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How to Be Recognised as an Employee who has High Potential | Talent Management | Talent Pool | UK

Updated: Jun 3, 2019

Many organisations in the UK will have some form of talent management approach and framework that they operate within. Talent management is the identification, retention and development of those employees whose combination of abilities, experience and drive has high business impact. Talent management at many organisations is looking for the future leaders of the organisation and most organisations will have some talent levels/pools dependant upon your grade. For example, you may see graduate, management potential, senior manager and executive pool.


For Employees

  • You can take responsibility for the achievements of your own career aspiration

  • Your organisation may promise to provide you with the opportunities to further your career

  • You can develop your own skills, abilities and competencies (behaviours)

  • You can gain personalised feedback

  • Your organisation may maximise the learning opportunities offered to you

  • You should be engaged and motivated to do well

  • Your job assignments will give you both breadth and depth of experience

  • You should have regular career reviews

For Organisations

  • They can resource internally for key roles within their current employee population

  • They can create a performance driven culture

  • They can ensure their employees develop new skills to meet differing business conditions

  • They can improve retention of talent among their leaders and key job holders

  • They can enhance their competitive advantage

  • They can develop a more diverse workforce, captilising on the abilities of all

  • They can plan their succession effectively, identify talented replacements for critical positions

  • Their brand can be enhanced and they can become the employer of choice

How do organisations identify talent?

Apparently, 93% of talented employees are also high performers. High performance is the best initial indicator of potential. Organisations that do this well, may measure you on 'what' you achieve in your role (objectives or tasks) and 'how' you achieved it. Organisations that have competency frameworks in place will be measuring you against it.

The combination of 'what' you achieve as an employee and 'how' you achieved it determines your performance level, and place you on the performance grid. This performance grid may vary from organisation but it is very likely to be a 9 grid box. 9 grid box is quite popular in the UK, you can find more information HERE.

How is potential identified?

It is important to note that the balance of 'what' and 'how' is equally important. Good performance alone does not indicate potential. You may be amazing at achieving your objectives but if you upset everyone on the way as you achieve them, then you are unlikely to be seen as high potential.

Identifying an employee with potential is not an easy task. Measuring an employee's past performance is retrospective and therefore easy to quantify, however, potential is forward looking and predictive. Organisations that do this well will take a pragmatic and transparent process.

Organisations may assess you against following:
  • Ability - this is defined as both intellectual capability (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ)

  • Experience - this is your experience as an employee, range and depth of experience and more importantly, your ability to use it and apply to new and future situations

  • Drive - by drive they may mean ambition, both to succeed and outperform in their job role, making proactive differences in your career.

Here is an example of the above 3 areas working together:

Anna was identified as being talented by a leader in the organisation. Anna had over the last 18 months been on two different secondments which were above her current level in which she applied her past experiences to achieve. She had good intellectual capability and received great 360 feedback (more about this one in another blog) on her emotional intelligence. Anna was always searching for the next career opportunity to demonstrate her skills, knowledge and ambition. A leader's role is to help people have a vision of employees' potential.

If you do find yourself working for an organisation that does this well or want to do it well, you should expect to have good/great performance conversations about your objectives and achievements. If there is indeed a grid that they use, they may ask you as to where you see yourself on the grid, evidence you can provide that you are developing yourself, whether you see yourself operating at a higher level, whether you are planning to do something else internally, your readiness for the next move, your motivation, what steps can organisations take to assist you further, any de-motivators in your way, your personal track of performance, your personal desire for intellectual stretch and enhancement of leadership and cultural skills, your awareness of your personal impact and leaderships style and skills.

Therefore, to summaries, if you want to be seen as a talented employee with high potential, please consider below suggestions:
  • Actively drive career and personal development

  • Proactively seek opportunities to advance and progress

  • Self-assess against any leadership competencies and indicator of potential if there are any

  • Ensure regular performance and career discussions with your manager and wider leaders

  • Set challenging targets and aspirations

  • Ask for feedback

  • If there is any talent management framework and approach, ask about it and try to understand their thinking and methodologies so you know what you need to work on.

It is important to note that every organisation will have their own competencies and what they are looking for when assessing employees for high potential. Some organisations may not have it, it is not a must have. However, this blog is here to give you an indication of what you can expect to see if you are keen to be that talented employee with high potential.

I hope this helps understand what organisations may be looking when looking for talented employees with high potential.

I hope this blog helps you, more to follow around this topic. I also offer a range of Upgrade Yourself | Personal Development 1:1 services/programs one of which is to review and draft your CV together and start preparing you for upcoming interviews. You can find out more HERE.

If you have any questions, please sign up as a member/subscribe to my website below and/or send me an email on You can also find me on Instagram at @yourself.focus, Facebook at @focusyourself and Twitter @YourselfFocus

Best wishes


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