Succession Management: Passing the Baton

A busy HR manager is always going to be pulled in several different directions. Are you handling recruiting, on boarding, payroll, benefits? What is your role today? Whatever the answer to these questions may be, you cannot ignore succession management. Not only is it one of the most fruitful methods of applicant sourcing, it is becoming one of the most valued HR processes to current employees.

What is Succession Management?

Hiring is not a singular event. Each of your newest employees hope to become long term players in your organization. While they must possess the natural talent to excel, it is also management’s responsibility to ensure that they are trained and developed to eventually grow in key roles throughout their career.

Even if you believe your senior executives do not plan to leave the company it is important to recognize that unexpected situations could always arise. A company needs to have a plan in place to promote the right candidate to these positions.

Promoting from within is a practice that will continue to allow your organization to hire the very best employees. New potential applicants love to see that internal employees are moved to advanced positions rather than replaced by new hires from outside the organization. By investing in training and development for your current team you are able to increase the value of their contribution to your business.

What can go wrong in Succession planning?

Succession management is an art and can take a lot of planning and training to ensure that the right candidates are moved into the right organizational positions. Here are some common mistakes.

  • Succession Management isn’t just for HR. The entire corporate management structure should take an active role in engaging employees for future opportunities.
  • Always allow for flexibility. Full control over each situation isn’t always possible. Sticking with rigid views about the way things should be can cause more of a problem than being able to go with the flow.
  • Don’t think you’re immune. Succession planning is something that needs to be done consistently for all levels of your business. You never know what can happen to a key player in your organization and not having a potential successor in place can cause long term problems.
  • Integrate your talent management. Succession planning can’t happen in a bubble. Recruiting and HR should work together to ensure that the best and the brightest not only get hired but are retained and promoted.

To solve these and other problems during succession management it is important to maintain diversity of talent in your organization. Allow for departments to share resources. Utilize *HRMS software with succession planning functionality, allowing your business to automate personal development and talent management processes.

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Laura M. LaVoie

About the author…

Laura LaVoie has 15 years of experience as a recruiter in the temporary staffing industry. Laura also writes about 120 square foot houses and brewing.

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Laura M. LaVoie