Good companies hold on to great people, even in times of economic uncertainty. Leaders don’t want to endure costly hiring and recruiting processes to bring untested newbies on board if they can retain high performers. How do hiring professionals charged with attracting and retaining top talent identify who’s stellar and who’s not?

Understand motivations

“When was the last time someone got promoted or was given a raise on your team? Who was it?” Hopefully, they’ll say, “It was me.”
On the other hand, your interviewee might admit, “Three people were promoted above me.” At that point, you can dig deeper into the circumstances – were those others employed for a long time? Was it standard that everyone had to work for at certain period of time before being promoted? Don’t just accept “There were no career options left”. High performers own their fates; they don’t wait or need to be told how to outwork their peers.

Look for indicators of greatness

Another way to identify if you’re dealing with an exceptional candidate is to focus on some often overlooked differentiators. Look for signs of regular promotion or increasing seniority of responsibility, the more frequent, the better.

Look for enticements beyond salary

Top talent tends to come with a hefty price tag, however candidates typically also appreciate the wider opportunity on offer, knowing that perhaps an initial short term decrease should result in much more attractive longer-term earning potential. Carefully benchmarked compensation that is clearly explained will help to ensure expectations are managed for both parties, and candidates can confidently make an informed decision. A great working environment, flexible working options, more authority and autonomy can all contribute to the overall attractiveness of an offer.

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