Using Technology

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (October 14, 2008) — In response to growing market trends, Workscape, Inc. (, a provider of outsourced benefits and talent management solutions, is introducing its succession planning functionality. The product is designed to help companies retain top performers by identifying qualified successors as high potentials to move up within their respective organization.

Succession planning has historically been reserved for an organization’s highest levels. By utilizing emerging technology applications that allow better assessment of employee skills, performance, and experiences required for critical positions in the company and other relevant data, succession planning now can be used for a much wider, comprehensive role within the organization. Rather than only deciding who’s primed to move up in the executive suite, smart HR organizations are using these new technology-based tools to ensure that succession planning is taking place for valuable employees throughout the organization, not just at the top level. As a result, organizations are ensuring that a strong, talent-laden bench is ready to move into new roles across the enterprise.

Based on a recent survey, many employers are just starting to take advantage of these technologies across the enterprise. The survey, which included 456 employers, found that companies with formal succession planning strategies in place, most (60 percent or higher) have them for C-level, VP level and Director level, but the number drops quickly for Managers (44 percent) and the general workforce (12 percent). More than half (55 percent) report that they have no succession plan at all.

“It’s interesting to note that more than 60 percent of employers use succession planning for the top levels, but when it comes to managers and the general workforce, the numbers drop,” Tony Marzulli, Workscape’s chief marketing officer, observed. “That shows that employers are not implementing their succession planning initiatives on an enterprise level – most likely because they need robust talent management solutions to fully optimize this critical business function.” Marzulli mentioned that he was most alarmed at the 55 percent of respondents who reported not yet having a formal succession planning strategy. “If you don’t have one, you are exposing your organization to a very steep downside,” he warned. “Utilizing a comprehensive talent management platform can help employers keep top performers at all levels within the organization, while lining up qualified successors to replace them so a company stays competitive.”

Workscape’s solution will enable managers to define talent pools for positions and identify successors for individual employees. Sharing the same proven Web-based SaaS platform, the company’s talent management suite provides intuitive tools for establishing the competencies and experiences required to be effective in a critical job and flexible search tools for finding those employees who meet necessary job criteria and experience levels. Employees are also empowered to better manage their careers through easy-to-use, self-service tools that allow them to create, view and update career path objectives, search for new positions within the company and provide gap analyses to identify professional development needs.