Succession planning

What is succession planning?

Succession planning is the process for identifying, nurturing and developing people to take on progressively greater responsibility and leadership in the organization.

It’s more than just replacement planning, which is a process for identifying one or two potential individuals who can step in on an interim basis for each executive/leadership position. It is temporary, tactical and does NOT replace a succession plan. Succession planning is more strategic and develops several employees for all key areas in the organization.

The benefits of succession planning

Great succession plans support organizational growth, help you recruit and retain the best talent and ensure that your organization can quickly and effectively react to change. According to a recent report by Software Advice, 94% of employers surveyed stated that having a succession play positively impacts their employees; engagement levels.

Maintaining talent pools ensures your organization always has several potential employees at various levels of readiness prepared to take on greater responsibility. This kind of succession planning also helps impart knowledge from current leaders to up-and-coming talent.

Keys to success

Putting together a leadership succession plan can be intimidating. We’ve got the forms and templates, white papers and how-to articles to help you set up a 3-5 year strategic plan for your organization to ensure it has the knowledge, skills and experience required for continued success.


Great succession planning focuses on developing strong talent pools in all key areas – not just for executive positions. To be successful, your succession plan must balance identifying high-potentials with developing existing leaders.

How does succession planning differ from replacement planning?

Are you confusing succession planning with replacement planning? They’re similar, but there are a few key differences. Read this blog post to find out how a replacement plan differs from a succession plan, and why developing talent pools is important for business success.

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Building your talent pool – when and how to create new management and leadership roles

Many organizations are trying to stay lean and mean, and avoid management bloat. But sometimes you need to create new managers or add leadership roles. Get guidance from our blog on how to create new management and leadership roles in the organization, and develop employees to fill them.

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New study by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reveals huge gap in frontline manager performance

Do your frontline managers have the leadership tools they need to succeed? A global survey by Halogen Software and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that only 12% of respondents felt their organizations invested enough in frontline managers. Read our blog post for a quick peek at the essential findings of the survey, or delve into the full report.

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The state of succession planning: Are you doing enough to identify and develop talent to build bench strength?

Having a solid succession plan is vital to an organization’s long-term health and stability. This report examines data from companies around the world to determine how well those organizations are identifying, assessing and developing succession planning programs. It also suggests action plans to help your company learn how to improve your talent management processes.

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HR Daily Advisor Research Report: High-potential employees and succession planning

This report delves into succession planning best practices and common policies. It takes a close look at how real-world organizations are identifying and retaining high-potentials (HiPos), and how HR managers are handling succession planning challenges. The report also reveals why HiPos quit: 38.9% of survey takers said it is because of “limited opportunity for upward mobility or new responsibilities” and 19.6% said “management style.” Find out more details by downloading the full report.

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Creating talent pools

Talent pools are groups of high-performing employees who are being groomed to take on greater responsibilities. This how-to article includes everything you need to create the talent pools your organization needs to ensure its success, from identifying high performers, to assigning succession plans to deciding what you should do with those employees once they’ve been placed in a talent pool.

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How to avoid common succession management blunders and make sure you promote the right people

Learn the importance of succession management and looking beyond your “star performers” for succession development. In this blog post, you’ll learn how to correctly identify the best people for succession and how to ensure they’ll stay with your organization.

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Succession planning posts

Our TalentSpace blog is updated regularly with timely articles on succession planning, expert advice and common issues facing HR. Visit regularly to learn what other organizations, industry thought leaders and HR pros are saying about succession planning.

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Enlist managers to build organizational bench strength

There’s no reason for your HR team to try and build organizational bench strength all on its own. Get practical advice you can share with managers to enlist their help in building your organization’s bench strength. Managers are uniquely positioned to have first-hand insight into employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and can help in creating development plans.

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10 key steps to effective succession planning

Succession planning expert, Dr. William J. Rothwell lays out the 10 key steps to effective succession planning as well as the 5 common mistakes made by organizations. This document is an important read for any organization that wants to stay competitive as the global workforce ages and skill gaps increase.

