It starts with selection, recruitment, internal talent identification and promotions.

Hiring the best is easier said than done. The war for talents will get tougher and tougher and companies need to be able to attract people who will have many choices.

Here is where company branding comes in. The new generation of young people coming out of universities are looking at “What can the company do for me? – rather than what can I do for the company?”. While a good salary is important, increasingly young people are looking for other things such as a good boss who can give personal feedback and coach, good relationships with colleagues and personal fulfillment.

Companies need to define what qualities they are looking for in their new hires and find a valid and structured method to assess and select those particular individuals who will have the right attitude and the capacity to grow and develop with the company. Hiring should be based on future potential rather than previous experience and background.

An example is a  study of 1,000 sales personnel from a large U.S. based international company which demonstrated that the characteristics most predictive of sales success were assertiveness, empathy, happiness, emotional self-awareness and problem-solving skills. Those were the skills that this particular company should hire for and incoroprate in their training programs.

A wide body of independent research shows that Emotional Intelligence is the one most important predictor of success for individuals and for organizations. The most commonly considered performance indicators – intelligence, education, experience and personality – are, quite simply, not enough.

Using reliable and valid psychometric measures is a must and will significantly increase the chance of hiring the “right” people. To assess IQ and EQ and use the results for a behaviorally based interview is the absolutely best way to select the best.

It always costs more to get new customers than keeping old ones and that goes for hiring also. That is why internal selection and promotions are so important. To have an effective talent management program and succession plan is thus one of the best investments a company can make.