Throughout my career in Human Resources and Recruitment I have worked alongside and interviewed thousands of people. Over time I started to notice some interesting patterns, particularly among high-potential and high-performing candidates. High-potentials are those who have the aptitude and ability to go way above and beyond the average employee and ultimately become – if they are not already – high-performers.  Job candidates who are high-potentials always possess the same three characteristics that I call the three C’s of high-potentials. These three characteristics include confidence, curiosity, and conscientiousness.


Confident people are not those who brag or boast or are the most talkative people in the room. The type of confidence I am referring to is having certainty in your abilities. It’s a quiet confidence that shines through your actions rather than being shouted from the rooftop. Confidence is shown through a willingness to take chances and try new things. Confidence comes from believing you can do something that you have never done before. Even if a confident person fails at a task, she can pick herself back up, learn from her mistake, and try again more quickly and successfully.


If you are looking for someone to bring fresh new ideas to the table, you will want someone with the quality of curiosity as they will not simply accept things the way they are. They frequently ask “why?” to learn more about a situation and respectfully challenge the status quo. Curious people tend to look for innovative and creative ways to approach a task or solve a problem.

Also, curious people work very well with clients as they are good listeners and will take the time to ask questions to get to the root of the customer’s problems. Curious people can better identify the needs of the client through their inquisitive approach which will allow your organization to more effectively satisfy the client and ultimately build a stronger and longer relationship.

During interviews, it’s easy to pick out curious candidates as they tend to ask significantly more questions regarding the organization, the team and the role, than most other applicants do.


Conscientious people care about doing a good job. They care about performing well, staying organized and meeting deadlines. A conscientious person is also more likely to be a team player because they care not only about their own success, but also the success of the team. They are highly reliable because they show up on time, meet deadlines, and will try their best to never let you down.

Do you need further help identifying high-potential candidates? Contact Key Recruitment Consulting if you are in the Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Burlington, or the general Toronto area for Recruitment support.