How To Identify Top Talent In Your Organization

13 Ways To Identify Top Talent In Your Organization & Keep Them

Every organization or establishment is always on the lookout for the best talents to deliver best practices and make the organization attain a level of growth.

This is the major reason why some organizations put in their best in the recruitment process to get the best minds to work with them.

In reality, most of the time, some companies get to realize that their new intakes are not who they claim to be in the beautifully written curriculum vitae.

The capability on paper is usually not in consonance with the reality.

So, how do you identify top talent in your organization of multiple staffers?

The basic idea behind the “Pareto principle” is that 20 percent of a particular asset is responsible for 80 percent of the desirable results.

No law in economics says that this MUST be true. It’s just an observation that seems to crop up again and again in a variety of circumstances.

Call it an empirical law if you will.

For businesses, the Pareto principle is of great importance.

Firms would like to hire people in that top 20 percent. They create 80 percent of the output if they can and avoid the rest.

The problem is that it is hard to spot the most productive and talented people ahead of time.

You never really know how somebody will perform until they take a position in your company.

For example, Mr. Victor, the General Manager of an Estate Marketing Company employed the services of a Digital Marketer and was surprised at the feedback he got from the hire when he asked for a very simple question.

He simply asked him what could be the best platform for the organization to advertise their properties. To his amazement, the supposed Digital Marketer could not provide a good enough answer.

While a performance management solution such as ELMO Software can help keep track of how well a person is doing after you’ve hired them, what indicators of talent should you look out for during the selection process?

1. They’re Ambitious

top talent are ambitious
How To Identify Top Talent In Your Organization

Ambitious people are individuals who commit themselves to success.

They want big things in their lives, and they prepare to work staggeringly hard to get them.

What’s interesting about ambitious people is their ability to reflect on their successes and failures and learn from them.

An ambitious person might not immediately become a top performer, but they have the personality to make it happen, should you give them enough time.

2. They Focus On The Priorities Of The Firm

Top talent has interests in the development of any organization they work for. They possess innate energy that makes them work passionately to ensure that projects are implemented effectively in an organization.

Such people put it upon themselves to make sure that the organization grows beyond bounds. They are ardent workers and can go the extra mile to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.

In a few cases, you can have an ambitious person join your company, but only interested in their own success & may not be much use. However, with good compensations and bankable promises, they can also support your firm’s goals and objectives.

Talented people know how to prioritize and what they need to focus on.

They avoid time-wasting activities and distractions. They can also work on multiple things at once.

3. They Can Tell You What They Want To Achieve

Top talent can tell you so much about their future
How To Identify Top Talent In Your Organization

When you ask a highly talented person where they see themselves in ten or twenty years, they can often give you a surprisingly clear answer.

Despite being a long way away, a talented person has thought about the trajectory of their life and what they would like to have achieved by various stages.

It’s not just pie-in-the-sky thinking either. A talented person can give you clear steps for how they’re going to get there. Regardless of how ambitious the goal is.

4. They are proactive

Every employer should look out for persons who are very proactive in their decisions. This top talent do not always wait for their seniors or top officials in an organization to give instructions before they take decisive steps when they are sure of positive results.

They think through a decision, see the possibility of it being productive and take the decision. They take the bull by the horn before the boss asks for the outcome of a task. Such people surprise their boss with the results of implementing the tasks.

In some organizations, these guys are seen as overstepping their boundaries. Some very autocratic and domineering top officials in organizations do not flow well with top talents like these. When they don’t get the motivation or support, these sets of talents do not give their best.

Proactive individuals are very important in any organization. They help prevent slacks and try to meet deadlines with or without the boss. Top talents are active thinkers and do not like to postpone an action that needs to be taken immediately. They can be easily identified when given a task & give results even before they are asked the outcome.


5. They have good interpersonal skills

Some organizations ask potential employees about their personality type. The truth is, not all recruits know how to relate properly with others. The need for the personality test is to ascertain if they are people that can relate well with other people irrespective of who they are.

Top talents are socially intelligent. They often know how to relate with people of the opposite sex and the same sex.

If you’re one, you will likely know how to relate with people of different religious beliefs, tribe or even social status or background. This is a very important skill as it is very vital for the development of any organization.

Top talents have good interpersonal skills and must be valued in any establishment.

6. They are good team players

In identifying top talent, look for people who are team players. Team players are able to understand, work perfectly with a group of other people and win together.

Perfect team players prefer to work with a team and win as a team than work as a loner just to get personal accolades.

They know how to map out strategies that the team will flow with and hence achieve maximum positive results. They are happy working as a team and can achieve better results when they work in a team. This set of talents can produce results alone but believe two people or more can achieve better results.

If you’re one, I’m sure you believe in the adage that says, we achieve more and better as a team. You also have some incredible leadership skills.

For organizations that require a lot of brainstorming work and maximum yield, a perfect team player is a top talent to watch out for because they are very vital in every organization.

Read: Do you work from home? These tips will help you to avoid distractions

7. They are skillful

Would you want to discover top talent in your organization? Look out for those that are very skillful especially in information and communication technology (ICT) skills. Research has it that from 2005 to 2015, employment for ICT professionals grew by one third.

From 2015 to 2025, it is expected that this growth will rise to 10 percent. There is a high demand for employing people with ICT skills in organizations. This is because the 21st century thrives mostly on ICT.

There is no organization that does not use the services that ICT provides. So top talents who are smart and aware of general trends are proficient in the use of ICT gadgets, tools, and services.

They know how to find their way in and out of problems related to ICT when they arise. So, when an organization finds such people, they hold them in high esteem as top talents.