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The leadership and management talent pipeline

In this webinar, Charles Elvin from the Institute of Leadership & Management explores why investing in leadership development can make all the difference, and how to develop a leadership and management talent pipeline. The webinar also includes a demonstration of how Halogen solutions can help you identify and cultivate core competencies in your existing talent base and building a leadership and management pipeline for the future.

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Optimizing your succession plan

In this webinar, author and succession planning expert Dr. William Rothwell differentiates between replacement planning and true succession planning. Dr. Rothwell also walks you through a “STAR” model that outlines the four key elements of a best-practice based succession program. Sean Conrad of Halogen Software also demonstrates how talent management technology can support the “STAR” model.

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We’ve got the succession planning tools you need to assess your company’s current plan, avoid common succession mistakes and build your talent pool – along with tips and best practices to ensure your organization is ready for whatever the future holds.

Succession planning templates

Building bench strength doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without a plan. Get templates for conducting a talent bench review, which helps identify potential future leaders, and constructing a 9-box grid, which helps plot employee performance against potential.

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Proven tools for identifying and developing your organization’s talent pipeline

Great succession planning is about identifying which key positions – not just leadership positions – are at risk and then developing talent pools to ensure there are people always ready to step in. In this how-to article, you’ll learn how to identify potential leaders and assess their readiness to step up into a bigger role. We’ve included tips for creating and using a 9-box grid, which plots employee performance against potential.

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Should you have a replacement plan?

This how-to article will help you understand the difference between a succession plan and a replacement plan ‒ and the vital need for both. You’ll also learn what goes into a short-term and long-term replacement plan, and the steps you should take to create an effective plan.

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Succession assessment tool

How does your succession planning strategy stack up? Take our complimentary assessment and compare your company’s succession effectiveness against best-in-class programs. After answering 20 questions, we’ll send you a complimentary report that shows you what key criteria your company excels at, and what needs to be improved upon to become best in class.

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Learn how other organizations have improved their succession plans, and get tips on how your organization can maximize your succession management program.

How UCC Coffee UK Limited brews up high-performing talent

One of the perks of working at UCC Coffee UK, Ltd., is that the company considers staff to be its biggest asset. Employees are encouraged to place themselves in talent pools for positions that they aspire to, so they feel they have an active role in their career progression, which boosts engagement and productivity. Read how the company is leveraging Halogen Performance to brew a strong culture of engagement and satisfaction.

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CarVal Investors

CarVal Investors is using performance appraisal outputs from Halogen Performance™ to guide calibration conversations about employee performance and potential. In this case study, you’ll learn how CarVal Investors also developed career ladders specific to different job families and levels within the organization, to prepare employees for career progression.

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King’s Daughters Medical Center

King’s Daughters Medical Center is a Mississippi-based acute care general hospital. With the help of Halogen Performance™ Healthcare, the hospital strategically prepared for the future with succession planning — not just to determine the next leaders, but to identify staff members who might be good fit for specialty areas. Learn how the organization has improved its performance management process and is now deriving more value from the appraisal process.

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Halogen’s cloud-based succession and leadership solutions can help your organization build deep bench strength and strong leadership skills by creating competency-based talent pools that help you develop, retain and engage your employees.

Halogen succession solution

Do you know what makes a great succession planning program? We do! Halogen’s succession and leadership solution can help your company establish strong talent pools, engage high-potential employees and ensure it always has talent ready to step into unexpected vacancies. Learn more about how Halogen can help your organization build a strong future.

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Selecting a talent management suite: Experts share the real story

One of the biggest challenges facing HR leaders is selecting a talent management system \(TMS\). In this white paper Human Capital Analyst David Creelman has gathered insights from leading HR technology experts and HR professionals on some of the key considerations that go into the process of finding a TMS. It includes a step-by-step guide to building your selection team, creating a selection strategy and presenting a business case to your C-suite.

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