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NEVER RUN DRY Succession planning is about ensuring the talent pool never runs dry, yet many businesses are guilty of an ad hoc approach to succession for HR roles. HRD provides some tips for doing it better SOMETIMES HR professionals can be so focused on the big picture in terms of engagement, retention and recruitment that they can overlook disturbing trends occurring closer to home. A key finding of the Frazer Jones 2017–2018 APAC HR Market Trends & Salary Guide was that a significant 56% of HR professionals themselves anticipate changing jobs in the next 12 months. For HR leaders in the region, this should set alarm bells ringing. Thousands of HR professionals across 11 countries were surveyed as part of Frazer Jones’ research, with the intention of identifying not

salary they received. Indeed, 75% of surveyed HR professionals were generally satisfied with their salary and bonuses. “I’m not surprised by the result,” says Tong. “Salary used to be the driver for job change. However, in the challenging market we have right now, HR professionals are very cautious in their job search and will only make a move if there’s an excellent opportunity with a stable organisation. This is why enhanced career prospects and relationship with direct manager have been identified as being so critical.”

“Proactive succession planning really leaves the organisation well prepared for all contingencies” Sean Tong just global but also regional challenges and opportunities facing HR professionals, and to get a ‘pulse’ of the profession. Fortunately, while that job churn may sound worrying, the report also identified what’s likely to keep HR employees in their current workplaces.

While the truism that people join organisations and leave managers will probably always be cited, highlighting the eternal challenge of mismatched personalities and unpleasant bosses, there’s more that HR can do when it comes to identifying internal career prospects, even for themselves.

Internal career prospects Sean Tong, Head of Frazer Jones, Asia, tells HRD that while remuneration for HR professionals remains an important element in retention, it’s not the most important factor when it comes to retaining staff. Their role and responsibilities, career prospects, the relationship with their direct manager, and the culture of their company were all ranked higher by survey participants than the


Talent mapping and succession planning Tong says there’s still plenty of work to be done when it comes to succession planning. Indeed, he notes that in many Asian nations succession planning is handled in a somewhat haphazard manner. “Often it’s done informally,” he says. “There might only be verbal agreements or

plans made, but nothing is formally mapped out either in performance reviews or at other times of the year.” In Tong’s view, succession planning is an ongoing process to ensure that the talent pool never dries up, which also forms a critical part of a talent strategy that ensures employees remain engaged. “People will feel motivated when they see opportunities and growth,” he says. For Tong, succession planning is about proactive talent sourcing, regardless of whether that talent is sourced externally or internally. If it involves going to the external market for talent, the link to effective recruitment is paramount. “Proactive succession planning really leaves the organisation well prepared for all contingencies, whether that’s organisational redesign or other major changes,” he says. “You don’t want to be without suitable replacements in the face of organisational change. If you’re looking internally, it’s about bench strength and ensuring you have replacements ready if you opt to promote someone. Externally it’s more like a courtship, building up relationships over time with key candidates.”


Talent management

Leadership development

Change management

Organisation development

Source: Frazer Jones 2017–2018 APAC HR Market Trends & Salary Guide

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Human Resources Director Singapore 3.03  

The magazine for people who manage people.

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The magazine for people who manage people.

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