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Division of Human Resources

Succession Planning

Identifying pivotal positions and developing action plans for individuals to assume those positions is critical to an organization’s success.

Vice Presidents, Provosts, Deans and Chancellors are expected to create and maintain succession plans for all senior executive and pivotal positions in their areas of responsibility. 

Succession plans should be reviewed and updated biennially or 6-12 months after a significant change. The Division of Human Resources will send out an annual reminder. All plans are subject to periodic review and audit by the Office of Audit and Advisory Services.


Tools and Resources

Use the following tools to help develop your senior executive and pivotal position succession plans per Policy HR 2.01. These tools can also be found in the Succession Planning Packet [pdf]

  • Succession planning is a strategic plan that aligns talent management with the vision of our university. Succession plans anticipate and prepare for the future human capital needs, critical to operations and long-term organizational goals. Tasked with identifying potential succession candidates, and planning for and investing in their development, our executives are creating a talent pool of prepared individuals capable of moving into vacated pivotal positions to ensure continuity of operations and meet the demands of the future.

  • Short-term Back Up(s)/Interim(s): A person or multiple people who could perform the critical duties and tasks of an executive or pivotal position (now or with some training in the short-term) until a long-term replacement is found.

  • Long-term Potential Replacement: A person who has been developed or a person who could be recruited and developed to fill this role long-term.

Senior executives are the President’s Executive Council, Provosts, Deans and Chancellors.

Required

  • Senior executives are expected to complete their own succession plan utilizing the recommended Senior Executive Succession Plan [pdf] or a similar listing tool.
  • These plans should be saved internally within each college/campus/division or submitted to the Division of Human Resources at successn@mailbox.sc.edu.
  • Plans should be reviewed and updated biennially or 6-12 months after a significant change.
  • All plans are subject to periodic review and audit by the Office of Audit and Advisory Services.


Optional

Use these tools to spark impartial discussions, reflection, and thoughtful assessment during the succession planning process. Create a detailed plan with deadlines to ensure timely develop of the potential successor(s). Use items you identified in the “Track Major Action Items” section of the Succession Plan to build the Individual Development Plan (IDP).

Pivotal positions are roles that if unfilled, could impact the overall essential needs of the organization. They are roles with specialized knowledge, skills and abilities, external relationships, strategic change initiatives, etc. that when vacant, present a significant risk to the organization. Use the Pivotal Roles Assessment tool [pdf] to help you identify pivotal positions.

Required

  • Senior executives are responsible for the successful completion and maintenance of succession plans for all pivotal positions in their areas of responsibility. 
  • These plans should be captured utilizing the recommended Pivotal Position Succession Plan [pdf] or a similar listing tool. 
  • Plans should be saved internally within each college/campus/division or submitted to the Division of Human Resources at successn@mailbox.sc.edu
  • Plans should be reviewed and updated biennially or 6-12 months after a significant change. 
  • All plans are subject to periodic review and audit by the Office of Audit and Advisory Services.


Optional

Use these tools to spark impartial discussions, reflection, and thoughtful assessment during the succession planning process. Create a detailed plan with deadlines to ensure timely develop of the potential successor(s). Use items you identified in the “Track Major Action Items” section of the Succession Plan to build the Individual Development Plan (IDP).

Record information about your entire pool to understand total talent and risk in your area of responsibility. Review for diversity. Capture and cross-train for critical tasks to ensure continuity of processes and customer care. A critical task that can and should be cross-trained does not make a position “pivotal”. Use the pivotal assessment to make that determination.

  • Potential Talent Pool Worksheet [pdf] – Combine all information from your 9-Box Models to understand the talent pool in your entire area of responsibility. If you don’t have potential opportunities for your top talent, you can create connections for individuals to aid in retaining these individuals at the university.
  • Knowledge Management and Transfer [pdf] – Cross-train for critical tasks and activities for continuity.

The Office of Organizational and Professional Development offers succession planning consulting services. If you have questions, please contact Nathan Strong or Kim Pruitt.


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