Selecting your successor

Published: 13 January 2017

CIPD defines succession planning as focussing on identifying and growing talent to fill business-critical positions in the future. Berwick Partners specialises in appointing leaders of the future and we act as trusted advisors for our clients who are recruiting for their replacement. So what should existing directors look for from their successor?  Outlined below are some of the key areas to consider:

  • Define what you are looking for: What skills, experience or personal traits have enabled you to be successful in this role? More importantly, what are the most significant traits that the next leader will need to demonstrate in order to be as successful as possible?

  • Internal versus external candidates: Identify business needs and then consider where the talent gaps are. Hiring externally could help an organisation to grow and become more innovative by adding to the existing expertise and skill set. On the other hand, promoting internally can have a positive effect on employee engagement as individuals will feel valued, developed and ultimately rewarded. 

  • Do not rehire ‘you’: Granted your expertise and skills have enabled you to become successful in your career; however it is important not to hire your clone.  As an organisation grows, you need to consider what will take it to the next level and help achieve the overall business objectives.  Differing leadership styles can help organisations achieve new heights which will compliment your existing achievements. Research published by the Financial Times compared businesses and found that those with a greater diversity had an 80% improvement on business performance.

  • Passion & Integrity: Look for individuals that demonstrate the appetite and motivation to progress coupled with integrity and morality.  Individuals who have a genuine passion tend to go above and beyond working tirelessly to ensure they achieve results. 

  • Experience:  Consider what this person must have achieved over the course of their career. What experience will make this person prosper as your successor? It is also worth considering looking outside of sector for your successor. This could provide a fresh perspective, broader the existing talent pool whilst inspiring and galvanising new ways of working for your business.  

  • Leadership: Only you will know the sort of work environment that enables your current team to be happy and productive.  Look for individuals with the management style that will enable your existing team to stay motivated and engaged. 

In today’s competitive market, we must consider succession planning and management of the talent pipeline. We are regularly asked by our clients to find suitable candidates that demonstrate expertise, quality, and integrity, with the ability and motivation to undertake a new role. This is where Berwick Partners adds invaluable expertise, with access to a variety networks to ensure we find you the best person for the role.

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