Ensuring that there is a succession plan in place for your C-suite executives is critical. This continuity mechanism will keep your CCRC running as it should.
Furthermore, it keeps up the confidence levels of stakeholders, including investors, employees, residents, and prospects. Having a succession plan in place tells the world that the CCRC will not be subjected to management interruptions at any point.
This kind of planning is particularly relevant in light of the recent survey by Zeigler. The results show that 73% of the participating organization’s CEOs could be retiring within the next decade. These positions will inevitably undergo a change at some point, so it is critical to plan for this in advance.
Best Practices In Succession Planning
1. Analyze The Challenges
Research, research, research! Before the team in charge of developing the succession plan can move forward with any implementations, it is vital to get a good understanding of the context they are operating in.
For instance, it is critical to the entire process that they understand the most important challenges with CCRCs. Think specifically about leadership and market challenges that CCRCs may face over the next three to five years.
The next thing to do is to analyze the current c-suite executives. What skills and experiences do these executives have that help them to navigate the industry and CCRC-specific challenges? What is the timeline for their succession, and what existing and new skills are needed to move the CCRC forward?
Next is for the team to develop a formal recruiting plan around the research they have carried out. Succession plans need to be written in consultation with the community board and presented at least two years before the person who is holding the position in question plans to retire.
2. Identify Promising Candidates
Before looking outside of the organization to do this, take internal candidates into account first. These are employees that the business has already invested money and training into. They will have a strong understanding of the community as well, which can be valuable.
Internal promotions are also great for employee morale, as it makes it clear they can access development opportunities in the community. Narrow down the search for candidates to those who could be ready when they are needed to fill the position.
If there are no suitable internal candidates, then it’s time to get senior living recruiters involved to seek external prospects.
An approval board can be formed to select the perfect CCRC candidate. This team should consist of stakeholders and senior members of the organization who know the needs of the community and the requirements of the position. Promising candidates will be interviewed by the board for consideration.
3. Make A Final Selection
The selection process should really kick off about a year before the position needs to be filled. The board, at this point, should have a shortlist of potential candidates. These candidates can begin the process of going through internal assessments so that the board can make a final decision.
These internal assessments can include competency-based interviews or behavioral assessments. Another option would be going through their references.
The considered candidates should also be assessed by way of comparison to C-suite executives in other CCRCs.
4. Develop The Chosen Candidate
Once the candidate has been chosen, the business can start funneling development efforts into them. These will help to prepare the new c-suite executive for the position they will be transitioning into. Mentorship programs, job shadowing, and general training will all become worthwhile when the transition happens.
The candidate can be trained in more than just the technical aspects of the job. Leadership in the CCRC is not just about understanding the business. Interpersonal skills, communication skills, and tact are also critical for c-suite executives.
5. Transition Into The Position
This phase of the succession plan takes into account the onboarding process and the first year of the transition. The hire needs to have a relationship with the board and have spent a sufficient amount of time with the outgoing executive before the start of their new position.
Their training should have notified them of areas that need immediate attention. The new hire also needs to have a plan for the first year that includes achievable goals and milestones.
A succession plan is critical for the continuity of a CCRC and the confidence levels of stakeholders. Follow the above five steps, and the team can implement a great succession plan that will ensure the smooth running of the community.
Keep in mind that this is the perfect scenario. However, we’ve been seeing quicker exits due to CEOs of CCRCs being recruited by competitors. In this situation, organizations must be quick to react. Hire expert CCRC recruiters to find the best replacement as the time to hire for this role could be months vs. weeks while your person hangs out on the job boards.