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Succession planning and management guide

Archived information

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What is succession planning and management?

Succession planning and management involves an integrated, systematic approach to identify, develop, and retain talent for key positions and areas in line with current and projected business objectives.

Different organizations are at different stages in their approach to succession planning. The following chart can be used to assess where your organization is, and the information in this tool can be used to build a more comprehensive and leading approach to succession planning.

Traditional approach

Replacement planning

  • Focus is limited to executive-level positions.
  • Focus is on identifying immediate and short-term replacements.
  • Plans are limited to identifying one or two potential successors for senior positions.
  • Plans are linked to individual job requirements.
  • Potential candidates are identified based solely on feedback from their immediate supervisor.
  • Succession planning is done in isolation from other related HR activities (e.g. learning and development, diversity initiatives, and recruitment).

Leading approach

Succession planning and management

  • Focus is on key positions/areas at various levels.
  • Focus is on the development of talent for the longer term.
  • Plans include developing pools of talent for key positions/areas.
  • Plans are linked to building competencies and skills for current and future business needs.
  • A systematic process is used to assess candidates based on feedback from multiple perspectives and sources of information.
  • Processes are in place to integrate succession planning with other HR activities.

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