What HR People Need to Know About Succession Planning

By hrlineup | 28.02.2022

They say that change is inevitable, and business organizations are no exception, no matter the size. Without proper organizational succession planning, an entire business risks crumbling down due to power struggles and chaos in case a team leader leaves.

Even worse, clients will begin losing faith with the company as other employees start vacating the sinking ship.

So, read on to learn what HR succession planning is and how an organization can benefit from it.

What is succession planning?

Succession planning is the process of an organization identifying and developing talent within the company. The goal is to prepare the company for any eventualities like retirement, resignation, illness, death, or termination.

Also, an employee succession plan is to enable business continuity and growth rather than dispensing the current leadership.

Benefits of a successful succession planning process

Planning is at the heart of every organizational success. The HR department will lead the process of identifying key roles and ensuring that the company has the right talent to fill any eventual gaps. In other words, the company is preparing the next leadership generation to move up the ladder.

Also, because an exclusive search for top-talent can be difficult and expensive, most companies prefer to promote from within. Therefore, having the foresight to identify and develop talents you currently have is a vital future preparation strategy.

HR Succession Planning Processes

Identify key positions

First on HR’s succession planning agenda is to identify critical areas and positions that are vital for the company’s strategic objectives. Specify which posts can make it challenging for the company to achieve its goals in case the officeholder leaves.

Set the capabilities required

Next, the organization should come up with selection criteria. During this stage, focus on how well the employee achieved the set performance expectations and their overall development efforts. Look at the relevant knowledge, abilities, and skills that are needed to meet business goals.

Identify interested employees

Now go ahead and identify employees who are interested in career development and their potential to fill the identified vital positions and areas. Ensure that the selection process is transparent enough to avoid the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuits.

Implement the succession plan

After identifying the employees, incorporate strategies for training and transfer of knowledge. Define the learning and development experiences that the organization needs for leadership or critical positions. Also, discuss with employees how corporate knowledge should be transferred to the next leadership generation.

Reassess effectiveness

Finally, monitor and review the effectiveness of your succession planning efforts. This way, you can identify if the training and development methods need reinventing to hit the company’s objectives.


All in all, organizational succession planning and management is a crucial component of the HR planning process. With an open succession planning process, the company will identify, develop, and retain skilled employees to help it reach its business objectives.