How to nurture HiPo’s to benefit your business

Article By
Carl Hinett
Carl Hinett
Posted On3rd March 2021
Posted On3rd March 2021

High potential employees – or HiPo’s – increase the value of a business. They outperform their peers, doing more work and putting in more effort. Most businesses will have recognised that between 3-5% of their staff are high potential employees. There are 3 important attributes for a HiPo who is likely to succeed and get a senior position: aspiration, ability and engagement.  There are many factors that fall into these 3 attributes – leadership abilities, performance, competency and confidence when challenged.

HiPo’s need minimal supervision, are fast learners, reliable, can complete any tasks, work well under pressure and aspire to rise to leadership. They are a huge asset to your business.

So how can you nurture them to fulfil their potential and benefit your business?


Nurturing HiPo’s

The important thing to remember when discussing programs to retain and progress HiPo’s is that these individuals have been identified as having potential. They are not fully-fledged leaders, ready to step into a senior or critical role – yet. They likely will be, but they need developing and nurturing.

Training onsite and offsite, coaching, workshops and seminars can all help in the nurturing process, supporting the individuals to enable them to reach their potential. Real-life situations are really helpful, just be aware that it’s not too much, too soon.


Reducing risk

SHL’s ‘How to Reduce Risk and Realise More Value in Your HiPo Programme’ eBook says:

“Through objective assessment of all three factors (above), you can accurately identify your top talent while ensuring you avoid the most common HiPo programme risks:

  • The risk that they will fail to rise to a senior position
  • The risk that they won’t be effective in a more challenging role
  • The risk that they will leave to join competitors, diluting your bench strength”


Benefits of a successful program

HiPo’s represent a company’s strongest leadership pipeline. Investing in the success of them, means you are investing in the future of the company as a whole, because they will:

  • Deliver strong results
  • Master new types of expertise
  • Have a good attitude and a drive to excel
  • Have the desire to seek new ideas and the ability to convert them into productive action


By identifying, cultivating and investing in employees with exceptional aspirations, rare abilities, and greater engagement, you can ensure that the next generation of leaders within your organisation will be equipped to boost performance, foster innovation, and maximise corporate growth.

What are you doing with your HiPo’s and what successes have you had? If you have stories to share, I’d love to hear them, email me on

Carl Hinett is our Director & Executive Search Specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch

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