Is your Talent Management Platform Ready for Your Succession Plan?

Sep 20, 2016


In today’s world of mobile talent, a succession plan is a business necessity. If a critical vacancy is a surprise, it can bring your progress to a stop if you have not prepared.

However, a succession plan is not succession management. A well-managed program supported by the right technology will help you reduce your critical vacancy risk, improve employee engagement and retention, and enhance your recruiting brand.

Your technology should support your plan, not the other way around. Your current technology may be all you need. You may only need better integration with other talent management functions, but there are certain capabilities you need to enjoy high adoption, availability, and effectiveness of your succession plan.

We want to offer our vendor-agnostic view what we consider essential technology for today’s successful succession plan.

Integrate Talent Acquisition with Succession

Most succession plans have talent gaps, and the best decision may not be to promote the best internal candidate. If you keep your TA team informed of the gaps, they can develop pools of potential candidates to tap when the need arises. With the current social networking and talent pool capabilities of today’s recruiting platforms, your TA team can have a potential list of candidates at the ready.

Integrate Learning with Succession

Technology barriers between the succession plan and the learning platform are not conducive to engagement in development. Development needs, learning objectives, and development progress should be as automated, transparent, and accessible as possible.

Integrate Performance Analytics with Succession

Performance assessment is critical to succession management, and modern tools make assessment available to companies of any size. In the early days of succession planning software, the primary means for selection into a succession plan was a manager’s opinion. Likewise, almost all employee performance evaluations depend on a manager assessment with its built-in biases.

We now have much more objective measures in performance analytics. We can tie employee behavior directly to performance and measure contributions to KPIs. By using multiple sources for performance assessments, we can overcome the inherent biases in performance evaluations.

Deploy Succession Deep into the Organization

Transparent succession planning that reaches far into the organization can have a profound effect on the most important workforce measures. In a 2015 SoftwareAdvice survey, 94% of companies said their succession plan improves employee engagement. Sixty-two percent of employees stated that they would be more engaged in a company with a succession plan than a company without one.

Deploy Analytics to Make Talent Predictions Early

The low cost of comprehensive assessments and predictive analytics make it easier to use a scientific approach in determining the right development paths for your talent. A personal assessment for employees at any level can be a life-changer. A thorough understanding of each person’s development needs, learning style, and approach to work and relationships can pay big dividends in motivation and retention.

However, an assessment is not forever. A life event or learning event can awaken potential in an employee that did not exist before. Don’t let obsolete assessments hold your people back.

Deploy Mentoring Technology

Mentoring technology is a relative newcomer to talent management, but many solutions are available. If your talent management platform does not have the capability for busy executives and their mentees to quickly and easily manage their relationships, consider an independent vendor. Pay close attention to the user experience. Software that does not meet users’ needs in both function and usability will be a barrier to effective succession management.

Make Succession an Ongoing Process

Annual succession planning is no longer enough. The pace of change is too fast. Modern technology provides the means to constantly monitor the state of your succession plan. Take advantage of it to ensure your organization’s future.


1. Osterhaus Erin. “Leveraging Software to Improve Succession Planning." Software Advice™. February 4, 2015. 

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.


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