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Why 3 Firms Selected SHL’s High Potential Identification Solution to Develop and Engage Employees

Choosing the right tool to support your high potential employees' development is critical, especially when flight risk is at its highest.

Knowing who the high potential (HIPO) employees are within an organization matters more now than ever before. HIPOs are the hottest talent on the market but at a time when flight risk is at its highest, finding and securing top talent is becoming increasingly difficult. Correctly identifying, managing, and retaining HIPOs is crucial to the future success of an organization.

Here are 3 examples of how SHL customers benefitted from accurately identifying their HIPOs.

Cundall reduces business risk with targeted high-potential employee development

Cundall is a leading global international engineering consultancy operating across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Faced with a competitive external talent market, Cundall wanted to ensure they developed strong leaders internally by identifying people with the potential to lead business growth.

To attract and retain the best talent, Cundall needed to focus more closely on their employee value proposition and new hire development—and viewed their HIPO program as a key driver.

With SHL’s High Potential Identification Solution, Cundall was able to assess personality, motivation, ability, and engagement, as well as benchmark the results against the industry. The results enabled Cundall to identify individuals with the potential to be leaders today, as well as those who, with the right development, could become leaders of tomorrow.

The availability of objective talent data is helping Cundall reduce business risk, by being able to focus on development more acutely and ensuring that its engineers have the right leadership capabilities before they “go live.”

“The program has given us a stronger leadership pipeline and is helping us embed a ‘grow your own’ talent strategy. It has helped us understand exactly what we have and where.” Carole O’Neil, Managing Partner, Cundall

Bristol-Myers Squibb develops managers to bring about culture change

Bristol-Myers-Squibb (BMS) is a global pharmaceutical company that discovers and develops innovative medicines for patients with serious diseases. 

To succeed in this dynamic sector, BMS needed a new emphasis on developing BMS managers, who are central to demonstrating and communicating the BMS strategy and core values that bring about culture change: Passion, Accountability, Speed, and Innovation.

Using SHL’s High-Potential Identification Solution to assess and understand the true leadership potential of a selection of high-performing employees, BMS identified individual challenge areas and targeted on-the-job learning which is proven to be three times more effective than formal, classroom-based training.

Now BMS can align employee development more closely with the needs of the business and enable HR and business leaders to make more informed people decisions through objective data and predictive insight. By giving people the flexibility to learn on their own and at their own pace, SHL’s development solution also helped deliver HR objectives around local accountability and self-sufficiency.

“SHL is helping us embed the behaviors that will make us more agile, accountable, and innovative; and by helping employees become more accountable for their own careers, SHL is enabling HR to provide a truly strategic partnership to the business.” Elinora Pisanti, HR Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb

FSCS identifies high potential employees to objectively build leadership pipelines

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is an independent organization covering all regulated financial services in the UK, helping people get back on track by protecting them when authorized financial services firms fail. 

To help foster a more agile, diverse, and inclusive workplace, the board of the FSCS developed clear ambitions for the 2020s to respond to continuing and new challenges they expected to face in their third decade. This culture shift generated the need for proactive, flexible, and outward-looking leaders, who could adapt to new ways of working and collaborate effectively with multiple stakeholders and delivery partners.

The FSCS selected SHL’s High Potential Identification solution to identify future leaders–both at the executive and management levels. The solution provided an objective and coherent view of skills and development areas, which highlighted major gaps around strategic thinking, influencing, and communications.

Armed with this information, FSCS targeted specific leadership competencies that needed development and allocated budget in areas that they knew would make a difference, rather than generic leadership courses with no visible return on investment.

Following a successful pilot, the FSCS opted to use the HIPO assessment approach for developing and maintaining their leadership pipeline and has seen great progress. Within two years, almost half the individuals identified from the high potential development processes have been promoted to senior leadership positions and the female representation in the executive team has exceeded the 50% target.

In addition, the data enabled managers to put personal development and growth at the center of conversations with their teams, and individuals are more in control of their own development.

“Investing in the objective identification of our leadership high potentials has enabled us to target our investment in the right place at the right time to deliver the best outcomes” David Blackburn, Chief People Officer, FSCS

Identifying HIPOs is critical to driving long-term, sustainable growth

What do these three organizations have in common? They all realized that it is vital to retain and develop existing talent and build leadership bench strength. Finding future leaders from within is more cost-effective and of lower risk. 

Organizations with stronger bench strength have double the revenue and profit growth compared with organizations with weaker bench strength. Traditional HIPO programs need to be challenged and reviewed. Employee engagement is a factor often overlooked, but at a time when retention is a challenge, organizations must ensure that they are investing in the people that not only have the ability and ambition to lead, but also the commitment to reach that level too.

SHL's High Potential Identification solution ensures that all HIPO decisions are data-driven and backed by rigorous science and a validated framework. This is delivered through one platform of real-time talent data, bringing accuracy, diversity, and agility to HR decision-making.

Check out our solutions to find out more about how you can identify high potentials within your organization objectively.

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Leanne Abraham

Leanne is Head of Core Sales for SHL in the UK. With her background in Occupational Psychology, she is passionate about empowering businesses with people data and insights to inform talent strategies and drive better outcomes for both individuals and organizations. She has been with SHL for over 7 years and leads a team that works with organizations to help identify areas where they can improve hiring efficiency and unlock the full potential of employees through SHL’s innovative, science-based solutions.