• Evaluate your existing pool: An important first step
to creating a succession plan is to conduct continuous
evaluations of internal staff. By using a rating scale
evaluation, managers can compare the skills of a candidate next to others. Building this into an employee’s
annual review will easily determine where an internal
candidate stands from a leadership perspective and
help the employee understand what areas they can
improve upon to reach the next level.
• Curb unwanted turnover: It is also crucial to monitor turnover and why it may be happening to develop
a more effective succession plan. Studies show that
common reasons behind why an employee may leave a
company include salary concerns and desire for a better
work-life balance. To create leaders from within, companies need to focus on retaining their top employees
through a winning combination of competitive benefits
coupled with attractive salary.
• Tap into external networks: With the current rate
of rapid retirement at the leadership level, building
relationships with recruiting companies may be the key
to an organization’s short-term and long-term success.
Recruiting firms can help supply the talent that top-tier
companies want. Specialty firms can provide large pools
of qualified, specialized candidates to fill urgent hiring
needs, and they become even more necessary for succession planning when experienced staff is needed.
Making The Right Hires More Often
Succession planning requires a forward-looking approach, and to be most effective, companies need to
ensure they are making the right hires from the very start.
In a perfect world, every employee would have the potential to become a leader in the company. The following are
a few tips for hiring the next generation of leaders.
• Define the job description: Clearly define both the
hard and soft skills needed to excel in the position, as
well as the required experience, demands of the position and expectations of your company. Remember to
be as specific as possible when creating the title and
• Target the right candidates: To avoid a pool of
unqualified applicants, look beyond general job boards
and websites and instead focus on industry-specific job
boards and social media groups. LinkedIn is a great
resource for locating targeted groups and discussion
boards that you can use to engage with job seekers and
promote your company as an industry leader. Once you
begin receiving applications, you’ll want to make sure
your candidates meet the minimum requirements of
the job, and then conduct phone interviews and skills
tests to narrow down your talent pool.
• Make a decisive and competitive offer: Talented,
qualified professionals are difficult to find and you
don’t want to lose a candidate to a competitor. Once
you find the ideal candidate, don’t delay. Research the
salaries in your area to make sure your offer is fair and
By following these best practices for succession planning, you will be on the right track to recruit and retain
the next generation of leaders. Through a comprehensive
succession planning strategy that includes proper recruiting, hiring and retention procedures and processes,
companies can continue to prosper even in this time of
Tisha Danehl is vice president at Ajilon Professional