Little is written about the job search process from the candidate’s perspective: What a company needs to do to attract and retain high quality talent and allow them to perform at a high level. While companies have a hard enough time sorting through a pile of resumes to find the right candidates to interview then hire, so does the candidate have a tough time deciding on the right company for them. So what does a high potential candidate want from a company?
Most of the writings about the job search process focuses on what companies want: A resume, job requirements, specifications, certain experiences, high potential candidates, then multiple interviews, references and so on. But high potential candidates have a list of their own. Let me suggest such a list.
HIGH POTENTIAL CANDIDATES WANT:
· To remain highly competitive in skills, knowledge and abilities within their functional field. They want to keep their skill sets at the highest level.
- To increase and expand their technical skills, with opportunities for supervisor/management. They want to improve their skills that will lead to the management ladder.
- To improve long-term income and provide for financial stability. They want to be rewarded commensurate with their contribution over time. They want to beat the pay averages.
- To gain the professional credentials needed for career advancement. They want to gain certifications, degrees, accreditations, and recognition for their work.
- To gain a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement. They want to enjoy their work and with the people they work: A collaborative experience in order to learn from others.
- To be a part of an exciting challenge: A team environment toward common goals. They want a winning organization, work group and high performing people like themselves.
HIGH POTENTIAL CANDIDATES ARE ALSO LOOKING FOR:
- Decentralized decision-making or at least the ability to influence functional decisions. Autocratic management is dead for high potential and high performing employees.
- Experience a cooperative, engaging, sharing atmosphere. Minimal politics or favoritism. They want a merit based system and the freedom to perform at their optimum.
- Afforded flexible career opportunities: Multiple tracks, opportunities and alternatives. They are looking for multiple decision points in order to accelerate their careers and contributions.
- Work in a more informal atmosphere, rather than a stuffy, formal, setting. They don’t want confining, limiting or dead-end jobs that will constrain their abilities. If so, they will leave.
These are not outrageous benchmarks for high potential individuals to pursue. However, the size of the organization may play a part in the level of autocracy and bureaucracy. Human resource and hiring managers, along with senior management, would be wise to consider the criteria that top talent candidates look for when considering an offer of employment.
The company’s future and competitive position may depend upon their response.
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