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How to Spot High Performers Vs Low Performers Quickly
Posted by Nicky Coffin
I was introduced to a brilliant book recently called ‘Hiring for Attitude’ by Mark Murphy (thanks Lynne). For any business owner or manager who are struggling to hire top talent, this is a must read.
Finally someone has put a simple structure around what we need to do to make sure that we hire the right people for our businesses.
I thought it would be useful to share with you some of the key points about high performers from the book and also from what I teach that can make a big difference to spotting and hiring top talent.
Top performing businesses know to hire for attitude first rather than skills, because you can train skills, not attitude. When you are hiring, you will need to test for these traits, either through competency questions or role plays.
High Performers – What to Lookout For:
1. Coachability – Rock or Sponge?
Top Performers talk about wanting to learn and progress, they have ability to accept and implement feedback – like a sponge. A rock would be someone who is talented, but because they won’t take on any feedback, they will get to a certain level and then plateau.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Top Performers have the ability to understand and manage their own emotions and accurately assess others emotions.
3. Are Self Motivated
High performers have loads of drive to achieve, and demonstrate tenacity and persistence – they never give up even when things are really hard. This is something worth testing for, otherwise you could hire someone who constantly needs motivating.
4. Talk About Being the Best they Can Be
The key here is that they want to be the best for THEMSELVES, different from a lower performer trait where they talk about wanting to prove a point to someone else. Because high performers want to be the best for themselves, they will continually push themselves– there is never a time when they feel they know it all – they believe there is always more to learn.
5. Solutions Focused
High performers take personal responsibility for the quality and timeliness of their work without blame or excuses. If they do have problems, they solve them.
6. Like a challenge and when really busy
Find it very enjoyable when busy – thrive under pressure
7. Ability to Prioritise
Even when they are really busy – they are able to prioritise their time effectively to spend it on the areas that will give them the
Lower Performers – What to Lookout For:
1. Are Negative
Low performers blame others – colleagues and customers – when things go wrong and say things like “I couldn’t get it done because…” or its someone else’s fault.
2. Don’t take Initiative and only do the bare minimum expected of them.
These are the people who won’t do anything outside of their job responsibilities. If you ask them to do something it takes ages to get it done.
3. Want to Prove to Someone Else They Can Do It (i.e. parents, peers, colleagues).
I once hired a trainee (before I knew about this trait) who said in interview that they wanted to get into recruitment so that they
could prove to their father that they could do it. She was amazing for the first 6 months until she was promoted to consultant. At that point, she’d proved to her father and took her foot off the pedal totally. Eventually we had to let her go for under performance…
4. Will do what others ask to please them even if not profitable.
5. Like to be really busy and have lots of variety – Busy Fool syndrome!
They are unable to prioritise where they need to spend their time to get the best return. Beware of this if you are managing, they will find anything that needs doing other than the important money making stuff to fill their days.
6. Talk about Wanting to Hit/Achieve target.
High performers will talk about exceeding or smashing their targets.
So there you have it – High Performer and Lower Performer traits. If you want to know more ways of which to test for these traits, please contact us on 0845 3194838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you found this article useful. For more advice on how to get your under performers back on track, join my FREE Webinar ‘The 6 Step System to Convert Your Under Performers to High Billers in 14 days or Less’. Click on this link to sign up: 6 Steps Convert your Under Performers to High Billers