Recently at a recruiting workshop, I heard something that BLEW MY MIND! In all my years of managing teams and helping develop employees I’ve never heard this distinction.
The speaker was Ryan Englin from Core Matters, a company that specializes in recruiting.
When speaking about high performing employees and candidates he categorizes them into two groups: the Rockstars and the Superstars. By doing so it helps recruiters and hiring managers better fill positions and develop their teams. As soon as Ryan explained this concept, I immediately thought of past employees that fit the two descriptions.
The Rockstar is a consistent high performer.
They’re skilled and focused in one or two main areas. They’re good at training others in those areas, but not great at delegating. They like being the go-to person and have deep knowledge in a few areas rather than learning a little about everything. Rockstars are great self-motivators and will consistently get results when their tasks and attention are not split too far.
The Superstar is always growing their knowledge and skill set.
They may be less consistent but when they do perform well, it is above average. They are willing to take more risks and try new things when needed. Superstars need more attention and recognition to stay motivated. They want to feel like they’re being challenged and there’s a clear path for advancement.
Which one of these types sounds like you? Knowing the type of employee you are will definitely help improve with interviewing and landing a great new job.
As a Rockstar, you likely have less experience interviewing because you’ve been at your company longer than average.
That means you need to spend a lot more time preparing and understanding current recruiting trends. Even though you are used to doing things on your own, don’t be too proud to get help!
During the interview, focus on demonstrating your value by providing examples of your past training, research, and problem solving. By preparing and getting help on your interview, you will also ensure you don’t sell yourself short during salary negotiation.
Once you get hired, make sure in your first 30-60 days you are mindful of your perception. You want to be the go-to person again, but you need to show your willingness to learn from others. Make sure you’re very receptive to feedback and NEVER say “that’s how I used to do it at my old job.”
As a Superstar, you may appear to have jumped around companies or positions a lot as you test out different things.
Be prepared in your interview to explain this well. Don’t give a fluff answer that makes you sound disingenuous.
You’ll benefit more from mock interviews to practice some of these tougher questions and be able to explain how your short and long-term goals align with the company going forward.
Focus on demonstrating your value by sharing examples of how you tackled new projects, collaborate strongly with others, and adjust and learn on the fly.
During salary negotiation, be open to alternate compensation benefits such as performance bonuses, spiffs, and profit sharing. In your first 30-60 days after being hired, make sure to schedule your development meetings with your boss to get on the same page.
Whether you’re a Rockstar or Superstar, bookmark this page to refer back to when preparing for your next interview. In the meantime, definitely use this info to help you during development conversations with your boss. Get on the same page about your goals, what motivates you, and what you need to be successful.
Use the FREE development conversation template to stay on track.