Succession Planning More Important For Nurses Than At Any Time in last 5 Years

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June 23, 2014 - PRLog -- • Majority of NHS Trusts say succession planning now more important than in 2009 (59%)

• Succession planning set to become more important in the future say 40%

• Nursing far more sophisticated than UK average – looking to the long-term as well as the short-term; looking at more than the top layer of management

NHS Trusts say succession planning is now more important to them than it was in 2009 research from Randstad Care, the specialist care recruiter, has found.

In a poll of 100 leading HR directors, 59 per cent of senior HR professionals working in the care sector said it was now more important than it had been in 2009.

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.  41 per cent of HR directors working in care said it is set to become a higher priority in the future – with none suggesting it was going to become less important.

Victoria Short, managing director of Randstad Care, said: “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 organisation.  This is a powerful retention too which taps into true career fulfilment.  With escalating shortages at senior and middle manager level and a service that is increasingly stretched, it’s more important than ever to retain good nurses.”

The retention side of succession planning is set to become more important still.  Previous research from Randstad Care forecast that in order to support the predicted UK population by 2050, the nursing workforce would need to grow by nearly 9,000 a year leading to an increasing shortage of nurses as demand outstrips supply.


When hiring externally, almost of quarter (24 per cent) of the UK’s employers aim to fill a specific role and they don’t look to put people in place capable of dealing with the challenges their new role might present in the future.  But only a fifth (19 per cent) of HR professionals involved in nursing say they operate along such short-term lines.

Victoria Short said: “When it comes to succession planning the UK’s corporate employers appear to be lagging behind the increasingly sophisticated HR practices in some NHS Trusts.  Unlike other sectors, the health and social care 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 an organisation’s approach to talent management.  It’s a part of the HR process that just isn’t necessarily being properly exploited at the moment elsewhere so it’s great to see the NHS, which is often compared unfavourably to the private sector, leading the way.”

Additionally, 41 per cent of NHS Trusts focus their succession planning on the top three levels of management and below – compared to the UK average of 37 per cent.

Victoria Short said: “Traditionally, organisations felt succession planning should be limited to a handful of senior management positions.  By focusing on only the top one or two levels of management, the process was supposed to remain manageable as only a small percentage of the workforce will be involved in succession planning.  But that risks demotivating and alienating a large portion of your workforce.  Plus, as recruiters know, a growing number of middle-management positions are becoming as challenging to fill as some of the top spots.  From this point of view, Foundation and Hospital trusts are really at the forefront of succession planning. We’re seeing succession planning taking place in the senior management structure of NHS organisations and independent healthcare organisations, at board and director level down to regional managers, service manager, clinical nurse manager and even matron level.”

The 2014/15 issue of Workpocket can be ordered here:
Tags:Nursing, Career, Randstad
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