Survey Reveals Finance Executives Confident In Succession Plans For The Senior Team

A new study from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half UK, reveals that 62% of financial executives state they now have a formal succession plan in place with 6% not having any type of strategy in place.
Of the 200 financial executives who responded, almost half (49%) plan to hire interim specialists to help when a senior leader steps down while almost a fifth (18%) plan to hire externally.
When asked how confident they were in their business’ ability to operate effectively should a senior executive step down, 45% of financial executives surveyed were very confident and almost half (49%) were somewhat confident.
Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half UK said: “The loss of a vital senior team member has the potential to significantly disrupt a business, especially if there has been little or no warning. Succession planning strategies are therefore vital for ensuring organisations continue “business as usual”, whereas companies that fail to implement a succession strategy are left with the time-consuming exercise of replacing someone when a critical role in the organisation is vacated. As our study shows, senior executives are now recognising that succession plans should be a core part of business management, in order to avoid an organisational crisis.”
The study reveals that finance executives in Scotland are the most prepared with 80% stating they have a formal strategy in place, compared to only 50% in the Midlands, the South West and Wales and 38% in the North. London sits three points higher than the UK average at 65%. However, Scotland is the least likely to engage with interim specialists (20%) whereas senior financial executives in London are the most likely to capitalise on the highly trained interim market.
Sheridan continues: “Including interim professionals in formal succession plans offers strong benefits as these highly skilled professional can confidently continue business critical projects to minimize the impact of departing senior management. In addition to implementing formal succession plans, employers should look at ways to help manage the process further, such as offering managers with executive potential more training and mentoring to develop the talent pipeline.”
Robert Half’s tips for efficient succession planning:
  • Look for talent throughout the firm.
  • Be proactive
  • Make succession planning part of your culture
  • Do a trial run
  • Use your succession plan to develop a hiring strategy
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