Instrumental to Developing People 

The ongoing business process of succession planning is critical to the effective HR management within business. A well-executed process will reinforce the recruitment and placement of individuals within a company. 

Succession Planning is often an integral part of the core business strategy of a company. Its significance lies in the fact that it is used to accurately match skills sets with the requirements of key positions in the business. 

It also ensures that a company invests time into the development of individuals and their career paths. 

This will contribute meaningfully towards staff retention because career paths are defined and people appreciate the time spent in developing them. Through this process, the best people are employed, trained and developed to ensure that they are ready for promotion into more senior or critical technically skills people. 

The process of succession planning is one that involved the input of senior management and is usually managed by HR, either manually or via software. 

Essentially the idea is to work with line management and the technical/skills requirements of the business to create a team approach to skills attraction. 

The first step is to identify the long term goals of the company and ensure that the recruitment policy is aligned with the strategy. It is also essential to understand the skills that are available that are available in the market place that are easily hired and the areas where the company will need to invest in extensive training to match recruits with company requirements. It is an ongoing process and needs to be revisited on at least an annual basis as work place requirements are changing rapidly. 

In addition to the above, a company should make the process accessible and straightforward for the benefit of those responsible for recruitment and staff planning. 

It is important to ensure that those responsible understand the overall business strategy so that hiring policies are aligned. Technology that can be used to add value to the process and prevent duplication of work and communication, across all levels, is crucial to solicit and maintain support at executive level. 

If implemented and followed through properly, the process of succession planning can offer up a number of benefits to a business. 

These advantages include improved staff retention, the establishment of formal objectives around training, employee satisfaction, achieving status as an employer of choice and reduced costs through retention of skills. 


Teryl Schroen – Managing Director at Accsys (Payroll World)