Instant Improver

Become a ‘HiPo’

Elliott Goldstein from MBS Associates, headhunters for Apple, provides insight into what he’s looking for in an employee

These days, headhunters are looking for ‘star candidates’ and, I can assure you, there aren’t many out there.

We’ve identified two very small pools of talent: one of them is the seasoned expert, who’s built up a real understanding of what they do over several years, and the other we call HiPos (High Potential Candidates).

These are people at the start of their career with a brilliant academic background, an excellent track record at work. These are the sort of people everyone is after.

Companies are prepared to pay top dollar for the very best, but they depend on headhunters such as the team at the MBS Group to sift through the layers of potential candidates to find them the right people.

Once appointed, a HiPo can be hard to keep because they are so sought-after.

Also, employers are still cautious about who they hire. Often they’ll choose from a shortlist of 10-plus candidates – which is way more than they used to have.

They’ll want very thorough references, to carry out psychometric testing and will demand that candidates take on a challenging assignment which will be used to help determine that they’re absolutely sure they’re getting the right person.

At the MBS Group, we specialise in consumer-facing businesses, which means there is a lot of retail.

So we look for candidates who have international experience (Asia, South America and Africa are important areas) or have a good understanding of e-commerce and digital marketing.

Last year was considered an employers’ market, but we believe that 2014 will be a candidates’ market.

Given the demand for talent, exceptional candidates will have the pick of the top roles.