How to identify new leaders in your company

Read this article and learn how to identify new leaders, who will be responsible for the future success and business growth of your company.

The search for the next generation of leaders is one of the greatest challenges for organizations

Organizations are concerned with how to identify new leaders. This becomes even more critical when you consider that a large part of a company’s success comes from the decisions made by its leaders. Choosing the right people now will have a direct impact on future business growth.

Some companies look for candidates outside the company to fill important roles, even given the costs and risk of hiring someone who may not adapt to the company culture.

Among other companies, there is often a lack of basic talent management tools. This leads to even more doubts about how to properly identify new leaders.

This article offers some tips to help you identify the new leaders that are currently hidden in your company.

Which strategies can be employed to help a company identify new leaders?

Prioritize the workforce

Developing and maintaining collaborators is cheaper than looking for new professionals in the market. Tools such as corporate e-learning make this process easier.

To help companies identify new leaders, internal leadership development programs are great ways to assess and identify promising candidates.

Support from outside consultants can help to develop these programs. However, they must be tailored to the company’s needs. An off-the-shelf methodology will not always fit the organization’s environment. It may not meet the company’s real development needs.

Promotions and encouraging job-rotation

With job-rotation, employees are allocated to different functions within the company. The challenges that arise from coming into contact with new responsibilities in unfamiliar roles allow people to broaden their knowledge and develop their abilities.

Align performance targets

Market dynamics and increasingly rapid changes also impact performance reviews. They occur in ever shorter time frames. In some cases, even on a daily basis. The great benefit of conducting “real-time” performance reviews lies in promoting and accelerating change. They help to quickly align performance targets with the desires and goals of employees with strong leadership potential.

How to identify new leaders with the right characteristics?

1. Carry out predictive evaluations

With predictive tools, it is possible to evaluate people’s work behavior and why they behave that way. The patterns identified indicate what the person’s behavior will likely be in the future in similar contexts.

They are useful for identifying collaborators with strong potential, as well as those who are incompatible with leadership roles.

First, managers should determine what abilities and characteristics are required for each role. They should be evaluated with the organization’s future in mind so that new leaders can put the business strategies into practice.

Specialized software solutions are critical in this step. Predictive evaluations involve large amounts of data. Without the help of technology, the process is simply not feasible.

2. Focus on the candidate’s ability

Performance history is one element that helps to measure the experience and abilities of a candidate. Be cautious at this point. Don’t focus too much on performance, but rather prioritize potential when looking for new leaders.

Some collaborators demonstrate exceptional performance and are interested in assuming leadership roles, but may be considered unfit in terms of potential.

Managers need to focus on the capabilities of candidates. It is crucial to identify their goals in relation to the company and if there is potential to grow, in order to communicate clearly, outlining one’s vision and building a team to develop and influence team members.

3. Look for a coach

The integration of people tends to be better under leaders who guide and assist in their professional development, making coaching one of the necessary skills for new leaders. Thus, when looking for potential candidates, look for people who are able to inspire, guide and stimulate their future employees.

4. Evaluate how the candidate relates to the company

Leaders with great potential will demonstrate a high level of interest in the company’s goals. They will be involved in the organization’s plans and future strategies.

  • When evaluating candidates, ask yourself these questions:
  • Does this collaborator proactively contribute good ideas?
  • Does he/she propose strategies to improve the work environment, simplify a process or improve results?
  • Does he/she show interest in going beyond the expected to get results on behalf of the team and the organization?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you have likely identified an employee with the characteristics of a future leader.

5. Get candidate references

Talk to managers and other employees who work (or have worked) closely with potential candidates. Using this feedback, identify which characteristics are relevant for leadership roles.

Just be careful who you talk to for references to eliminate the risk of bias.

6. Look for result-oriented people

Look for leaders who demonstrate motivation to achieve results. These people like new challenges and take them on as a way to broaden their knowledge. They care about the quality of their work and always strive for improvement.

In conclusion, there are probably people who have strong leadership potential among your company’s collaborators. Maybe they are not aware of this potential, but you can help them find it.

Now that you know how to identify new leaders, you should know that SoftExpert can help you in this task. SoftExpert HDM is a software solution for the identification, development and qualification of these potential leaders and successors. It speeds up the development of skills aligned with your company’s business strategies.

Learn more about SoftExpert HDM

Marcelo Becher


Marcelo Becher

Specialist in Strategic Management from PUC-PR. Business and market analyst at SoftExpert, a software provider for enterprise-wide business processes automation, improvement, compliance management and corporate governance.

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