London School of Commerce - Malta Marketing Management


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Succession planning is the process of determining and developing internal staff members of a company with the motive to fill key leadership positions in the organisation (Junghans and et. al., 2005). The process of succession planning is beneficial for the overall growth and development of the workforce, directly leading to favourable outcomes for the organization. These outcomes include developing potential successors for key positions that are present within the workplace (Kimmel, 2009). On the other hand, the concept of career management is also effective whereby each organisation applies larger efforts in order to work for the development of careers of HR professionals and employees. Also, succession planning facilitates to maximisation availability of experienced and capable workforce so as to bring improvement in the personality of individuals. Furthermore, career management ensures lifelong learning amongst the workforce which helps them to achieve organizational objectives in the given time frame (Fujioka and et. al., 2006). (Bloom, 2004).

The main purpose of this current essay is to elaborate on the importance of succession planning and career development in an organization. This will cover the overall aspect of the corporation for ensuring personnel management by introducing best practices at the workplace. It enables corporations to ensure continuous learning among employees and fill higher positions with experienced employees of the organization (Innocenti, Profili and Sammarra, 2013). Similarly, career development programs are explained which helps in resourcing and better management of employees in the organization (Mellor and Webster, 2013).

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Significance of succession planning and career management for HR professionals

It can be argued that succession planning and career management practices are directly related to HR professionals under which the company prepare itself to face challenges in future time span with the inclusion of future leaders. Succession and career planning are highly important as commented by Bell (2012). He also explained that if the company do succession planning then it is able to identify the future leaders so that in the worst time those leaders can support the organization. Moreover, it is being argued that it saves the cost and time of the company because the firm is not required to recruit people from outside and within the organization, a future leader is built. Not only this but the use of a succession planning company can effectively utilize existing as well as experienced employees for the higher positions. (Edenborough, 2007). Here, career management serves as part of succession planning under which the workforce goes through continuous learning and on-the-job training. These two aspects work together so that the well-being of the corporation as well as its employees can be determined. However, it might create non-monetary costs for the company by taking a long time in succession planning (Belout and Gauvreau, 2004). Moreover, it can be said that succession planning cannot be done without human resources. Thus human resources plays a vital role in succession planning. Further, it is also argued that in case, if the wrong person is appointed to a higher position then the company can lose its image and thus, the profitability of the firm will decline. In a similar aspect, if succession and career planning are conducted in a poor manner then the performance of the company can go down. It can be concluded that in spite of having a few limitations, succession and career planning in the context of resourcing is considered to be the best internal recruitment source.

Further, it incorporates a wide range of human resource management functions, such as performance management, training and development, recruitment etc (Lewis and Heckman, 2006). According to Hassan(2007), career development programs which cater to the professional needs of employees and their career growth serve as a good motivation, it also increases the levels of satisfaction and improves their performance in the workplace (Chand and Katou, 2007). It will also retain its staff, which enhances overall organizational performance (Hassan, 2007). However, Khan and Sheikh (2012) argued that the main responsibility of HR professionals is to hire staff members, coordinate promotions and reassignments, manage employee relations and administer pay along with benefits (Cassidy-Rice, 2014).

Apart from this, talent management is regarded as the organizational key to success, through retaining the skilled workforce it is possible for business enterprises to work for the betterment of its staff members and this enhances their satisfaction level (Chansler and Swamidass, 2010). Further, succession planning has many advantages which every business considers, as it supports in determining successors' leadership needs, assists in the development of strategic HR leadership plans and supports in building relationships (Cohen, 2003). This way, businesses can easily meet the expectations of their target markets (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin and Cardy, 2004).

There are different models of succession planning in order to handle succession planning scenarios such as planned transition and deterioration in confidence as well as the continuous process of the corporation to fill the higher position in future by filling appropriate candidates internally. At this juncture, three practices such as benchmarking, looking to the future and keeping it dynamic (Schuler and Jackson, 2008). The first practice is a benchmark under which HR professionals continuously work on the risk management process. It facilitates gathering detailed information related to those who are performing well and have the potential to fill higher vacant positions.

The second model or practice is to look to the future under which the board as well as HR professionals look for the best leader including competitive organizations. This process takes extensive time so as to fulfil future growth and vision (Fujioka and et. al., 2006). In addition to this, the third approach is to keep it dynamic under which HR professionals contentiously change their succession plan in accordance with risk profile, and leadership knowledge. This continuous updation in the plan facilitates carrying out the job effectively in order to achieve long as well as short-term objectives. At this juncture, it is very important for employers to assess uncertainty which could take place in future time span (Hassan, 2007). Lastly, as per my opinion looking to the future is the most effective model of succession planning so that management can prepare a list of potential candidates who can acquire higher positions in the marketplace. It will attract employees and will create a positive work environment (Junghans and et. al., 2005). (Lewis and Heckman, 2006).

