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Identifying a High Performance hire in Hong Kong

Posted by | November 22, 2013 | Recruitment, working-in-hong-kong

identifying-high-potential-hiresIdentifying a High Performance hire in Hong Kong, or anywhere else, is relatively straightforward. During an interview it will be apparent that they have sought out and achieved ‘stretch’ career goals, take pride in being ‘the best’ and are mentors and leaders that staff like to follow. Hiring high performers can be difficult as everyone wants to employ a ‘sure thing’ who will achieve more than a regular employee.

Tomorrow’s High Performers are today’s High Potentials and they share the same competencies, which are evident through behavior.

Identifying High Potential is harder, as you are looking for behaviors that might not have yet been marked through significant achievement.

You will see in the table below some typical high performer competencies and  questions that will allow you to look at the associated behavior.

Competency How to investigate behavior
Using Business Expertise Tell me about a time that applying your industry experience to a problem provided tangible benefits.
Solving Problems Tell me about a time you had to analyse information and make a recommendation. How did you do that and what was the outcome?
Demonstrating positive behavior Tell me about a time when you encountered obstacles while pursuing a stretch goal. Did you reach the goal and how did you overcome the issues?
Showing innovation or flexibility Describe the most creative idea that you’ve implemented to solve a problem. How did you come up with the solution and was it successful?
Being aware and effective Have you ever been displeased with your own performance? Why was that and what did you learn or do about it?
Developing healthy working relationships Describe a time that you received disappointing feedback from your boss. How did you feel and what remedial actions did you take?


The investigation should reveal behaviors indicative of the competency. For example, if an interviewee was to have behaviors indicative of having and ‘using ‘business expertise’, you might see them:

  • Keeping up-to-date on current business knowledge and trends
  • Anticipating the effect of new business trends on current practices
  • Understanding and applying new information to the workplace
  • Implementing strategies to enhance the efficiency or productivity of the organization

Once you have hired your high potential employee, you need to keep them challenged, developed and stimulated. Give them increasing responsibilities and autonomy, partner them with a high performer, provide training, recognition and leadership access when appropriate.

Please subscribe to our Facebook Page to see more Hong Kong interview advice in future blogs:

  • Identifying a Leadership hire in Hong Kong
  • Interviewing across cultures in Hong Kong
  • Interviewing across generations in Hong Kong
  • Who not to hire in Hong Kong

Peter Udall
Guest Editor

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