Grow Your Skills


Succession Planning Vs Replacement Planning

Replacement planning and succession planning are approaches that are incredibly significant to the lifeline of an organization. But, even by the senior leaders of the organization, these two approaches are often confused, which is very common. 


Replacement planning centers on filling an immediate requirement for a specific significant position. It is more of a response to the necessity. In replacement planning, less focus is given to the employee talent development. On the other hand, succession planning approaches towards the future. It focuses on developing succession candidates to present a proactive solution when an unforeseen loss of talent happens.


So, let’s have a look at the differences between succession planning and replacement planning: 


1. Differences in Planning

The first area of the difference is planning between succession planning and replacement planning. Succession planning develops a long-term pool of talent and replacement planning fills an immediate requirement. 


  • Replacement Planning Fills an Immediate Requirement: Replacement hiring is employed when there is an urgent requirement. For instance, if a leader chooses to retire, the position becomes vacant. To fill that position, either an external candidate will be hired or a subordinate will fill the position. This normally results in a long learning and training curve, as there would be no transition time between the obligatory and the replacement.
  • Succession Planning Develops a Long-Term Pool of Talent: Succession planning is a long-term prospect to develop a pool of skills and expertise before it is required. In this, if the leader chooses to step down then the candidates are equipped for the role. Candidates are trained in advance of a position becoming vacant. Long-term training, like job-shadowing, becomes an accessible choice to develop the candidates for their ultimate responsibilities. This perspective enables an organization to equip not only to substitute the leadership positions but also to fill the positions left in the management roles when these people move to higher positions.


2. Differences in Decision Making

There is a difference in decision making between succession planning and replacement planning. Replacement planning keeps the status quo and on the other hand, succession planning determines the candidates on the basis of the roles. 


  • Replacement Planning Maintains The Status Quo: Replacement hiring has the risk of keeping the status quo. It does not capitalize on the advantages of a systematic method to select succession candidates.
  • Succession Planning Determine Candidates Based on The Role: Succession planning enables an organization to select potential candidates on the basis of the demands and requirements of the position, and their capabilities to meet the demands. 


3. Differences in Outcome

There is a huge difference in the outcome between succession planning and replacement planning. Replacement planning can be limited for the current employees’ and succession planning focuses on developing the talents and skills of the current valued employees’. 


  • Replacement Planning May Be Limiting for Current Employees: One of the potential disadvantages of replacement hiring is that it does not essentially plan for employees to enhance their skills or improve their capabilities, making it tough and challenging to develop skilled employees in the first place. 
  • Succession Planning Focuses on Developing the Skills of Current Valued Employees: Succession planning is developmental. It focuses on building the skills of the employees. This helps in creating a more developed and refined workforce. The succession planning processes are advantageous for both employees and organizations.


Final Words

Both replacement planning and succession planning are necessary for an organization. But now, irrespective of the size, companies are gradually shifting to succession planning because it has emerged in both complexity and scope. Succession planning needs effort and time and should be practiced methodically to assure that the right people, in the right position, are doing the right things.

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