Where are our next leaders coming from?

From re-active to pro-active Talent Management

The talent of future leaders is critical to the future success of companies. Board Members, CEO’s and HR are asking ‘where are our next leaders coming from”? The question is, how do you create a sustainable pipeline of talent to have the right leaders on board on time…

This storyline might sound familiar: an important manager or a highly specialized professional at your company submitted his/her formal resignation. The resignation was totally unexpected and as a result, your timeline for finding a replacement for a critical role is very short.
Creating a Talent Pipeline for key positions can offer the right solution in this kind of situations. A Talent Pipeline is an internal or external pool of candidates who are qualified to assume open positions that have been vacated through a job switch, retirement, promotion or which are newly created. Having a Talent Pipeline ensures that roles will not go unfilled for long periods or that people are not promoted before they are ready. It is a strategic approach to recruitment and needs careful planning but when you get it right, it can shorten the time it takes to make a replacement and enhance your chances of finding the best people.
A lot of companies already work with some kind of Internal Talent Pipeline, using Career Programs, Talent Assessments etc., which will provide internal candidates through a succession planning. And of course there are many good arguments for internal hiring. Current employees will know your company mission and culture and you usually will know them. You can drive higher employee performance if there is a promise of growth and promotion. By using the results of performance evaluations and assessments, it is also possible to anticipate with training and mentoring programs to the future role. Offering real promotion possibilities to the actual employees is also an important motivation and retaining tool.

But there are not a lot of companies which work at an External Talent Pipeline and that is a shame. Because there is not always a high potential talent at the company available that will be ready in time and to force an internal promotion can cause failure. Another aspect is the fear for “corporate inbreeding”. This essentially means that companies are not bringing in much outside talent into the company. Companies can get into a bad habit of only looking internally for managerial positions and the lack of “fresh air” and the company can get too inward-looking. Here building up an External Talent Pipeline can bring solutions by identifying potential candidates at other companies for crucial roles. Besides gaining time that an external search process will take, it constantly gives companies information about the market.

Internal and External Pipelining is about foresight: about engaging now with the people who will run your business in the future.

For more information about Talent Management and External Talent Pipelines, please contact Sedna Executive Search.
Martin Poppe, Founder and Managing Partner, Sedna Executive Search, 08 November 2017.