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Kazim Ladimeji The Top 4 "Must-Haves" for Succession Management Software

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 By Kazim Ladimeji

Succession Management Systems Highest Impact Features

With emerging economies like Brazil, China, and India now in fierce competition for talent with once-dominant U.S. and European organizations, the case for effective succession management software solutions is not only apparent, but can often be overwhelming. So much so, that in a recent Manpower Group survey (25,000 employers in 39 countries) it was revealed that fully 1/3 of businesses are struggling to find the "right people with the right skills".

If it wasn't already obvious, it's now clear that talent is becoming a scarce commodity and savvy businesses are coming around to the fact that in order to maximize the value of their own human capital (and secure their internal talent supply chain), talent must be nurtured and developed through effective succession planning and supported with succession management software deployment. Research supports this claim, with evidence suggesting that succession management software will actually improve a company's performance if used to develop internal talent. Indeed, a Human Resources Planning Society (HRPS) report indicated that 85% of the top 20 companies held their leaders accountable for developing talent, compared to just 46% of leaders in the non-top companies.

Given that succession management is a process of building and maintaining a talent supply chain within an organization in order to facilitate rapid human resource deployment, it should come as no surprise that succession management software (especially succession management SaaS) is receiving a closer look these days. Sifting through to find what capabilities are needed for this type of HCM (Human Capital Management) software however, can be challenging. To remedy that problem, here is HR Lab's list of the top 4 critical features that an effective succession management software solution must deliver:

Succession Management Software Must-Have # 1: Competency Modelling

The organization's competency framework is a description of the skills, behaviours, knowledge, values, ethics that will generate high performance within the business. An effective succession management software system should have the capacity to model this competency framework into an electronic blueprint for both the current competency framework the company's future "desired state". Further, effective succession management software should have the capacity to generate multiple pairs of competency models for different departments, functional areas, hierarchical levels and functions.

Succession Management Software Must-Have # 2: Gap Analysis

Once competency models have been established for both present and future states across all functions and levels in your business, whatever succession management technology is used should have the capability to conduct gap analyses. This involves assessing every employee against the pre-defined competencies which are needed to succeed (and potentially progress) within the organization. A good quality succession management software system must have built-in functionality to perform this gap analysis in an automated fashion; the end result of which is that the gap analysis will clearly indicate the deficiencies and/or surpluses between each employee's current competencies and the competencies that he/she needs to progress in the organization. Business leaders can then get an overview of the readiness of their current employee population to be able to deliver against immediate and short term business challenges.

Succession Management Software Must-Have # 3: Talent Inventory

Business leaders must be able to locate talent at short notice in order to fill vacancies, lead task forces, initiate change, fight fires and seize new business opportunities. This means that they must have easy access to structured information relating to their various talent pools. A good succession management software system must allow an organization to code and classify talent according to each individual's capabilities and level of potential. Once the talent inventory has been created, the succession management software must include powerful information interrogation functionality which will enable leaders to have both a microscopic and strategic view of their talent stream for workforce planning purposes.

Succession Management Software Must-Have # 4: Reporting Measures

Finally, any succession management system worth its weight must have stellar reporting modules. In particular, these modules must have the capability of reporting on the effectiveness of the succession management process, as well as against determinable KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) such as "time to fill", "number of vacancies", and other applicable metrics. Further (and perhaps even more important), reports must be easily accessible, configurable, and deployable for succession readiness and impact as close to the action as possible to minimize lag-time and maximize manager engagement in the process.

Bottom Line for Succession Management Software

Today's tightening and competitive employment environment requires that organizations have (and actively manage) a succession and "talent retention" strategy; leveraging whatever processes necessary as a means to help identify and nurture top talent. Utilizing the capabilities of succession management software has the potential to greatly reduce the time and resources needed for such an endeavour, but only if the technology selected can deliver on the "must-have" functions cited above. End

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A recent Human Resources Planning Society (HRPS) report indicated that 85% of the top 20 companies held their leaders accountable for developing talent, compared to just 46% of leaders in the non-top companies."


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