Succession Planning in a Post COVID World

By The Intersect Group


If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught company leaders anything, it’s that business can change instantly.

And we’re not just talking about the fact that the pandemic forced WFM, nor the fact that many businesses had to lay off hundreds of employees.

We mean avoiding leadership disruption and instability

In other words, it’s beyond time for succession planning.

Put another way: what will your company do if your “senior leadership [is] unable to perform daily responsibilities.”?

Forbes in April reported that 10-17 percent of corporations appoint a new CEO each year. What’s more, the Association for Talent Development says only one-third of companies even have a formal succession planning process.

We couldn’t find any statistics on how many companies lost leaders due to COVID, but we imagine many lost members of their C-suite, executive offices, managers, and others in leadership positions. And without a succession plan in place….

Succession plans also allow those who are taking over for departed executives and leaders to move into their new roles smoothly and with confidence.


Aside from COVID: looming boomer retirements

What’s more, members of the boomer generation – many of them in high leadership positions, will be retiring soon, if not already.

That, coupled with the current Great Resignation, as millions of people decide to leave their current employer for another one, is a wake-up call. Leaders and HR professionals have to take the time and make the resources available to a) create a leadership succession plan as well as b) develop new leaders at all levels of the org chart as employees leave.


Succession planning strategies HR should consider

Company leaders expect its HR directors to take the lead on C-suite and executive succession planning, even if a corporation’s board will be making the final hiring decisions at this level.

As such, HR should put succession planning within its everyday tasks: make it something of an ongoing focus so that massive crises such as we’ve just experienced can be met and resolved immediately.

An HR succession-planning to-do list could include:

  • Creating clear indicators of succession planning success.
  • Delineating key positions and subsequent creation of robust position profiles.
  • Identifying applicable external as well as external candidates while continuing to build a healthy talent pipeline.
  • Designing and providing key applicable experiences and professional development opportunities for promising internal talent.


Ensure internal talent understands they have a potential career ladder

Many people among the millions now leaving their current company are doing so because they feel they have no future with their employer.

So consider creating career growth opportunities for everyone, not just for employees who want to move into management someday.

You may want to think about creating a “dual-career track” in which non-management track employees can work their way up to different levels of “expert” status for their skill sets and position. Doing so provides them recognition for their considerable skills and knowledge as well as higher salaries based on their expertise.


Preparation is critical

Talk to the recruiters at The Intersect Group: we can help you find great professionals for departing team members as well as leaders/managers in the IT and finance/accounting sectors.

Contact us to learn more.