Case How to attract High Potentials?

How to attract High Potentials?

Fact: Every organisation says they want to improve business performance by hiring, engaging and retaining top talent.

Truth: The problem is that they continue to struggle with finding the right match when the right approach is to work on the recruitment strategy first.

High potentials expect more. An on-boarding process starts before recruitment, from the very first contact, whether by phone, text message, an email or LinkedIn. Recruiting, applying and dating, you can almost compare it.

But let’s be honest, if you have a first date and you get 2 stupid questions, there is no room for a third one, right? Anyway, that's how I would react. As a recruiter, and also for my possible high potential, I don't waste time. That's why I choose my questions smartly. 

As soon as we see a potential candidate, we decide. It’s a fact that NANO SECONDS is needed to make a decision. It's just how the brain works. Without proper recruitment training, you will never get to hire the right talent. Here are some tips.

  1. Stop asking useless and stupid questions, f.e.:
  • Strengths & weaknesses; the best responses are easy to find online so you will never be certain whether the answers are their own.

“Where do you see yourself in 3 - 5 years”: please, be honest, I don't even know where I will be next month. It's like asking “if you were a vegetable, which one would you choose”? Who cares? If they are honest, they say they want to be in your seat by next year, so they so they certainly won't tell you that.

2. Ask open-ended questions to receive more information:

  • Tell us about…
  • Describe a situation that… (instead of: If you were in this situation what would you do?)
  • Give us an example of a time when… (instead of: what did you do to solve the problem?)

3. Don't just look for skills. These are weak predictors. Also look at personality, company and culture fit and go for the long term.

4. Identify only those skills, knowledge, behaviors, experiences and education needed to START in the role. Don’t hire to fit the entire job description from day one.

5. Good questions:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why should we hire you? (ideal question for sales position: 2 minutes to sell themselves)

6. Do not ask for salary expectations and when they can start unless you have interest in hiring.

7. Never ask if there are any questions for you, unless you are interested in hiring. (Remember, save time. Imagine they come up with a questionnaire and you have already made a decision not to proceed…)

8. Personality tests, behavioural tests, assessments etc., keep them for the last 2 candidates.

When recruiting high potentials it all comes back to one thing: use everyone's time efficiently by asking the right questions and don't waste time on useless questions.

If it turns out to be a "Go", you immediately made a fantastic on-boarding and you’ll be appreciated as a recruiter.

Remember to send a short note in case it's a "Non-Go". We don't necessarily do that with dating, (once we're done, we're done), but with recruitment we'll remain professionals, right! ;)

Written with Love,


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