Succession Planning - Identify and Prepare Replacements for Key Jobs

Succession Planning is a process to ensure that the right person is placed in the right job at the right time.


A Blueprint for Effective
Succession Planning

An effective system requires a clear understanding of the competencies required for success in roles, and an accurate assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of employees.



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The objective of succession planning is to provide senior management with a system for providing and identifying a pool of ready replacements for key jobs, and to provide professionals with a clearly defined career path and a process to optimize their advancement. We help organizations develop and implement these systems.

Does your current system…

  1. Describe the requirements for job success in an unstructured, unfocused, and unspecific way?
  2. Not summarize the competencies that a candidate should possess, and explicitly describe the competencies?
  3. Not contain a real understanding of job requirements, so you can test in a selection / assessment procedure?
  4. Not assess competency development levels of all successors?
  5. Not plan competency development actions with successors?
  6. Make too many demands on successor candidates, without identifying the most important demands?
  7. Not identify and assess the competencies that may be difficult to develop in some people?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, contact us to learn how Workitect can help you create a competency-based succession planning and talent management system that is built on a solid foundation and is totally integrated with other HR processes

imgWhy it’s important to get it right

  • Change - You need people who can meet the challenge of changes in the global economy, technology, education, the culture, and expectations of people
  • Costs - A wrong placement decision is always costly, directly affecting a company’s profit.
  • Productivity - The need to accomplish the same or greater amount of work with fewer people.
  • Jobs are more complex

imgCriteria for a successful succession planning system include:

  • One, preferably two, well-qualified internal candidates are identified as ready to assume any key job should it become vacant.
  • A record of successful promotions (or other job placements).
  • Few superior performers leave the organization because of "lack of opportunity."'
imgSteps in Developing Competency-Based Succession Plans
  1. Identify key jobs
  2. Develop competency models for critical target and feeder jobs
  3. Assess candidates against competencies for target jobs
  4. Make decisions on candidates/incumbents
    • Promotable
    • Not promotable
    • Not competent
  5. Develop a HRM Information System
  6. Develop a Career Pathing System (optional)
  7. Install a competency-based broad-banding compensation system (optional)

imgMeasures of the Effectiveness of HR in Succession Planning

  1. Continuity and alignment of:
    • Corporate and division assessments and plans
    • Successor candidate/high potential feedback loops
  2. Depth and timely execution of quantitative succession requirements for:
    • Key positions/readiness codes
    • High potential/promotability categories
    • Diversity representation
    • Internal/external and intra-/inter-divisional hiring ratios
  3. Accuracy, completeness and quality of organization and succession planning documentation;
    • Key position forecasting requirements
    • Competency and performance assessments
    • Education, training and development strategies
  4. Degree and quality of integration of succession planning with the HR systems
    • Organization design
    • Performance management
    • Career development

Benefits for Individuals

Do you know how to gain career mobility in your organization?

Your potential for other positions in your organization has probably already been evaluated, based on the skills, knowledge, and "intangibles" you are perceived to possess. Wouldn't you like transparency, to know what those intangibles are, so that you can reset your career aspirations or develop the competencies you need in order to advance?

In comparing people's performance and potential, a competency model provides a consistent, objective, and valid framework for the evaluation. If none exists, you don't know what is being used as a measuring stick, e.g. loyalty to boss, tenure, etc. Learn more

imgResearch Notes: Competency-Based Succession Planning - What, Why, and How

What a competency-based approach is and does, its impact on individual and organizational results, organizational issues addressed, situations best served by a competency-based approach, and steps to implementing… Learn more (PDF)


Client Testimonials

“Their consulting and training include excellent materials and great examples, demonstrating the talent management tools of competency modeling and use in recruitment, promotion, career planning, performance appraisals and succession planning.” Kathleen Moldenhauer, S.V.P. Human Resources, Pall Life Sciences

“The abundance of useful tools, templates and examples amazes me. These are things I can put to use immediately to drive performance through competency models in my business unit.” David DeAngelis, Director, Technology Training & Support Services, GTech Corporation

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