Visualizing Your Recruiting and Succession Plans

Casey White - Director of Marketing ·

I wasn’t expecting to be inspired by a field hockey office display, but that’s what happened recently during my visit to a local university. Are you wondering how recruiting and succession planning for your company could possibly relate to a University field hockey program?

Picture this: a striking, larger-than-life visual of a long-range “staffing” plan, highlighting each year from now until 2020, showing field positions, names of current players and potential recruits. It was color-coded and created to help coaches identify, by position, the talent needed to stay competitive and ultimately work toward their goal of building a championship team. It was obvious: they clearly understood they needed talented people to achieve that goal and all the particulars were captured in vivid detail.

That display got me thinking, “How many companies understand what their talent needs look like?” It made me realize that capturing the right kind of data, and making that data come to life visually, is crucial in setting the best goals and vision for the future. How close is your organization to understanding what your talent needs look like – today … in 3 years … in 10 years …?

Developing a Talent Management System doesn’t have to be intimidating. Start with small steps to help you identify your current needs and develop a plan that works for your company. As you ponder what next steps to take, it might be helpful to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I understand all the different skill sets our workers have?
  • Who is likely to be leaving soon?
  • Are there employees with transferable skills?
  • Who could be trained to transition into vacated or soon-to-be vacated positions?

At EDSI, we specialize in helping clients determine how to fill the gaps of departing employees and offer solutions that teach current employees to develop new skill sets or expand existing skills through training.

A significant amount of Baby Boomers will be retiring out of the workforce in the next five years, according to the Wall Street Journal*. The article states: “Older workers are often the most knowledgeable and most experienced when they retire ... and that often hurts those left behind as well as the bottom line, which then drags down the economy through productivity growth. Older workers also tend to make the people around them more capable and more confident about how to do their jobs. If you look around the country right now, there are employers from coast to coast grappling with the fact that some of their most experienced employees are now coming up on retirement and are very worried about how to replace them.”

On behalf of our many clients ranging from transit to manufacturing, EDSI can attest to this. One of our clients kept seeing constantly changing policies and methods that required new skill sets in technology. They struggled with being able to plan for the future and keep up with so many technology advancements. We were able to help them define the different skills needed to train and recruit existing and new workers, as well as plan for integration of new technology.

By now, you might be asking yourself, “What do I need to do in order to train or upskill new employees or replace leaving ones?” Don’t worry – we’re here to help analyze your current situation and determine what your needs will be in the future. Here are some initial steps we would take to help you create a successful plan:

  1. Work with your subject matter experts to get an idea what success for your company looks like
  2. Analyze your current workforce and see what their current skill sets are
  3. Develop a skills balance sheet – most companies have a financial balance sheet. This is a similar idea, just from a people perspective, in order to understand the critical needs of the company
  4. Create a people plan – a strategy to help visualize how to backfill and develop the training you need to sustain success

I hope you feel inspired to start thinking longer-term and positioning your company for continued growth, stability and success. Whenever you’re ready, we’re here to help you develop the right strategy related to attracting and assessing talent and creating a relevant succession plan.

Please let me know if I can help you on your talent journey:

Also, please take our free talent assessment. You’ll get specific feedback from EDSI experts on how your company is doing in five critical areas related to talent, including: Assessing, Attracting, Developing, Retaining and Sustaining. Click on this link to take the assessment and get the free results.

*Ip, Greg (2016, August 3) The Economic Impact When Baby Boomers Retire. Wall Street Journal. (Retrieved from

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Are you looking for a way to find the right person to take over a position? Fill your talent pipeline? Ensure that valuable knowledge is transferred before it's lost? Or, did someone say the word, "retirement?" Our easy-to-use templates can get you started.

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