8. They are effective communicators and listeners

For an organization to spot top talents, it must look out for people who have great communication skills. People that can communicate effectively and pass their opinions across to any kind of audience.

Top talents know how to bargain effectively in any situation they find themselves. Organizations will find these crop of talents very useful in signing up deals and making a partnership. They are very vital in any organization.

Furthermore, they are very good listeners. They are willing to listen very well before they approach any situation. They are open to corrections and ready to implement the same immediately.

Read: Outsourced employees you could have on your team

9. Top talents are emotionally intelligent

Top talents do not allow their emotions to guide their work. They know when to be emotionally down and not bring it into their work stations. They do not allow emotions to rule them or affect them negatively.

Top talents are not sentimental in their judgment but respect people’s opinions and values. If you’re one, you will often approach situations based on reality and evidence, not on emotions or sentiment.

You know when to affirmatively say yes or no irrespective of who is concerned. You can also handle pressure and criticism very well without being defensive or offensive.

10. Top talents are problem solvers

Top talents do not whine or complain when an organization faces challenges. They find solutions by looking for a way out of any situation by proffering lasting solutions.

They would rather not talk about a problem but talk about suggestions for solving the problem. These kinds of people are highly sought for in any organization and must be held in high esteem when identified in any organization.

Read: How to be a good boss – these remarkable qualities will make you one.

11. They are highly creative and innovative

Top talents use little resources at their disposal to achieve outstanding results. They believe nothing is exceptional until it is innovative.

They know how to make something out of nothing. Organizations in the creative industry need a lot of these crop of talents because they are always up to something, discovering something new. The status quo is not acceptable to them.

12. Top talents have a strong work ethic

Top talents in an organization do not take work ethics for granted. They are highly self-motivated, hardworking, diligent and often obey set down rules and regulations.

Such people do not miss deadlines and are always positive minded. They are also not used to being absent from work for too long. 

13. Their Record Speaks For Itself

top talent have sweet records
How To Identify Top Talent In Your Organization

Talented people touch the lives of those around them. College professors are mesmerized by their ability to articulate: work colleagues for their drive to get things done.

Talented people don’t go unnoticed.

If you’re looking for that top 20 percent, take a look over things like college transcripts and references.

Look through them to see the kinds of things that past employers and others say about the candidate.

Look for those patterns.

How to Keep Top Talents in an Organization

Some organizations do not put into consideration the need to maximize the output of high profile staff and top talents. On the other hand, some others believe in the need for investing in their top talents to keep them and improve on the organization’s development.

In keeping top talents, organizations should put the following strategies into place:

1. Training and personal development

Top Talents in an organization may wear out of ideas over time. Putting periodic pieces of training in place to sharpen their skills is very important.

Organizations should try to invest in their top talents which helps them to keep giving their very best and become better.

The organization should be committed to the personal development of the talent by allowing them to have access to conferences, seminars, pieces of training that will be beneficial to their personal development.

Training can be carried out twice or thrice a year to enable the talents to become better aware of recent modes of operations and skills. The organization can also provide up-to-date technology and tools needed to work maximally.

When old tools are used, it wears them out, encourages poor output, and lapses.

2. Positive feedback mechanism

People tend to be happy when you appreciate them for the good work they do. When organizations appreciate the good works of their top talents with a “Pat on the back”, they will want to do more.

When you encourage and celebrate their great feats, you challenge them to do more. Organizations can organize give-back programs to celebrate hardworking staff.

Giving of awards, plaques, sponsored trips, special dinner, salary increase, promotions, etc. This will endear them to put more effort into their work.

Secondly, if negative criticism is always thrown at top talents who are open to positive criticism, it can be discouraging. This is not good for an organization as it will drive top talents away and affect workflow.

3. Be committed to their welfare

Some organizations take this for granted. Directly or indirectly, the welfare of a top talent might affect their input into any organization. Constant and duly payment of salaries and wages is very important.

When you owe them salaries that lingers on for a long time, it is a red sign for any top talent. Bonuses being added to salaries are also very vital in encouraging top talents to work better.

It will spur them to remain with an organization.

Read: How to keep your company safe from employee negligence and mistakes

4. Flexibility in operations

Any organization that has very rigid modes of operation is a red sign for top talents. Top talents are people who are not comfortable with the status quo. They believe that change is constant and new things are constantly evolving.

When they find themselves in an organization that has standards that can not be altered, it is not always favorable for them. Organizations should constantly adjust their modes of operations especially when they do not meet the present demands.

When an organization maintains some flexibility, it encourages creativity and new innovations in an organization. Organizations must understand that what was creative five years ago may not be creative in five years’ time.

This is how top talents think and they barely want to compromise that.


Sometimes employers are not so sure of the quality of employees that come into the organization until they begin to showcase their capabilities on the job.

Some of these employees do not like to play to the gallery while others are those that have the tendency to be recognized at all times.

In either case, the employers must be very observant enough to identify who the real top talents are and harness them.

If you can find a genuinely talented person, you can bypass many of the issues with onboarding.

The best people find jobs easy to pick up, and after a couple of weeks, can mostly direct their own activities and positivity into your firm.

Eventually, they bring in revenue.

Which other attribute have you noticed in top talents?

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Post Author: Abimbola Joseph

Abimbola Joseph is a creative content developer who derives pleasure in encouraging individuals to be the best they can be in all relevant facets of life. She believes that we all have a better version of ourselves which can be leveraged to impact others and make the world a better place. Connect with me on Instagram @abimbolajoe.

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