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Steps in succession planning

In order to implement practices of succession planning, business enterprises follow a series of steps which start with HR planning, to determine the skills they require and predict how many staff members are leaving the company for unavoidable reasons, such as retirement (Armstrong, 2006). The next stage is associated with determining the need for leaders for higher positions and developing a list of candidates who possess enough qualities to fill the vacancies. In this stage qualities as well as the skills of every staff member are considered. However, information related to potential will be gathered through recent job analysis, abilities and career interests of particular leaders. It will help to determine individual growth through promotion, transfer or providing more challenging jobs as well as job security (Buxman and Wehrenberg, 2012). The next stage is developing managers, through activities such as job rotation, education, international assignments, training and development of HR professionals linked with their performance etc. In the next stage, identification of the career path takes place; HR professionals and board members make effective plans so that the level of skills and knowledge of professionals can be enhanced easily. These are some of the key stages considered in succession planning by which company and HR professionals can easily get suitable persons for vacant positions (Chansler and Swamidass, 2010).

Working as an HR professional in an organisation, I have acquired different types of knowledge which have supported me in my career development. In this regard, I know that it is very important for all corporations to take the initiative related to succession planning and career development. However, career development is a more imperative aspect in order to keep the workforce updated with current requirements. I have worked for organisations as an HR professional where my main area of responsibility involves hiring a workforce and determining their actual needs. My previous employer has strongly implemented the concept of succession planning through which my career goals have been accomplished easily and in an effective manner. This helped me achieve my main target, which is to enhance the level of my HR skills so that I can perform better in the field of HR.

There are three approaches to succession planning such as; choosing internal candidates and recruiting a new candidate externally. These approaches play an important role in selecting the right person for the vacant position in the company. Selecting an internal candidate for a vacant position saves cost and time. This is because if an organisation selects an internal candidate, that particular candidate will not take much of the management's time to understand the policies, culture and environment of the organisation. On the other hand, external recruitment to fill high positions requires the company to devote extensive time and other related resources to preparing the new employees. Where I used to work, I filled the position of a business associate; later on, management provided me with a non-monetary reward in the form of a promotion. However, my succession planning started long before that, when I was assigned to provide daily guidance to another person. At that time, my succession planning began. During that tenure, I faced many problems related to time management and knowledge because I had to manage my work as well as the person whose responsibility was given to me. Therefore, I believe career development is another aspect wherein employees are provided a chance to develop their overall personality. Therefore, organisations should provide several kinds of learning opportunities for the continuous development of employees. Also, employees must use their spare time wisely to access other sources of information, to enhance their learning. Furthermore, I expect that every corporation should support their workforce by providing regular training and assessing their performance on the basis of communicated criteria.

After adopting the approaches of choosing internal candidates or external recruitment the employer can have a positive impact on the company. For this purpose, employers have to effectively choose any of the approaches so that it has a positive impact on the current and potential employees. Moreover, if the employer uses the integration of both approaches then it will better impact the potential/current employees. This will attract a pool of talented employees and managers will have several alternatives to choose from. Further, the existing employees will get motivated and thus performance can be enhanced likewise.

Critically it can be explained career development and succession planning are beneficial in terms of organisation growth. However, succession planning can be critical for organizations because a certain number of employees are going through the same succession planning at the same time. On the other hand, career development enhances the learning of the workforce and provides the opportunity to develop them within the business. It can help corporations build a strong position in the marketplace and create a unique identity in the market so as to attract employees. Apart from this, career development is the key to long-term growth, because, in the long run, a company can effectively reduce the cost of production and enhance the flow of production Thus, by gaining information regarding the career development program I can effectively provide suggestions to the organization where in intend to work or in my own organization. In addition to this, I am doing CIPD to gain in-depth knowledge with regard to the proper management of personnel in the organization. It assists me in understanding the needs of employees and meeting them by using effective strategies for their motivation, continuous learning and career development. Apart from this, by doing this course I will be able to bring improvement in my own personality by considering the need of organization where I work or intend to work. All organizations should ensure that all their HR professionals are members of CIPD or possess advanced qualifications in the HR stream. This will help them to manage the HR staff in a most effective manner. This will help in doing succession planning and career management.

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The aforementioned essay concludes that both practices such as succession planning and career management are very important in the current business environment. These aspects give a positive image of the organization among potential employees (Lewis and Heckman, 2006). Moreover, it can be also concluded that employees are highly influenced by succession planning and career management as these both act as non-monetary incentives for the existing employees. The employers of the organization can do effective succession and career planning in order to attract talented employees to the organization. The prospective employees will be highly influenced by this because this is one of the non-monetary incentives which persuade the candidates because they think that they would also get such an opportunity. The chances of getting a better career plan are higher in this organization, thus, prospective employees will be attracted more (Schuler and Jackson, 2008). This will make it easy for corporations to assess the potential of employees and provide them with training to grab higher positions with the best fit (Belout and Gauvreau, 2004). This contributes towards ensuring an appropriate work culture and meeting the expectations of existing employees in the most effective manner (Lewis and Heckman, 2006). Also, career management or development programs are the key to motivating current employees and enabling them to contribute their best towards the success of the company (Kimmel, 2009).


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  • Belout, A. and Gauvreau, C., 2004. Factors influencing project success: the impact of human resource management. International journal of project management. 22(1). pp.1-11.
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  • Bloom, M., 2004. The ethics of compensation systems. Journal of Business Ethics. 52(2).  pp.149-152.
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