Now more than ever before, both employers and management job seekers need to think ahead.
Economic pressures are crushing more big name brands every week. And some of the longest established UK organisations are being left behind in the race to seize the coat tails of technological advancement. New levels of data science, automation and connectivity are exciting beyond words, but failure to keep pace with the changes demanded can be fatal!
The construction trade is a perfect illustration of this. There is massive demand for new housing in the UK and relative buoyancy in other sectors. Yet, in the third quarter of 2018 the number of UK companies going under in this sector increased by almost 80% when compared to the same period in 2017.
The reasons for this are complex
However, the one thing no organisation can currently afford is to have key posts left unfilled for long periods. The window of opportunity to seek and appoint a suitable candidate for decision making and leadership roles is now smaller than ever!
In fact, the battle to juggle profitability and harness change means losing one of the management team even for short periods can have a serious knock-on effect. Also, handover periods can be unsettling and distracting.
Apart from handcuffing executives with long notice periods (which can be off-putting for suitable applicants), what else can organisations do, to survive management churn?
And what are the implications for applicants for executive positions?
Well orchestrated recruitment and retention
Succession planning is something many organisations do in a piecemeal fashion. In fact, it should be a central part of business strategies.
How can your organisation be sure of a structured and sustained management profile, over the coming years?
This involves having a great deal of transparency and control over current job specs and talent mapping what you already have available. It also means constantly planning ahead, tying recruitment campaigns to the positions you may need to fill, rather than solely focusing on current needs.
Who is set to retire? Who can double up on responsibilities when a key post becomes vacant unexpectedly?
Putting a clear succession plan in place also needs to include setting up systems to act more speedily and decisively when sudden departures occur. For example, having a recruitment agency on hand who knows your business (and its plans) well enough to be extremely responsive.
One of the most important ways to underpin succession planning, is to protect and nurture your management “assets”.
This includes having clear career paths for junior and new managers; and equipping them with the training and support needed to reach their full potential.
The funding for management and leadership development is contracting. This may become more noticeable during the Brexit phase, as EU funding streams dry up.
Yet the need to constantly upskill supervisors and middle management has never been more important, not least to stop them looking elsewhere for the next rung in their career ladder.
Changes to recruitment practices
Another solution is to create a more fluid and flexible recruitment culture, as part of your organisation’s determination to create a healthier succession profile.
So for example, you may have a management post that ideally should involve a permanent contract. However, are there ways to use temporary or interim recruits to avoid leaving significant gaps in the team?
The benefits of this can outweigh the concerns that it’s not a permanent fix. Using more temporary contracts offers the opportunity to recruit key skills and experience you need for the “now”. Then, as your business changes and grows, you can vary the attributes you are seeking from your recruitment campaigns.
If you are facing change, opportunity or even a financial crisis, getting temporary staff with important skills on board only works if you have access to the right calibre of candidate of course. This too can mean having access to a recruitment agency that knows your business well. And one that you have sufficient faith in, to match your temporary recruitment needs effectively and fast.
Applying for management roles?
From the applicants’ point of view, the new and increased emphasis on succession planning brings important considerations.
For one thing, you need to look for future employers who can show how you fit into long-term business plans. And how they intend to develop your role, including investing in your training.
You also have more opportunities to discuss temporary and interim contracts, leading to a more permanent post. This can provide you with opportunities to vary your experience and develop your cv, or at the very least “check out” an employer before agreeing to a long-term contract.
Harness recruitment to business planning
The ability to introduce effective talent mapping and succession planning relies on recruitment systems that are well planned and executed, and unfailingly successful.
To underpin your business plan with proactive and reactive recruitment measures, talk to the team at Time Recruitment.