Skip to main content

Founder of Made to Hire

There’s a formula for getting rated as high potential within your company. Human resource planning (HRP) happens in most companies. Think of it like the NFL draft, in which players are reviewed, ranked and chosen based on their perceived future value. The buildup to the draft starts as soon as you start playing so to speak – essentially as soon as you’re hired.

What you do or don’t do can quickly affect how you are viewed within your company.

Story continues below advertisement

The HRP process looks a little different in every firm, but essentially what happens is leaders from different departments meet in one room and they assess the current HR situation at a macro level, forecast what will be needed in the future and then discuss career paths for specific employees. My goal is to teach you how to get your boss advocating for you when those HRP sessions happen. Ultimately, when your name comes up, the goal is for it to be synonymous with high-potential talent.

Here are 10 keys to getting rated as high potential:

Support company goals – especially your boss’s goals

What matters most is what matters to your boss. It’s that simple. Put your own agenda aside and focus on things your boss thinks are most important. And don’t assume you know what these are. Ask for a goal-setting session with your boss each year so you’re clear what you should be focusing on.

Overdeliver on what they hired you to do

Doing only what you were hired to do is the fast track to never being promoted. You heard me right. If you just do what they hired you to do, you won’t move up; you’ll be the perfect mediocre employee. That isn’t what you want; what you actually need to do is overdeliver – particularly on your boss’s priority items.

Look for ways to add value beyond what you were hired to do

Story continues below advertisement

Say yes to any opportunities to contribute to special projects through your work, your feedback and your questions. In particular, seek out anything that would allow you to demonstrate value to senior people. Master the basics of your job then let your boss know you can handle more.

Come up with solutions, not problems

Showcase your problem-solving and leadership skills by coming up with answers to possible problems, not just sharing that problems exist. Not much frustrates senior people more than being brought problems they then need to solve.

Communicate clearly and quickly

You need to be clear and highly responsive. The clock starts ticking after you meet someone and/or after you’re assigned a task and you have 24 hours to take the next step unless a different timeline is set. Taking longer than that makes it seem as if the person or project isn’t a priority to you.

Speak up

Story continues below advertisement

You’ll never go anywhere if you don’t share what you know and give people access to how you think. Set a goal for yourself to speak up at least once in any meeting unless there’s an obvious reason not to, such as your boss told you to sit in on the meeting but not contribute.

If you schedule a meeting, set an agenda

Your agenda should go out the day before the meeting. Setting an agenda shows you have a plan and you respect people’s time. Be sure to reserve time at the end of the meeting for questions and next steps.

Provide reports/recaps

For any project you lead or meeting you run, your recap should go out shortly thereafter. For projects, the recap should be sent within one week of the project end date. For meetings, the recap should be sent within 12 hours of the meeting ending.

Be someone people want to be around

Story continues below advertisement

Leave your negative energy and personal problems at home. The “complainer” title gets assigned quickly in work environments; don’t be the one to take that on.

Don’t pass up on social opportunities with management

Your RSVP for work lunches, happy hours and holiday parties is YES. Don’t pass up on the chance to mingle with people in your department, in other departments and, in particular, people in leadership roles.

Keep these 10 things in mind for how you’re positioning yourself professionally to get on the high-potential list.

Stay ahead in your career. We have a weekly Careers newsletter to give you guidance and tips on career management, leadership, business education and more. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter