By Kaitlyn D’Onofrio
The process of identifying high potentials should be transparent and data-driven, and it also should be in real time. And given the big data explosion, it’s easier today to find the gems throughout an organization.
That was the message from Tuesday’s DiversityInc Top 50 learning session titled Characteristics of High Potentials.
Simply sitting around in a training is “dead on arrival” in today’s workforce, said Matthew Schuyler, chief human resources officer for Hilton Worldwide (No. 42 on the 2016 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity), a panelist at the session.
Here’s a video of the session:
The workplace, he continued, is shifting towards an “Uber-like rating system,” where employees receive instant reviews on their performances — something millennials in particular want.
Here are two key takeaways from the session:
- Embrace metrics and real-time feedback.
At Hilton, Schuyler said, “We measure people based on our values, and we give feedback in real time.”
Schuyler emphasized why quick responses are so important to the millennial generation. With older generations, employees would work for several months — or even a year — before receiving any feedback on their potential or performance. But that method is long gone now, he added.
The new generation of workers is used to having answers at their fingertips due to constant accessibility to technology; this drives a desire for feedback in real time.
Hilton provides its high potentials with different opportunities that will accelerate their professional successes. He also said that high potentials are asked to rank their leaders and how effectively they are at providing opportunities.
It’s important to “rigorously define high potential,” added panelist Michael Fenlon, global and U.S. talent leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers (No. 5).
An employee’s potential, he continued, may be overlooked due to unconscious bias, which many companies are beginning to address. “Blind spots [unconscious bias] are very pervasive,” he said.
- Use data to find potential in everyone.
The use of predictive analytics to determine who will be the most successful is imperative in today’s market place, both panelists stressed. With the ability to tap into so much data today, employers are able to find hidden gems among their employee ranks in ways they never could before.
That’s why it’s so important to approach the search for high potential with the attitude that anyone has the potential to be high potential.
“We start with our intern potential all the way to full time colleagues,” Fenlon said about PwC.
And at Hilton, there are various skills each worker must possess, Schuyler added, and “every role has different requirements.”
The company ensures that its employees all possess what the company considers high potential by recruiting employees who live up to HILTON values: Hospitality, Integrity, Leadership, Teamwork, Ownership, and Now (operating with a sense of urgency and discipline).
By recruiting employees that the company already knows share its values, Hilton knows its workers will thrive. “Everyone has potential; whether it is higher than someone else is contingent based on your environment,” Schuyler noted.