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Workforce and succession Planning

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This unit is responsible for maintaining the enterprise workforce planning policy, setting standardized workforce planning indicators and collection and analysis of agency data to report trends and forecast needs and/or solutions.

HRD-Office of Talent Management workforce planning consultative services include, but are not limited to, speaking to agency leadership teams about the implications and benefits of workforce planning, offering workshops to support the workforce planning process, guiding HR business partners through the process of evaluating their specific workforce situations via the online toolkit and resources, and finally by organizing a consortium of human resources professionals to increase collaboration and cooperation.


Program Administrator:
Ray Justice
Learning and Talent Development Administrator



In Spring 2009, the Governor signed an agreement allowing the Pew Center on the States to assist the Department of Administrative Services’ (DAS), Human Resources Division in developing a statewide workforce planning policy and tools to better strategically align our people to the work our agencies perform.

Directive HR-D-15 for workforce planning.

Workforce Planning

Frequently Asked Questions

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Succession Planning

NEW - Watch the video below to learn about strategic succession planning.


Human Resources
Human Resources’ role is to gather and compile data from performance results to create potential successor pools, which are comprised of individuals who possess the skills necessary for the exempt positions that could become vacant.  In addition, Human Resources supports supervisors in completing items such as performance evaluations, stay interviews, and periodic coaching meetings as well as in developing employees for their next role.

Managers play a vital role in succession planning by effectively communicating with employees and taking an active role in employee development.  The most effective succession planning involves managers who promote and encourage employee development.  Managers should evaluate employees’ interest in the succession planning process and help develop employees for their next role. 

Employees exempt from collective bargaining play an important role in succession planning.  Exempt employees should think about their preferred career path and find ways to look into several positions of interest.  Exempt employees who are interested in development either within their current pay grade (laterally) or in a higher pay grade (promotionally) should inform their manager of their interest and begin to develop a plan to achieve the desired position.

Best Practices

Common Mistakes

Frequently Asked Questions



Expand each step below to explore tools that support each step of the Strategic Succession Planning Framework.

Step 1 Tools

  1. Critical Position Assessment:  helps to identify factors that may have an impact on talent requirements within the agency along with identifying the mission critical positions that should receive priority in the succession planning process.
  2. Position Success Profile:  captures the core duties, education, experiences, competencies, and skills needed to be successful in each identified critical position.
  3. Knowledge Transfer Plan:  captures the information as well as indicate how important each task is, if someone else is available to assist or fill in, and determine the resources that exist to assist someone in performing the task.

Step 2 Tools

  1. Data Reports:  examples of reports include an agency or department roster (referred to as the Open/Filled Report), or retirement eligibility data report. This information will help inform you and others in your area who may be a potential successor. The retirement projection data may offer insight on who could be exiting the agency and when. Also, it may be valuable to review performance evaluation data from the group.
  2. Leadership Development Pipeline:  outlines the steps an employee might take in their career development, outlining various leadership opportunities as employees ascend within the agency.
  3. Competency Assessment Results:  determines how employees may currently demonstrate the competencies associated with each critical position identified in Step 1. Competency assessment is a key component of identifying and assessing the talent pool’s current bench strength.  Competency Assessment Tools are available by visiting https://das.ohio.gov/performance and opening the Competencies section.
  4. Knowledge Transfer Plan:  in Step 2, the data evaluated can help inform the Knowledge Transfer and Development Areas section of the KTP.

Step 3 Tools

  1. Critical Position Gap Assessment:  helps to determine the gap between the critical position’s ideal state and the current skills of each potential successor.
  2. Knowledge Transfer Development Plan:  starts to identify the necessary development opportunities and related steps for each potential successor begin to take shape.

Step 4 Tools

  1. Build vs. Buy:  assists with the decision whether to internally develop potential successor(s) or recruit from outside the agency to fill a critical position.
  2. Knowledge Transfer Development Plan:  establishes target completion dates for each development area. The development opportunities and related steps for each potential successor are then finalized, which includes all target completion dates and transfer measurements for each development area.  Click here to view an example.
  3. Leadership Development Worksheet:  gives potential successors the opportunity to discuss critical competencies, examine opportunities to leverage strengths, and explore opportunities to develop their weaker competencies.


Additional resources coming soon.

Succession Planning Guide


Click here to download the complete Strategic Succession Planning Resource Guide.

Click the below sections to focus on a specific subject area from the Guide.


The State of Ohio’s Strategic Succession Planning Guide is a resource to assist leaders and human resources professionals in creating dynamic, impactful plans for developing potential successors while strengthening the current bench.  By planning, agencies will develop individuals who can effectively lead as well as achieve the mission and strategic priorities to maintain an effective work environment.

According to Gartner, strategic succession planning focuses on identifying and developing a pool of leaders and critical talent ready to fill key roles across all organizational levels, closely aligned with long-term organizational goals and objectives.  This guide will help you understand how to apply this definition within the State’s strategic succession planning framework.

How can managers and leaders benefit from this Guide?

Agency leaders can benefit from this guide in rethinking how they think about filling vacancies internally as well as how they consider the development paths of employees.

How can employees benefit from this Guide?

Employees can benefit from this guide by learning more about how the State utilizes strategic succession planning, preparing for potential conversations with their leaders.

How can Human Resources professionals benefit from this Guide?

