It’s not an easy question. Unless you are constantly hiring for the exact same position, you cannot possibly know who the current top performers are in your job market, what skills actually drive their results, or what their compensation should be. You certainly won’t know whether any of them would consider working for you.
Everyone wants to hire top performers, but how do you know one when you see one?
This post was published in February 2009, and we've tightened our definition of top performer a bit since then. Read our new definition and the latest thinking behind it here.