Frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

What are the characteristics of high potential employees?

High potential employees are typically people who are able, willing and motivated to advance up the management ladder to a leadership position, but they can also be people who inspire and empower colleagues and advance the business in other ways.

High potential is not to be confused with high performance. High potential employees drive organizational growth and attainment, while high performance employees are individual high achievers.

Many organizations use personality assessments or psychometric testing as well as ongoing performance appraisals to spot high potential employees. Their characteristics may vary depending on the organization’s values and activities. There’s no definitive list, but traits like good social skills, resilience, intellectual or practical ability and drive or motivation are often linked to high potential employees.

Using People Science, organizations are better positioned than ever to identify high potential employees, looking at patterns in People data. These might relate to behavior, achievement, experience and other characteristics of leaders and leaders-in-waiting. Read leading HR experts’ advice for developing high potential employees.

What are the characteristics of high potential employees?

Back to top

Losing the war for talent?