Engineering Employers Say Succession Planning More Important Now Than Before Recession

Majority of engineering employers say succession planning now more important than in 2006. Half say it is set to become more important as talent needs escalate. Engineering sector far more sophisticated than UK average.
LONDON - June 18, 2014 - PRLog -- Majority of engineering employers say succession planning now more important than in 2006 (63%).

Half say it is set to become more important as talent needs escalate(50%).

Engineering sector far more sophisticated than UK average – looking to the long-term as well as the short-term and looking at more than the top layers of management.

Engineering employers say succession planning is now more important to them than it was in 2006 research from Randstad Construction Property & Engineering, the specialist recruiter, has found.

In a poll of 100 leading HR directors, 63% of HR directors working in the engineering sector said it was now more important than it had been before the economy crashed.

According to Workpocket 2014/15, Randstad’s guide to HR, published today, succession planning focuses on identifying potential future leaders to fill key positions.  In a climate of talent shortage and lack of confidence in leadership potential, there is renewed interest in succession planning.  Half of HR directors working in engineering (50 per cent) said it is set to become a higher priority in the future.

Owen Goodhead, MD of Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering said: “If companies want to be effective at filling unplanned vacancies, they must plan for vacancies, and commit the time and resources required to develop a detailed and progressive succession management plan that will ensure that the company will continue to thrive.  But sound succession planning is not just about risk-mitigation.  It helps ensure employees know they’re being groomed for a particular position, which gives them a strong sense of having a clearly defined future within the company.  This is a powerful retention tool and keeps people from leaving their company for greener pastures.  With the growing shortage at senior and middle manager level, and a number of engineers decamping overseas, focussing on succession planning could make all the difference.”


Less than half (44 per cent) of the UK’s blue-chip employers undertake both short and long-term succession planning.  But in engineering, it’s about almost three quarters (71 per cent).

Owen Goodhead said: “When it comes to succession planning the UK’s employers appear to be lagging behind the engineering industry.  You have a choice: raise the bar on your succession planning or watch your top talent – and a host of competitive benefits – fly out the door.  Unlike other sectors, the engineering sector isn’t just going through the motions.  Effective succession planning can’t be done in a vacuum and needs to be an integrated component of a company’s approach to talent management.  It’s a part of the HR process that just isn’t being properly exploited at the moment elsewhere.  Engineers are used to dealing with massive projects that can take years – even decades – to complete.  That appears to have rubbed off on their HR departments.”

Additionally, 43 per cent of engineering employers focus their succession planning on more than just the top level of management – compared to the UK average of 30 per cent.

Owen Goodhead said: “Traditionally, companies felt succession planning should be limited to a handful of senior management positions.  Engineering firms however are looking at the top three levels. This is an incredibly wise move as a growing number of middle-management positions are becoming as challenging to fill, if not more so, than some of the top spots.”

The 2014/15 issue of Workpocket can be ordered here:

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Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering is part of the Randstad group, one of the leading recruitment & HR services providers in the world with a top three position in the UK and the United States.

In the UK, Randstad’s business lines serve the public and private sectors across Accounting and Financial services; Business Support; Construction, Property and Engineering; Education; Health and Social Care; Interim Management and Search; Human Resources; IT; Student and Worker Support and In-House and Managed Services.

At the end of 2013 Randstad had 1,520 corporate employees in the UK, working in 147 locations (incorporating 53 Inhouse sites). UK revenue in 2013 was €769.6 million. Randstad Holding nv was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands and listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. For more information see and

Randstad CPE
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