Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What I'm Hearing...Succession Planning

The February 2008 issue of Continental magazine featured a story called "Who's Next?" in the Ideas@Work column. According to the story, "when it comes to developing talent, the future is now."

One cannot argue the importance of succession planning. With the changes in our economy, our nation's demographics, and a general shortage of talent, simply waiting for great employees, or even good ones, to arrive at our organization's doorstep is a naive thought. The article raised a few points worthy of discussion:

1. But given the extreme mobility and conflicted loyalties that characterize today's workforce, it is unrealistic to think you will be able to develop enough talent within your organization to meet all your future needs. True, we may not be able to grow all our necessary talent in house, especially at larger organizations. However, why can't we try? Do people necessarily move from job to job simply because that's the "right" thing to do? If we as an organization can meet or exceed someone's needs, won't employees stay with us? Why change if you're satisfied and developing?

2. You need to know who the stars are in your industry in order to effectively succession plan. We may know who the top talent is in our own organization, but when have we taken a look at the talent our competition has? Although this is a difficult task, for long-term success, it's a perspective organizations will have to take.

3. When courting talent from outside your organization, it is important to identify candidates who are likely to thrive in your culture. Amen. How many times have candidates interviewed at small companies, only to say that their dream job would be to work at a Fortune 100 firm? Make sure the culture fit is there to ensure the best hiring success.

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