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How to Get Started With Succession Planning

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

Succession planning requires identifying and developing current employees with the potential to fill key positions, identifying competency gaps, and developing strategies to address essential business needs. Although the process can seem daunting, it provides many benefits. Succession planning also reduces costs when filling key positions by enabling more internal hires and aids in retaining institutional knowledge. It also results in a more diverse leadership team, higher quality promotion decisions and development investments, and enhanced career opportunities for emerging leaders.

Although succession planning has long been a part of HR and business leaders' strategic agendas, they often side-step succession planning and take little thought or action on it until it is too late - after vacancies in key positions arise. Perhaps this is because it requires long-term discipline before the efforts bear fruit. For the process to be up and running, there must be a 12- to 36-month period of preparation. It is an investment and a commitment.

Although succession planning can seem like an overwhelming process, the key is to make it the priority it should be and do it before the need arises. Following these steps can help make the process easy to understand and reduce the difficulty to a manageable level.