Succession Planning and Talent Management are key mechanisms for building a dynamic organisation. The average age of a person working in Local Authorities in Ireland is 51. This presents some real challenges around succession planning as recruitment has been restricted in recent years and staff attrition has continued. This has led to a skills mismatch in some functional areas in Irish Local Authorities.
Local Authorities are now starting to define their future talent requirements as part of their annual workforce plan. New skills such as data analytics, digital diagnostics and economic development and planning will be key to ensuring that Councils have the right organisational capability to support future citizens' needs.
It is important that Local Authorities continue to assess their talent needs and to refresh their understanding of what talent may be required in the future as they evolve. It is likely that the workforce shape and skill base will change over time to reflect the changing services and delivery models in the sector. A good example of this is the rise in the use of online channels and services. Greater use of these in the future will require Local Authorities to have skills and capabilities in the area of ‘Digital’.
Knowledge capture is also becoming more important as senior talent continues to leave the organisation through retirement. The importance of capturing and transferring this knowledge to younger staff is a critical activity for any Authority. Knowledge capture is not only about updating core systems and documents but also involves a focused approach to mentoring and coaching to upskill staff.
We have a defined approach to Succession Planning and Talent Management and have employed this in our work with numerous Local Authorities in other jurisdictions. Our methodology and apporach is highly collaborative and we strive to work closely with Human Resources and management teams as part of this process.
We have experience in developing knowledge management plans for specific services in the Local Government Sector to ensure that all relevant knowledge and data is captured before key talent exits an organisation. This involves both the development of a coaching and mentoring framework for staff and a systematic approach to the capture of data and knowledge.