globally benchmarked personality and psychometric assessment tools, which measure performance, potential, aspiration (purpose), perception and engagement. It is the need of the hour that the HR function ensures maximum accuracy in selection of the right HiPos for their organization. The HR function can benefit from preparing a business case for using assessment and predictive analytics for high potential succession and development. Investments in these measurement tools will significantly reduce costs at a later date for the organization.