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High Potential in Romania

05 Mai 2014

This study was made for the use of our customers. Correctly identifying talents is a crucial process for organizational success. As recent studies show, having a well developed talent management program provides 13 times greater chances to have better results than the competition.

Identifying High Potential or Talent is not the same with performance appraisal. Most of the time, the nomination and evaluation of High Potential employees is reduced or lost in the broader process of performance appraisal. The biggest challenge in this process is correctly defining what High Potential means.

A High Potential employee is defined on two axes:

  • High and consistent performance over time
  • High potential for occupying, in the future, a position with 1 or 2 levels above the current one


The data used for the study was collected between January and February 2014, using the JET (Job Evaluation Tool) methodology, developed by Hogan Assessments. This tool is used for identifying the requirements for successfully performing a certain role in the organization. The participants were requested to choose from the Hogan Competencies Model (62) the most relevant ones for a High Potential employee.

The Romanian high potential profile is based on the results of 75 experts, professionals in talent management, HR and business managers, who have a minimum of 3 years experience in working with high potential programs in their organizations (65% from HR department, 35% non-HR, management level). The experts are from 35 multinational companies with + 300 employees, from different industries.


The Hogan competencies model is a 62 competencies dictionary developed on the basis of empirical criteria and it is used for validating the internal competencies models that organizations use.
From the 62 competencies only 10 proved statistically relevant: Responsibility, Trustworthiness, Professionalism, Perseverance, Achievement orientation, Leadership, Motivating others, Oral communication, Decision making and Building relationships.

It’s noteworthy to see that from the profile are missing some of the competencies that we usually associate with the idea of high potential: Strategic thinking, Innovation, Problem anticipation etc.

We thought of two possible explanations:

  • Mistaking current performance with future potential
  • Those involved in evaluating high potential have a political agenda and game plan

Hogan states that 70% of the employees designated as high potentials are nominated based on political motives. What can be done if past performance doesn’t guarantee future success and if political inferences find their way in the selection process? According to Prof. Dr. Robert Hogan the best way of identifying high potential is using statistically validated data obtained through rigorous personality assessment that predicts the necessary behaviours.

High potential profile in the International Business environment

Each organization is unique, so identifying a universal profile for a High potential employee is a challenge, but there is definitely a common core of necessary behaviours. This core revolves around 3 common elements:

  • Agility (fast learner, adaptable and resolves fast a wide variety of problems)
  • Initiative and responsibility (has initiative and seeks challenges, takes responsibility and follows through)
  • Interaction with others (collaborates and creates alliances, efficiently interacts with others)

The International Research and Development team of Hogan Assessments analyzed the personality traits of high potential and high performer managers enrolled in MBA programs (more than 1000 high potentials) and calibrated the High Potential profile based on the 10 most relevant competencies. These 10 competencies are part of Hogan Competency model (4 domains).



Business Domain
Competencies related to the processing of information to address business challenges

Strategic Reasoning

Combines the ideas of self and others to envision the possibilities and chart a course to an improved future-state

Tactical Problem Solving

Synthesizes available data and facts into plausible courses of action that will result in the resolution of identified problems

Operational Excellence

Synthesizes available data and facts into plausible courses of action that will result in the resolution of identified problems




Leadership Domain
Competencies related to the challenges of leading self and others

Results Orientation

Establishes high performance standards for self and others and assumes personal ownership and accountability for achieving business results

Talent Development

Pursues a personal course of development related to business acumen and uses that knowledge to hire, coach, and develop the performance of others




Interpersonal Domain
Competencies related to building and maintaining relationships

Respect for People

Builds trust-based relationships with people by treating them with dignity, respect, and fairness, while valuing their diversity in background and views


Develops positive working relationships that emphasize team accomplishment in conjunction with individual contribution




Intrapersonal Domain
Competencies related to the way one approaches challenges in the workplace

Strategic Self-Awareness

Recognizes own strengths and weaknesses and uses that information to guide personal growth and development


Pursues the resolution of business challenges with urgency and determination to achieve positive outcomes


Initiates action only after evaluating the consequences of the action and determining that the benefits are likely to outweigh the costs


We aimed for a practical utility for Romanian companies with this study, so we run a series of statistical analysis to help us in this process. We used a database of over 100.000 people (for which we have correspondent information about job analysis and professional performance) from the Hogan archive and we correlated these competencies with the corresponding scales and scores on the HPI (Hogan Personality Inventory) and HDS (Hogan Development Survey) in order to develop the simplest and fastest way of applying this information in the current practices of identifying and developing high potential in organizations.

We propose the following 3 steps process:

  • Evaluating the HIPO pool with Hogan Assessments tools
  • Consulting the tables of correspondence between HPI & HDS scales and competencies
  • Identifying people that have a high degree of compatibility


Companies can avoid mistakes by identifying high potential using established methods of assessing behaviours that predict success. Very often, management and HR professionals use subjective judgement and forget what is scientifically important for predicting performance.

The study reveals that organizations that run high potential programs have a common and coherent understanding of this subject. Despite this fact, they tend to look for the competencies that are required for the current position; they do not look for competencies that would be required for positions on higher levels that High Potential employees will occupy in the future.

Current practices:

  • Focus on who you know and what you have done
  • Lack objectivity and accurate measurement
  • Once you are in, you’re ‘in’
  • Lack focus and accountability around development
  • Do not account for the changing nature of work

What organizations should do:

  • Define Potential Correctly
  • Identify High Potential Employees
  • Use Objective Measures
  • Develop the High Potentials 

For more information about HiPo in Romania, contact your CONSULTANT 

  • High Potential in Romania - HART Consulting
(Magdalena Vrajitoru, RBS Romania)
We have been developed and run with HART Consulting several assessment and development centers during 2007 and 2008. These projects goals were: Assessment of the managerial competencies for retail and corporate banking employees Selection for career progression (promotion) HART Consulting used different customized exercises, adapted to each profile of competencies. HART has conducted
(Mircea Vlastean, Henkel Romania)
The course opens up the perspective of better understanding yourself in the sense that challenges you to do something new or in a different way, you learn know how to listen in order to understand the other. It helps you to structure the stages of coaching and provoke the one in front of you to leave with a result, and also the steps you must follow in order to achieve the desired objective
(Roxana Tronaru, BRD - Groupe Societe Generale)
We worked with the HART Consulting team in order to develop role-playing exercises – part of the AC for the BRD GSG. From the beginning, the consultants were very receptive to our needs, we built along the project structure and we communicated effictively throughout it. In the follow-up sessions, experts from Hart have shown the ability to easily identify items that need improvement or
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