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Can you easily identify your top performing talent? 

Hint: It mightn’t be as straightforward as reviewing best job performance ratings. 

If you’re looking for staff to promote, or simply ensure retention, you also need to look out for various key characteristics and behaviours. 


High performer or high potential?

Carefully distinguishing whether your employees are ‘high performing’ or ‘high potential’ is imperative.  While the two terms seem to be linked, understanding what separates them is often the difference between a manager who's able to build a successful team and one who struggles to motivate and retain valuable employees.  Knowing this difference can assist your company in identifying employees for advancement.  

So, what is a high performer?  High performers are extremely good at their job, are reliable, and will always do what is expected.  However, they’re also less interested in moving up the corporate ladder - and more interested in maintaining the great results they produce every day.  

On the other hand, high potentials are future leaders and go above and beyond what is expected of them.  They share the same characteristics of high performers when it comes to delivering high quality results, but try to understand the business on a deeper level, take initiative and seek self-improvement.  


Ways to identify your top performers and future leaders

Identifying your top performers and potential future leaders is invaluable to any business.  Leaders will effectively guide a team, have the ability to work autonomously, and will pave the way for their colleagues by setting new standards of exceptional behavior and outstanding productivity. 

High performers possess a number of the following qualities:

  • High quality output: An innate characteristic of a high performer is that they consistently deliver an excellent standard of work.  The top performer thrives on compliments and recognition for good work, which in turn makes them strive harder. 
  • Skills development: These performers seek ways to improve and learn new skills to excel even more.  Aside from expanding their competencies via education, they may also undertake training, courses and seminars to assist with bringing in success for the company.
  • Confident in making decisions: One sign of a great leader is the ability to be bold when making decisions, even if this means making mistakes to attain innovative solutions.  They’re also able to solve complex problems confidently.
  • Feedback seeking: Top performers value and seek regular feedback from their peers, as well as from customers and clients.  They treat the feedback as constructive criticism, using them as a guide to constantly improve performance.  In addition, feedback encourages innovation and creative thinking from these high performers - and allows them to contribute to the overall objectives of the business.  
  • Initiative and self motivation: High performers take initiative to seek new challenges and stretch their capacity to accomplish projects without being told how to complete it.  Such individuals are deeply motivated, are more likely to self initiate their own research, and spend more time on projects than average performers. 
  • Composed under pressure: Due to their confidence and knowledge about their job, your star performers are able to keep calm under pressure - making them respond well to change.  They can easily analyse situations and solve issues that arise in the workplace, while continuing to work with grace and determination, even if demands are increasing and deadlines are looming.  
  • Great interpersonal skills: Strong leaders understand that communication and connections are vital - not just with the ones they lead, but with people they may come in contact with.  Top performers tend to have larger professional networks than average employees, and are good with networking.  These skills demonstrate they are capable of engaging socially and maintaining relationships with their better than average interpersonal skills. 


In summary, it’s beneficial for organisations to identify these qualities to seek out their top performers. Not all employees are highly driven, goal seekers or achievement oriented. Once you establish the potential in employees, you can maximise this resource to give your firm a distinct competitive advantage.  

The next challenge will be how to engage, retain, and encourage further development.  You can read more about how to be more proactive in engaging your talent here.


About CGC Recruitment

CGC Recruitment is a specialist construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture recruitment consultancy. We view our clients as our partners and work closely with them to meet their business needs. We work with some of Australia’s largest construction brands through to specialist SME’s and boutique consultants. We have proven experience delivering permanent, contract and retained recruitment solutions, consistently providing the right candidates for the right roles at the right time.

If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, please contact us. Alternatively, you can complete our online client form and a member of our team will contact you.