Apr 29

Who’s Next?

With the world returning to some semblance of normality over the next couple of months, a lot of organisations will be moving closer to business as usual.

Levels of job satisfaction and appreciation are apparently up, but the return to business as usual may also mean there are more employees with itchy feet. They might be looking for that next career move internally or externally, and particularly high risk are those who feel their career progression has stalled due to the changes the pandemic has brought, such as putting strategic projects on hold due to interrupted cash flow, or changes to their roles duties or focus after reduction in workforce.

This opens up an ideal window to think about your succession planning strategy. Many businesses will keep their strategy at very much the top level, planning their next CEO, MD or Directors. Some like to include the next level down and niche, specialist roles in succession planning. Those roles that are a headache to recruit, or are just a very unusual set of skills, perhaps almost unique to your business model.

Succession plans will look at internal talent, who are the top performers, and who is displaying high potential. You can use tools such as your annual appraisal, assessment against business competencies and values, the 9-box matrix (a tool that assesses employees on their potential and performance) and feedback tools like 360˚ feedback. It’s also important to consider the employees career aspirations as no matter how much potential they have, if they don’t want to be the next CEO then they’re not your succession plan for that role, no matter how good at it they’d be!

Those identified as a successor need careful management, development and encouragement to make sure you can retain their talent until the right time for promotion. Whilst doing so it’s important to remember that all your employees make an important contribution and to be aware of what could appear as favouritism which can affect morale.

Succession plans will also identify gaps where it’s likely you will have to look externally to hire the talent you need, and estimated timescales. We’ve seen success with talent networks, keeping an eye on candidates who might have the right skill set and hopefully building some kind of relationship with them. When the time comes you can save time (and hopefully money on agency fees!) and hire someone who already has an idea what your business is all about.


Now is a great time to start thinking about your business plans, organisational design and the many talented employees you have. It can feel a bit daunting, but the HROverload team are here to help you develop plans, talent and find ways to build your network. We’re here to help share the HR load!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *