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Formal Identification of High-Potential Talent

Formal Identification of High-Potential Talent

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Formal Identification of High-Potential Talent

Should high-potential talent be formally identified and notified of their status in the company? Undoubtedly, this is a question that many business leaders ask.

A study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership (, revealed that there are more advantages and benefits to formally identify and notify high-potential talent, than disadvantages.

The Center for Creative Leadership define high-potential talent as an employee who is assessed as having the ability, organizational commitment, and motivation to rise to, and succeed in, more senior positions in the organization.

Formal Identification has Impact

The degree of transparency and formality of notifying employees of their status as a high potential, impacts how employees see themselves. Furthermore, it impacts how they see the organization.

Formal VS Informal Identification of High-Potential Talent

In addition, the study also revealed that employees who are formally identified as high-potential talent are more likely to consider themselves high potentials than those who were informally identified.

Moreover, official recognition cultivates the leader’s identity as a high-potential employee. Without that acknowledgement, these leaders may doubt their skill level or importance to the organization.

This means that positive feedback, a good track record, or informal acknowledgment of one’s value is not the same as the “official” status as a high-potential employee, as recognized by the leadership of the company.

Formal identification as a high-potential employee is important for retention

Importantly, 77% of the participants in the survey placed high value on being formally identified as a high-potential employee in their organization. There are some clear differences between high-potentials who have been formally named VS those who are perceived to be high-potentials:

  • A mere 14% of formally identified high potentials said they were seeking other employment.
  • However, among those who were informally identified as high-potential employees, 33% reported they were looking for other opportunities.

Read this article for 3 Tips to Retain High-Potential Talent.

The Downside of Being a High-Potential Employee

Generally, participants in the survey expressed positive sentiments about being identified as a high-potential employee by their organization. Nevertheless, the designation isn’t entirely a win for those in the pipeline. Obviously, business leaders must look out for high-potential employees experiencing increased pressure or anxiety around high expectations or performance. Also, others experience frustration around the organization’s unclear intentions.

Therefore, business leaders must ensure that the process of formal identification of high-potential employees is managed carefully and respectfully.

CoLAB Talent specializes in high-performing resources

Are you a business leader

  • In need of high performing resources, right now, but you can’t add them to your payroll;
  • Struggling to develop high potential resources in your organisation; or
  • In need of a flexible workforce, to scale as your demand increases?

Stop looking. CoLAB Talent will take the pile of CVs off your desk, onto ours. Besides, we are known for matching your needs with individuals of Competence and utmost Character.

Along with the above, you will be able to scale your execution capacity with high-performing individuals, so that you can focus on driving strategic results and growing your business, without employing permanent resources.

Besides, this is the future of work.

Keen to explore such a solution in your company?

Book a free 20-min call with Barend, to explore solutions for your needs, and to kickstart your journey towards the successful future of your business.

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Read these articles on Talent Management and other popular topics:

3 Tips to Retain High-Potential Talent

Future HR: Tips to Create Human Energy

Future HR: People energy in business 

Refresh your people structure 

Employee engagement increases profitability

Optimize business processes


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