The Art of Matchmaking Blog Series: Step 5 – Career Mapping and Succession planning

The Art of Matchmaking Blog Series: Step 5 – Career Mapping and Succession planning

The Art of Matchmaking Blog Series: Step 5 – Career Mapping and Succession planning

Successful organizations have focused their talent management activities such as attraction, recruiting, hiring, onboarding, performance management, employee development, team building, and succession planning into a strategic workforce plan. This long-term strategy; aligned with organizational goals seeks to optimize business processes, people development, and productivity.

In our last blog, we discussed tips to identify high potential managers and designing development programs starting with matching talent, skills and values using behavioral assessments for a broader scientific and objective perspective for training, coaching and mentoring needs. The Step 5 focuses on the strategic workforce planning in which organizations forecast their future skills needs, demands, and gaps and workforce requirements and identify a deep pool of high performing talent and build a career mapping and succession plan.

A career and succession plan are not an exclusive HR function. Your leadership, including from the CEO to the frontline managers should have a high level of input in the selection and mapping of future successors. The conversations must emphasize on how these career opportunities will blend the personal and professional desires and aspirations of your leader; now potential successor.

Succession planning is a plan in place to elevate a person to a higher level. In succession planning, there are essentially three steps.

  1. Identifying the Critical Positions

These are people that organizations simply can’t function without. It’s important to consider Top management, middle management and also the new-hires. Ask yourself what would happen if they left? Are they the only one? Look for opportunities to cross-train in the case that something should happen. This adds the benefit of giving employees visibility into the future of their careers, thus providing security, loyalty, and engagement.

  1. Identify and Assess Potential Successors

This step entails finding the high- potential and high-performing individuals in your organization and aligning their personality and behavioral traits with the needs of roles that will later have to be filled. Once these top candidates are identified, upper management and leadership throughout the company need to get involved in the process taking on a mentoring role and start developing and grooming the individuals so that they are ready when the time comes.

  1. Keep a Database

This database should be full of information gained through the initial company-wide succession planning set-up. As new employees come into the organization, their job-fit criteria, competencies, skills, and gaps should be recorded and added to the database, including their personality and behavioral traits. That way, when needed you will have a pool of potential candidates to continue the process.

As a conclusion, succession planning improves employee commitment and engagement, accelerates career development, and is not only cost effective, but in many instances profitable. Companies that want to succeed need to identify those already in the company that can fill leadership vacancies and invest in their development and grooming until the time comes to take on an upper management role.

Itr3s community of experts help organizations to develop strategic workforce plans that not only identify the talent necessary to fill these roles, but also create succession plans that will grow that talent to become future leaders.

Live to inspire, ignite & impact…one person every day!



Magda Vargas is a Corporate Culture Matchmaker who helps purpose-driven leaders to inspire their people & ignite the necessity for innovation, learning and growing to impact retention, engagement and revenues by creating a powerful, joyful and collaborative workplace.

Before starting Itr3s Consulting, Magda worked 11 years as Executive Recruiter, HR Generalist and Recruitment and Staffing Manager. After a successful career helping HR managers, top management and business owners, Magda now teaches and advises them on how to increase retention & engagement by focusing first on culture fit and then on skills, experience & talent.

Magda attributes her success to mentors’ positive advice and encouragement. She believes that to be able to serve and contribute to the world we need to consistently look for inspiration that will show our path to happiness and fulfillment.

Magda enjoys South Florida salty-life and road trips with her husband and 2-daughters.

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