Human Resources professionals can benefit from this guide by understanding the process and related tools to assist in consulting with agency leaders and employees on their strategic succession planning needs.

Process Overview

Strategic Succession Planning is a component of the State of Ohio’s overall Talent Management practices and processes. The broader practice of Talent Management is aimed at optimizing human capital, which enables an organization to drive short- and long-term results by building culture, engagement, capability, and capacity through integrated talent acquisition, talent development, and talent deployment processes that align to business goals.

As illustrated in the table below, strategic succession and workforce planning usually work in tandem to inform human resources-related systems, process, and policies such as talent acquisition and performance management.

Talent Management Framework

When done in a strategic manner, succession planning supports not only workforce planning and talent management efforts, but the agency’s overall strategic priorities and goals. Succession strategies should be utilized to effectively plan for internal talent needs in support of the agency’s vision, mission, and strategic priorities. The comprehensive succession plan should address current and future leadership needs of the agency.

The Importance of Succession Strategies

Succession planning, when performed in a strategic manner, can influence many aspects of an agency’s talent management strategy.  Therefore, it is essential to determine the role of succession planning during strategic planning meetings to ensure leadership buy-in and support, thus positioning the practice in a place of importance within the agency.  If misaligned to the agency’s overall strategy, succession planning may not have the desired impact, which may lead to reduced knowledge transfer along with a weakened talent bench.  Additionally, strategic succession planning helps agencies ensure business continuity that supports all Ohioans.

The following are some key benefits of succession planning.

  • Promotes seamless staff transitions
  • Preserves long-term knowledge and experiences
  • Reduces the risk of critical vulnerabilities in the workforce
  • Builds talent pools capable of competing for critical positions
  • Encourages employee engagement, collaboration, and coaching conversations

The State's Strategic Succession Planning Framework

Illustrated below is the State’s Strategic Succession Planning Framework.  Each step will be described in detail, which defines the process, tools, and activities associated with each of the four steps.

Step 1:  Identify Mission Critical or Key Positions

The first step involves the agency’s strategic leadership team assembling and collaborating to identify which positions are mission critical.  This requires evaluating the impact each position has in achieving strategic goals.  In other words, would an unfilled position pose a critical risk to the agency?

Process Detail

  • Determine which positions, if they become and remain vacant, would pose a critical risk to the agency.
  • Identify positions that require very specialized knowledge or experience.
  • Identify the critical tasks and key competencies for success in the role.

Step 2:  Identify Talent Pool and Assess Bench Strength

The next step is to assess the current workforce’s bench strength to establish an individual’s readiness for a critical role.  The talent pool consists of existing employees who may be identified as a potential successor to pursue development toward the identified critical positions referenced in Step 1.  It is important to determine the talent pool members’ bench strength or current readiness to move into a critical role.

Process Detail

  • Assess the current talent pool along with its bench strength.
  • Determine the talent pool members’ current readiness to move into a critical role.
Step 3:  Assess Skill Gaps

This step will help determine how the skills of the identified talent pool members align with the established needs of each mission critical or key position.

Process Detail

  • Assessing skill gaps involves determining how the skills of the identified talent pool members align with the needs of each mission critical position.
Step 4:  Define, Implement, and Monitor Development Plans

Step 4 involves translating identified skill gaps into individualized development plans tailored to each member of the identified talent pool.  Once the individualized development plans are in place, adjustments should be made according to each member’s developmental needs and the needs of the critical role.  The progress of each pool member should be monitored and assessed. 

Process Detail

  • Translate identified skill gaps into individualized development plans unique to each talent pool member.
  • Discuss how potential successors will develop critical competencies.
  • Monitor progress and development of each talent pool member to ensure the individual achieves the action items in the development plan, and adjust the plans, as needed, according to each members’ developmental needs.

Preparing a Succession Action Plan

Once you have completed the tools, it is time to craft your narrative strategic succession plan.  This not only helps put the completed tools into actionable practice, but it helps demonstrate your plans for leadership review and approval.  Finally, the narrative plan provides an opportunity to link your succession efforts to your department’s, division’s, or agency’s strategic goals and priorities.

Related Resources



Gartner Glossary. (n.d.). Retrieved from Gartner: https://www.gartner.com/en/human-resources/glossary/succession-planning-and-management

Maurer, R. (2020, March 22). Leadership Succession Risks and What HR Can Do About Them. Retrieved from Society for Human Resource Management: https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/Pages/HR-Leadership-Succession-Risks.aspx

Services for Agencies: Workforce & Succession Planning. (n.d.). Retrieved from U.S. Office of Personnel Management: https://www.opm.gov/services-for-agencies/workforce-succession-planning/succession-planning/#url=Succession-Planning-Strategies

State of Oregon. (2017). Succession Planning Guide. Retrieved from https://www.oregon.gov/das/HR/Documents/sp-SP%20Guide.pdf

Succession Planning. (n.d.). Retrieved from United States Geological Survey: https://www.usgs.gov/about/organization/science-support/human-capital/succession-planning


Upcoming Action Items

Action Item Due Date Where to send information
Tables of Organization TBD Das.hrdwfp@das.ohio.gov
Civil Service Exemption Form As updated Das.hrdwfp@das.ohio.gov
Upward reclassifications (PA or PM) As needed OTM Agency Team