Percentage of managerial positions that do not have ‘ready’ candidates identified for potential succession.


End of period headcount. Manager. Succession – Applicable. No ready candidate / End of period headcount. Manager. Succession – Applicable * 100


Positions Without Ready Candidates Rate indicates the percentage of managerial positions that require succession management focus but do not have a ‘ready ‘ candidate identified.

A result of 20 per cent means that 20 per cent of succession-applicable managerial positions do not have successor candidates identified who are ready to assume the position immediately if needed.

One important component of succession management is the identification of potential managerial successors. If a key position does not have ready candidates available and that position suddenly becomes vacant, the organisation will either need to fill the position with a non-ready candidate or search externally for a replacement.

While external hires can be quite beneficial in senior positions, they can also take significant time to recruit, drive high recruitment costs, turnover quickly, and lack corporate history and understanding.

Not all managerial positions may necessitate a successor pool. For example, low-level managers or managers with common skill sets may not require succession forethought prior to a vacancy.

However, managerial positions involving skills that are critical to the business or hard to replace, or key positions of authority, scope or market accountability, are positions for which the organisation should develop a ready successor pool.

Data Sourcing

Organisations typically identify potential successors and the positions for which they are identified as being ‘ready’ from a succession management table or system.


Employers may find it useful to analyse Positions Without Ready Candidates Rate across various management designations (e.g. Team Leader, Manager, Director), functions, job families, organisational units and geographies to understand how well key positions are covered and to anticipate or overcome succession pool gaps.


The usefulness of Positions Without Ready Candidates Rate as a measure of the effectiveness of succession management processes depends on the appropriate identification of successors and their readiness to assume positions.


Targets for this measure are likely to be near zero. While an organisation may choose to fill some key positions externally, they are likely to wish to have an internal candidate to consider for vacancies. Having ready internal candidates available helps to ensure a sound selection process when filling key positions.

Relative targets against a benchmark group are not likely to be useful for this measure due to the differences in managerial populations and succession management practices across organisations.