How to Hire Top Performers: Offer Them a Career Path

Career opportunity is the top reason people change jobs. Forty five percent of people leave their job due to lack of opportunities for advancement, and 59 percent accept a new job for a strong career path with more opportunity. These are precisely the people you want at your organization. Those focused on their career paths will be more driven to continually improve their skills and exceed performance expectations. If you want to win these top performers for your team, sell them on a career path at your organization.

Attract career-minded talent

If your company helps people move along a career path, share those stories! You can create written and video content with your employee’s stories, and promote them on your career site and social channels. Mention this great perk in your job descriptions and candidate outreach emails to increase response rates. Finally, encourage your employees to share their own experiences with your company through review sites and social media. This will further build your employer brand so you can attract the best talent on the market—including those coveted employee referrals. When you build a reputation as an employer that cares about employees’ long-term success, you can attract top-tier talent that will stay at your organization.

Engage and close top-tier candidates

Learn why your candidate is considering a transition early in the recruitment process, and let them know how your organization can offer what they want. When you find candidates who are motivated by career advancement, make a point to highlight career pathing throughout the recruitment process. For instance, choose an interviewer who has enjoyed a long-term career path at your organization, or introduce the candidate to other career-minded employees during a lunch interview. Genuinely listen to what the candidate envisions for their future, and discuss how you could help them get there. Remember, your candidates are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. It’s important to clearly, and honestly, share what candidates have to gain from choosing your opportunity.

Retain talent with career pathing

Once you hire a career-minded candidate, it’s crucial to follow through on your career path discussions—lest new hires leave your organization too soon. The hiring manager and employee should discuss career pathing early and often to ensure that the needs of both the employee and the organization are being met. In addition to helping with employee retention, career pathing can help organizations fill leadership roles with strong internal talent. However, it’s important that ongoing learning and development programs are offered to help the employee learn the skills they need to succeed. This may include hard skills training to help them succeed in their individual contributor roles now, as well as leadership development to help them in the future.


Top performers are always in high-demand, but offering them a career path can help you win them for your team. Nearly six out of 10 candidates accept a new job because it offers a strong career path. Top performers, in particular, will be motivated by the opportunity to excel not just in their current roles, but also in their careers. If your organization offers opportunities for career advancement, make sure it’s known—and make sure to deliver.