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If you’re like most managers and small business owners, you can look ahead into the next three months or so and recognize most of the staffing challenges that are likely headed your way. You know who may be leaving for work elsewhere, you know who may be going out on extended leave or coming back, and you know how many new positions you’ll be creating and staffing during that time. Looming retirements are within your view, and so are promotions, which will leave vacated seats that will need to be filled.

But what lies beyond that six-month timeline?

A succession plan can help you pave the way and put a plan of action in place for both expected and unexpected twists and turns in the development of your staffing needs. For example, if you have a new entry-level hire who isn’t sure where she wants to go over the long term, but shows promise in a specific area (sales, production, marketing, etc.), you’ll want to factor her growth into plans for your own. How can you get her the coaching and exposure she’ll need to be ready when the right position opens?

Succession planning requires both vision and guidance.

A successful long-term staffing plan starts with strong strategy and vision. Of course, not all your expectations will play out exactly as you imagine, but if you can picture who might go where based on who excels at what, who aspires to what role and what the company might need after the next expansion, and then the next, you’re poised for a series of smooth transitions.

All the same, building this kind of strategy requires extensive experience, both with human nature and with business development. A professional recruiting firm can bring both areas of expertise to the table and direct your attention to upcoming challenges and opportunities you may not be able to recognize on your own.

Get the most out of your succession planning partnership.

When you sit down with your recruiter, describe the seasonal and annual staffing fluctuations you’ve experienced in the past, and explain any large expansions, moves or changes you’ll face in the near future. Talk about the talent areas and skill sets your company depends on the most and any looming threats you can see, like a critical employee who may be outgrowing what your company has to offer. Together, we’ll anticipate the unexpected and prepare for both the storms and sunny weather we see on the horizon. Contact Extension for an initial consultation today.

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