Succession Planning Software

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Learn More About Succession Planning Software

What is Succession Planning Software

Succession planning software is a set of tools meant to help identify critical roles within the organization and identify and train potential candidates to fill those roles should they become unoccupied. Studies have shown that the number of highly skilled job seekers with specialized institutional knowledge is significantly smaller than the number of openings that demand these skills—as such, competing for these candidates in the open job market is a costly and time-consuming endeavor. Succession planning software helps avoid this cost sink by identifying and preparing internal candidates to take over essential roles.

Succession planning will typically be instituted and managed by an HR professional or department. It generally is best suited for mid to large-size organizations, especially those with positions requiring deep industry knowledge or knowledge of proprietary processes. Smaller organizations will not benefit as much because talent identification and training can be handled manually. Additionally, smaller organizations may not be large enough to support a deep internal talent pool to support a succession plan. However, large organizations, especially those where appropriate talent may cross-departmental or geographic boundaries, can benefit tremendously from centralized software that can identify candidates with the right skills and traits to take over important positions.

Succession planning software is a powerful complement to, and often a component of, talent management software packages. However, whereas talent management software focuses more holistically on talent acquisition, retention, and promotion, succession planning software focuses more narrowly on ensuring that the right people are available and able to take over critical roles within the organization. Additionally, many succession planning packages either contain or integrate with a corporate learning management system to help develop the skills of identified candidates.

Succession Planning Software Features

Most products in the Succession Planning Software category have the following features:

  • Talent Matrix
  • Skill Gap Analysis
  • Training and Development Tools
  • Career Planning
  • Talent Pools
  • Time-to-Readiness Tools
  • Internal Talents Search
  • Tenure Risk Identification
  • Talent Assessments

Succession Planning Software Comparison

Succession Planning vs. Talent Management Suite: Succession planning software exists as point solutions and as part of Talent Management suites. If you already have a talent management solution and are looking for additional succession planning capabilities, a point solution may be more appropriate. However, a more comprehensive talent management suite can help manage talent throughout the lifecycle and have significant integration and centralization benefits.

Automated vs. Manual Tools: It may be challenging to identify the right talent for succession planning in a large organization. Individuals may be in a different department or a different regional office. In these cases, succession planning software with automated talent assessment and search tools may be helpful. Smaller organizations may be fine with manual tools and evaluations, such as a talent matrix, since it is reasonable that an HR professional might be familiar with a large portion of the organization.

Time-to-Implement: Some packages claim to be able to run directly out of the box, with minimal setup besides inputting employee data. Other packages, especially those that are part of larger talent management or human capital management suites, may take some time to implement fully. Depending on your anticipated timeline, this may be a significant hindrance.

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Pricing Information

Standalone solutions can run anywhere from $1.50-$5 per user per month. Many succession planning packages will be part of a larger talent management package. These packages are typically priced on a per month per employee basis and can run about $10-$20 per user per month. Free versions are available from some vendors for smaller teams.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does succession planning software do?

Succession planning software are solutions to identify and train internal talent to fill essential roles should a key person leave the organization. Succession planning software covers positions from the C-suite to key technical knowledge holders throughout the organization.

What are the benefits of using succession planning software?

Succession planning helps eliminate costs associated with lost productivity due to empty positions and expensive headhunts for individuals with specialized industry or institutional knowledge. Succession planning software streamlines this process and makes it easier to identify appropriate individuals, especially in large organizations.

How much does succession planning software cost?

Succession management point solutions can cost from $1.50-$5 per user per month. Additionally, many succession planning packages are part of larger talent management packages. These packages typically range from $10-20 per user per month.

How is succession planning different from talent management?

Succession planning is narrower in scope than talent management, focused on ensuring that an organization has the right talent on the bench for crucial roles. In fact, many talent management suites include a succession planning module as part of the suite.