Competency Frameworks for Succession Planning and Career Paths – Part 1: Identifying Behaviors and Competencies

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Competency Frameworks for Succession Planning and Career Paths – Part 1: Identifying Behaviors and Competencies

Creating a succession pipeline is one of the most difficult tasks given to HR. In most cases, filling roles internally and promoting existing employees up is more affordable and more effective than bringing an outsider into a crucial role – but without competency frameworks, most succession planning models are based on output in roles that may not relate to leadership positions.

Competency frameworks identify key behaviors crucial to individual roles, allowing you to identify who can succeed in new roles, and who is better suited to moving up inside of their own role (I.E. into a senior role) rather than into leadership.

Identifying Future Gaps

Whether through retirement, moving on to new roles, or even promotion, companies often lose highly qualified talent and often frequently. Unfortunately, with no ready pool of qualified replacements, many of these roles remain vacant for months before being filled by a new employee, who must first learn the company and its culture before she can be effective.

Gap analysis helps you to reveal where gaps will appear based on projected departure, retirement, and internal promotion.

  • Expected retirees
  • Retirement eligible
  • Internal promotions
  • Unexpected losses

Once you’ve identified where you will face gaps, you can move on to filling them. This also means identifying critical roles inside your organization, which cannot be left empty and are therefore prime candidates for succession planning.

Behaviors that Contribute to Success in the New Role

With a competency framework in place, you can identify the factors and behaviors which contribute to success inside of a role that will soon be left empty. This will then allow you to target unlearnable behaviors or difficult to learn behaviors (such as honesty, creativity, flexibility, strong problem solving, people skills, etc.), and work to identify candidates inside of your company that already meet those needs. But, unlike with traditional hand selection and grooming, a competency model allows you to publicly share what success looks like inside that role, so each individual knows what they have to do and to learn in order to be promoted.

Take a look at part 2 of this resource, creating a talent pool, here.


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