Succession Planning and Career Development

I almost fell out of my chair while I was reading this article this morning. I was literally just having a conversation with my organization’s hiring managers about this very topic late last week. I find it incredibly detrimental to the success and growth of a company when hiring managers and/or Sr. Managers fail to see the importance of SUCCESSION PLANNING!

What I really loved about this article was that the authors gave examples of commonly used excuses from management of why they have not taken the time to create an employee/organizational succession plan of even a hiring plan. I can count on more than two hands the times I have heard “our company isn’t growing fast enough to predict what we will need in the future” and “we are just too small” but then two days later I’m asked to start recruiting for a position that we tend to recruit for 3-4 times each year. At that point, all I can do is laugh to myself.  Even though senior management may fail to get on board with succession planning, as a recruiter, most of us can forsee what the natural progression of our recruits will be within the company and can plan our hiring/recruiting initiatives accordingly. See my post on Strategic Planning (

Often times, Human Resources and Recruiting is often seen as an operational after-thought to senior management. As HR professionals, we already know this. I really value Tony and Sara’s succession pre-planning questions to ask your organizational leaders. I really believe that when you attach a monetary value to the function of recruiting and HR, executives see the bigger picture and the long-term value in forward-thinking and strategic personnel planning.

I encourage all of you to read, re-read, print and then email the performance management section of the  “Four Tips to Help You Identify and Develop Your Talent Pool and Potential Successors” portion of this article to your hiring managers and executive team. Explain to them that there is value in conducting regular performance reviews and having productive conversations with their direct reports monthly. If there should be any shift in employment within the company, hiring managers will have a better understanding of what skill sets individual employees are bringing to the table and which employees can be fast-tracked for promotions and/or to fill open positions.

What are your best practices for Succession Planning?

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