Succession Planning

Written by Serena Berger
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Proper succession planning is necessary for any company to grow and survive. In developing your employees, you are providing them with skills that not only benefit your company but are also attractive to other employers. Despite all of your company's efforts, some employees will have reasons to move on to other opportunities.

It is at these times that succession planning is most important. It enables you to keep an inventory of you current employees' skills so that you can identify which of your employees is best prepared to move into a vacant position. This requires that you not only adequately describe the job opening that you now have, but also that you use the same language to describe your employees' skills so that you can cross-reference them and find the best match.

Tools for Succession Planning

Software packages are available that can assist you with succession planning. These packages often include organizational charts as well as tools that will help you identify the ideal candidate to fill each position. You can then perform an analysis to see how good a fit any individual is for the vacant position. This can be done by ascribing weights that are descriptive of the relative importance of each skill, assessing if an employee has each skill, and letting the software run a calculation of an overall score.

You should also be open to the possibility that you will not be able to find a suitable replacement within your organization. If this is the case, you should have planned accordingly so that you can try to attract the best possible talent from outside of your organization. Both talent acquisition and succession planning require careful organization, as they are integral parts of maximizing the potential of your staff.

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