Beware the plan that’s led too much by HR

A good succession plan involves a co-operative effort from managers and HR
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/11/2005

Succession planning at Toronto-based manufacturer ITEX Inc. is considered one of the HR department’s most important jobs — that and training and development, said vice-president of human resources Joanne Rivard.

That’s because the traditional role of HR — “writing policies, and hiring and firing,” said Rivard — no longer defines HR at ITEX. Its new role is to “truly plan strategically for the future,” she said. So, when it comes to succession planning, HR’s responsibility is to maintain a sense of urgency, to remind managers to ask themselves, “Who will replace me in three or five years?”

The question applies to managers at levels throughout the organization, because a manager replacing someone else will have to find a replacement for himself and so on.