As the year draws to a close, it comes the time when many people consider cutting ties and starting afresh in the New Year. This thinking may be influenced by ageing, illness, altering family commitments or simply a change of motivation. When a Senior Partner departs, they leave a large hole in your business. So how do you go about finding someone who will be able to successfully step into those big shoes?
Plan In Advance
When there is a lack of succession planning in a business, it can become vulnerable when a partner leaves at short notice. Annual assessments of all employees at all levels is sound practice; monitoring progress versus objectives. A major objective should be for every supervisor, manager or lead to find a replacement ready now and making any salary review or bonus contingent upon significant progress in this regard. This sound practice not only solves the succession issue but also avoids the over dependence on any one individual. It also provides motivation to those being groomed, via delegation, training etc., and a healthy, positive, upwardly mobile culture.
Use Your Network
Participation in networking events, particularly within the same industrial sector or functionality (i.e. creativity, design, marketing, engineering), or developing your own LinkedIn style network, provides several potential contacts or a direct source of a replacement.
Targeting A Candidate
A confidential approach to a target (possibly a competitor) can be made via a head-hunter who should also be able to determine a comprehensive list of targets. The head-hunter route is more likely to produce a greater choice of candidates because of their research capabilities, facilities and experience which would include reaching out to both active and passive job-seekers. The head-hunter will only disclose the details of their client, once the targeted individual has indicated that they would be interested in a career move, that they possess the required experience, qualifications and find the location and generic job description attractive. This avoids potential embarrassment and disclosure with competitors in attempting to go direct.
The more obvious route for finding a replacement is advertising the job. Again, one would recommend professional help from an experienced recruiter who not only knows how to write an effective advertisement but also where to place it e.g. which job board is the most effective for the skill set required. It may appear tempting to have a go at D.I.Y here but it may prove very time consuming, less effective and more expensive in the long run with no warranties on the result.
The more senior the role, it is likely that the replacement will be on longer notice, which may be negotiated. This again emphasises the need for as much planning and notice as possible. Needless to say, that the contract with a senior partner/employee leaving should have a significant notice period e.g. six months minimum.
Replace or Merge Roles?
Finally, it may be the case that the solution is not to replace the functionality at all but rather to merge with another business or practice where the residual skills in your business are complementary and of great potential value to merger with another business or practice.
Whether the solution is finding preplacement talent, sound HR practice or a potential merger or acquisition HCBA/LGBA can provide the assistance required.
For further advice on replacing a senior partner in your business, contact our recruitment specialist advisor Mike Pill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 01276 684007