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5 Ways to Use Your Recruiting Process for Succession Planning

We’ve talked about building your bench. But how do you incorporate your Succession Plan into your hiring process? An integral part of building your bench is implementing an effective succession plan that starts with recruiting. Think about it. When is the best time to talk to your employees about their goals, aspirations, and development? How do you know what skills and abilities they need to develop? Hiring the top talent goes hand-in-hand with succession planning.

Here are 5 ways to integrate your succession plan into your hiring process:

1. Develop an Overall Plan with the Leadership Team

  • Involve all of the stakeholders in the design and implementation of the plan.

  • Start at the beginning of the employee lifecycle by incorporating it into your recruiting process. Determine whether your recruiting process targets candidates with the desired skill set, career aspirations, and growth mindset. If not, amend your process so that it focuses on candidates that will be a good fit for your organization for both the short and long term.

  • Integrate the succession plan with each of the existing planning activities. It is not a standalone program and needs to be linked with other programs.

  • Hold leaders accountable for the outcomes and results.

  • Aim for transparency. This won’t happen overnight and takes time.

  • Communicate with employees and explain the plan. Tell them what it is and what it isn’t. The same goes for prospective employees. This is an important consideration for many candidates and will make your organization stand out.

2. Talk to Your Candidates About Their Career Plans

  • As part of the interview process, incorporate questions about career aspirations and goals, as well as questions about their timeframe for achieving those goals.

  • Once an employee joins your team, ask them more specifically about their goals and career ambitions. Find out which roles interest them and the reasons behind it. Seek to understand their priorities and motivations.

  • Ask employees for their ideas on how they can achieve their goals and how your organization can best support them.

3. Create a Development Plan Together

  • When recruiting candidates, find out what they’re looking for in an organization and inquire about their timeframe for achieving their goals. Ask for specifics and try to understand their short- and long-term plan. Assess how their plan fits in with your organization and the direction going forward. Does your organization have roles that will interest this candidate? Will your organization be able to support their individual development?

  • Once on board, decide which roles would be a fit for them. Evaluate the key skills, knowledge, and abilities of the future role.

  • Determine the strengths and areas of development of the employee as they relate to the key skills needed for the future position.

  • Designate mentors and create opportunities for employees to gain experience and develop their leadership skills. Candidates want to know they will have strong mentorship and growth opportunities.

4. Monitor Progress

  • Review your recruiting process regularly and assess the effectiveness of your screening questions as they relate to new employees. How are your new hires performing? Are they developing their skills and working towards their goals? Is your organization successfully supporting their efforts? Are there any gaps?

  • Revisit an employee’s development plan regularly and discuss their goals throughout the year. This data is objective so it will enable you to make informed decisions when it is time for promotions.

  • By tracking an employee’s progress, you will be able to identify the employees who are motivated to develop their skills and put in the effort.

5. Measure the Impact and Gauge the Success of The Succession Plan

  • Take a step back and evaluate the effectiveness of your recruiting process by looking at retention rates and the reasons that employees have left your organization. How effective are your screening questions? Do you understand what your new employees are looking for and how your organization can support them? Are you meeting their needs? Is there a disconnect?

  • Determine the success of your program by monitoring the growth of your employees. Use this information to identify where there are gaps and areas that may need more resources.

  • Utilize metrics to determine how your performance management program has contributed to your succession plan. How long does it take to develop and prepare an employee for a particular key role? What is the change in the percentage of employees ready for a promotion? What is the change in the turnover rate for high potential employees?

It starts at the beginning so it’s important to remember that your recruitment process is part of your succession planning. Building your bench is about developing your players. So, find your players, plan it out, involve them, train them, and then let them play!

Need a little help with building your bench? TalentRemedy has a team of experts to perform consultative and recruiting services. We can help you design generationally friendly work environments to help you fill those open roles. Contact us at or 703-362-0175 to set up a time to discuss how our team can support you.


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