Finding the Right Technology to Transform Succession Planning

Preparing leaders for critical roles is one of those functions that HR professionals talk about a lot but rarely do well — if at all.

Brandon Hall Group research shows that 79% of organizations prioritize improving C-Suite succession planning in 2023, and a recent board governance trends report cited CEO and executive succession as the top priority for boards of directors.

But there is more to succession planning than the C-suite. Once an internal executive candidate is selected, the resulting vacancy can create a domino effect that can leave leadership gaps across the organization unless there is a plan for how to fill those critical roles in the talent pipeline.

TalentGuard, a Brandon Hall Group SmartChoice ® Silver Preferred Provider, understands the importance of succession planning for all critical roles. It has tools that can predict a company’s future talent needs and choose the best candidates for the most critical roles based on a complete view of the collective talent.

Most organizations focus succession planning on leadership roles, which is appropriate. But depending on the company and industry, there may be additional critical roles, such as subject matter experts, that require succession planning beyond leadership. 

Critical roles can change over time and therefore need careful management, especially in a labor market fraught with layoffs, a shortage of skills and generations exiting the workforce. A broad view of succession management protects the organization from loss of critical knowledge and skill and guards against loss of momentum when a key team member or leader takes a new position.

But the elements of great succession planning are so vast that many HR teams can’t connect the dots and partner effectively with business leaders. Brandon Hall Group research shows that succession planning — along with the closely related category of career development — is in dire need of improvement. Our Leadership Development Benchmarking study shows that at least two-thirds of organizations believe these aspects of succession planning need improvement:

  • Understanding core competencies and skills needed for specific roles
  • Forecasting of workforce needs
  • Accountability of business leaders for driving succession management
  • Frequency and consistency of career and succession discussions between leaders and employees
  • Short-term, mid-term and long-term succession planning for all critical roles
  • Transparency in the communication of the succession planning process
  • Leaders’ abilities to develop emerging talent

As businesses struggle to hire, develop and retain the talent needed to succeed in an increasingly volatile environment, they need technology that can search for people with the right skills and experiences to fill critical roles. This builds visibility on the internal talent pool needed to improve succession planning and support employee reskilling.

TalentGuard’s platform provides a detailed view of the internal talent marketplace to help companies dramatically improve a function that has long been a glaring weakness and cannot afford to be any longer.

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