Our experience is that the resources needed to set up and run a succession or talent scheme are likely to be substantial, but need not be prohibitive. Depending on your purposes in running the scheme and what you already have in place, you may need to consider:
- The time and opportunity cost of the scheme designers and leaders, both within the senior management and within the HR department;
- Costs of others involved – line managers, participants, assessors;
- Costs of assessment – external providers’ design and processing fees, assessment centre costs (but note that it is possible to run a scheme on a small scale using in-house methods);
- Costs of learning and development – specially designed programmes and/or tailored provision for individuals;
- Costs of support for participants, including those who are not successful following assessment.
Against the costs you may be able to set savings on external advertisements or headhunters, and some of your costs may also be offset by reshaping existing provision of learning and development.
It is worth remembering that succession and talent schemes are long-term investments. This means long-term funding, but also long-term benefits. You may not be in a position initially to fund anything more than a pilot, but your conduct of the pilot and your case for continuation should try to take into account the fact that results will not be seen immediately.