What Makes a Top Employee? Utilizing Profiling and Performance for Hiring and Training

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What Makes a Top Employee? Utilizing Profiling and Performance for Hiring and Training

Whether you’re in a recruitment phase, working to develop internal employees, or attempting to upskill key elements of your workforce, it’s crucial to be able to identify individuals who can benefit from and excel in roles and during development. Job and success profiling, performance management, and employee assessment are key ways to do so, because you can use this data when hiring, when choosing candidates for succession, and when choosing candidates for internal development. Most importantly, identifying what makes a top employee will allow you to invest into employee development in directions that directly benefit your organization.

Job and success profiling, performance management, and employee assessment are key ways to do so, because you can use this data when hiring, when choosing candidates for succession, and when choosing candidates for internal development. Most importantly, identifying what makes a top employee will allow you to invest into employee development in directions that directly benefit your organization.

Success Profiles

Success profiles create a holistic overview of what success looks like in a role. Unlike competency frameworks or modeling, they look at the complete overview of an individual’s history, knowledge, competencies, and personal disposition. This is extremely useful when determining what sort of person you’re looking for in a role, because it tells you the ideal complete profile for your candidate. You can think of success profiles as something of a complete overview of everything that goes into making a top employee, which means that having a good one hinges on having a quality competency framework, assessment, and validation in place.

Competency Framework

Your competency framework defines the behaviors and ideals or other soft skills that add value to a role, to the organization, and to your future goals. This allows you to prioritize behaviors for the organization at a broad level, and then adjust and focus specific behavior and soft skill requirements for individual roles. For example, your competency framework allows you to define which behaviors allow an individual to succeed in your organization as a whole which will allow them to move across roles and up through leadership. You can use this to hire individuals who can succeed in their role now, as well as in any role their position takes them to as part of your organization.  

Integrating Assessment

Assessment should be part of both long-term performance management and part of short-term recruitment. You should know how individuals are performing and why as a long-term thing. For example, if a few individuals consistently stand out in performance management, you want to know why. Integrating role assessment and performance assessment at a level that it can track success to specific factors such as an individual’s hard or soft skills, their emotional intelligence, or their dedication to continued growth will allow you to look for those traits in others.

Validate Results

No matter where you get your data, it’s important to validate it against both existing, current, and future results. For example, if you collect data showing that individuals who are very emotionally intelligent and extroverted are better able to excel in a specific role, you would want to validate that before basing all your hiring decisions on those factors. You’d want to ensure that the success of those individuals wasn’t based on other factors, that those are the only factors contributing to high performance in those roles so that you don’t rule out other very good candidates, and that your data is actually correct. While validation helps you to confirm your results, it can also help you to improve the quality of results by finding elements and considerations you hadn’t noticed before.

Identifying top employees is a process of identifying what performance you’re looking for, what contributes to that performance, and how those behaviors work and operate in a role and when individuals move between roles. This process allows you to see which individuals are likely to succeed, where they are likely to succeed, and why, so that you can make critical decisions regarding employee recruitment, development, and promotion.


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