If you are going to invest in the right employees, the key questions concerns who they are and what highly talented people are like.

Most organizations can upgrade their talent identification processes if they keep things simple and focus on three generic markers of potential:

1) Highly capable.

2) Socially skilled.

3) Driven.

If you bet on those who are, you will end up with a higher proportion of future stars who will contribute disproportionately.  

In line with Pareto’s principle, studies show that across a wide range of tasks, industries, and organizations, a small proportion of people tends to drive a large proportion of  results, such that:  

The top 1% accounts for 10% of organizational output.

The top 5% accounts for 25%, of organizational output.

The top 20% accounts for 80% of organizational output.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - What Science Says About Identifying High-Potential Employees, by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Seymour Adler, and Robert B. Kaiser