How and Where to Find Top Performers for Your Succession Plan

Posted by Rick Yvanovich

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About 85% of organisation will have a significant leadership shortfall within five years. Remember, the ultimate goal of succession planning is to not prepare one person with the purpose of filling a specific goal. The goal of succession planning is to nurture a pool of talented individuals and prepare them for future critical positions.

These employees hold the key to your business growth by possessing the right skills, energy and leadership qualities.

Identifying potential successors

How do you define your ideal successors?

In an ideal world, you want your pool of star-quality talents to be both high potential and high performance. This is obviously not realistic due to the "potential" aspect being extremely difficult to evaluate.

On the other hand, a person's performance is easily observed, making it outshine the attitudes and behaviours factors, which are less than obvious.

Furthermore, many managers just don't know what to look for in a high potential individual. Therefore, they often lean towards the performance factor when evaluating their team members and selecting successors.

For example, a high performing salesperson does not equate to an outstanding sales leader. This is an issue that commonly occurs in the workplace. Characteristics that make up a good salesperson, such as self-confidence and independence, might not transfer well when the person is in a leadership position. Being overly confident or unwilling to consider other opinions will upset your team members.

Read More: Critical Steps in Succession Planning

Absentee leaders – the threat to any organisation

One of the most worrying types of leaders are "absentee leaders" who do not give any actual guidance to their teams, but they also do not cause any harm to the company. As a result, they are often overlooked.

Absentee leaders enjoy the perks and privileges that the position brings but they are not capable of managing and leading their people. As a result, having an absentee leader leading any team can lower your employees' job satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately, your company's bottom line.

Carol Williams, director of leadership development at Full Potential, commented: "If you’re part of a team and you have an absentee leader, then it’s even worse than having no leader. If you have an absentee leader in place, then nobody can rise to the top.”

With a combination of different assessments, you will be able to fully witness all the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of a potential leader. This helps avoid situations where the successors have high performance but lack the potential, or the selected manager turns out to be an absentee leader.

Effectively identify and nurture your internal successors

Developing future leaders from within to accommodate the organisation's succession plan is a preferred method and should be the primary option when executives decide to roll out their strategy for a succession plan.

Internal candidates have the advantage of already fitting in with the company culture. They know the brand, the business proposition as well as the people compared to external candidates.

Read More: Top Secrets in Identifying High Performers

Fitting the right successor to the right leadership position with GR8 assessments

Great People Inside (GR8) is a total person, psychometric assessment tool famously used to screen profiles of prospective job candidates. The assessment comprises of a set of personality and behavioural interview questions to measure whether the candidates’ fit to a specific position as well as the organisation's culture.

GR8 is a multi-purpose assessment tool, and its applications can also be used for coaching, training, developing as well as managing and succession planning purposes.

Using traditional evaluating methods, organisations can only measure obvious factors, such as the potential leaders' knowledge, experience, and skills, which make up only 10 per cent of an individual.

What HR professionals and leaders lack is information that hides underneath the surface, namely the person's thinking style, behavioural traits, occupational interests, and job fit, which make up the remaining 90 per cent.

How does GR8 work?

The assessment process begins with examining the score patterns between a highly successful individual with another overly challenged individual of the same position. From this information, a pattern of scores across various dimensions measured by the GR8 assessment may be developed to serve as the initial success profile, or performance model, upon which the job matching is based. This initial success profile should be continuously updated as more insights on the jobs and the employees become available.

The GR8 assessment examines three specific areas:

  • Thinking Style (cognitive): a person’s ability to learn, to process information, and to solve a problem.
  • Interests: the higher the similarity between the assessment takers’ interests and the interests of those who have demonstrated success in the position, the more satisfied the assessment taker will be. Thus, they will remain in the job longer as it matches their interests.
  • Behavioural Traits: observable behaviours reflect the cognitive states of the individual, which signifies the relationship between personality and behaviour. And personality is a key factor in job performance.

Organisations will receive a comprehensive report about each candidate detailing their strengths, weaknesses in addition to insights about their behavioural tendencies to identify their leadership style. Results from the report are useful for training and developing your leaders to accommodate your company's demand and strategy.

Assess your successors' impact and coach them the right way with GR8 360

GR8 360 is a multi-rater assessment used primarily to evaluate the effectiveness of the management level. Essentially, the process combines the feedback from everyone the person being asked about has worked with, which includes direct reports, peers, suppliers, and even the customers.

TRG Talent has discussed in great detail the fundamentals of 360-degree feedback and other issues that may occur during the implementation. To learn more, please follow the below links:

How does GR8 360 work?

GR8 360° measures:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Adaptability
  • Relationships
  • Task management
  • Production
  • Development of others
  • Personal development

In addition to identifying and prioritising development opportunities, GR8 360 also helps to detect potential management issues.

The design of the 360-degree feedback survey is customisable based on your company culture, goals and objectives. Having said that, the process of drafting up survey questions for a specific employee can be a daunting task. Therefore, why not make use of GR8 360 wide range of standard surveys for executive leaders, team leaders, or individual contributors.

The survey is done entirely online to save both the organiser and the raters' time in carrying out the survey and collecting the data. Every answer is kept confidential and anonymous.

The results are separated into various individual reports, which are categorised by rater groups (supervisors, self, peers, etc.). As a result, enabling a complete understanding of the candidate's capabilities, which are then compared against the eight universal management competencies and 18 key skill sets.

Insights drawn from the comparison can be used to identify the key areas that need improvement and the state of their current pool of successors. This enables you to design development plans and strategies for coaching accordingly.

Recruiting external candidates has its perks but do proceed with caution

Even though nurturing from within is a preferred method, external candidates still have their own competitive advantages, namely, fresh, new ideas, industry knowledge and values that will inevitably transform the business.

External candidates are already equipped with the needed experience and competencies for the roles that you're looking to fill. Thus, successfully recruiting them may lead to a decrease in training and transition time.

Leverage GR8 Recruitment to find your “fit"

As mentioned above, GR8 Recruitment assessment allows the personality profiling of job seekers, thus, giving the managers and the HR professionals an in-depth view of a person beyond what they presented themselves on their resumes.

The wide range of GR8 Recruitment assessments are entirely online and can be tailored to fit the company's needs and the specific roles your company is looking to fill.

The assessments can be integrated into your hiring process, enabling you to make more informed hiring decisions. The insights from the assessments not only details the candidate's abilities and personalities, but also provides a benchmark to measure the person's growth progression.

Whether you’re looking for your future leaders from the outside or nurturing your own crops from within, start your journey of developing the right talents for the right job the right way with TRG Talent solutions.

Request Talent Demo Now!

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 Rick Yvanovich
 /Founder & CEO/

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