What Should You Look For In A Succession Planning Consultant?

In a previous post, we talked about the benefits of using a succession planning consultant, and how leveraging this outside expertise can add structure and objectivity to your process. With so many options available, selecting a succession planning consultant that is right for your company can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve put together a helpful checklist to make selecting a succession planning consultant simpler. We can help ensure you choose a consultant who can deliver a robust and customized succession plan for your organization.

1. Understand Their Succession Planning Process

Make sure that your succession consultant has a formal succession plan that outlines each step of the process in detail. Take the time to ask prospective consultants about their estimated timeline for each step of the succession planning process. Make sure that your consultant used a strong scientific foundation but can also be flexible to adjust to the needs of your organization.


2. Look Into the Support Services Offered

Ask potential candidates about the support materials they provide to you throughout the succession planning process. Some examples include:


  • Executive coaching
  • Succession planning templates
  • Library of resources for specific questions or topics
  • Easy to use guides and workbooks

These may seem like nice to have extras but the support and resources your consultant is able to offer makes a big difference in the result of your succession plan.


3. Find a Succession Planning Consultant with Experience

Look for a succession planning consultant that fits the needs of your company. This goes beyond time in the industry but the types of experience they have in regards to succession planning. Have they worked with multiple industry? Do they have experience with both small and large organizations? Do they have demonstrated abilities in leadership coaching? These are just some of the questions you should ask your prospective succession planning consultant.

Selecting a Succession Planning Consultant Checklist

Leveraging the knowledge of an external succession planning consultant can add structure and objectivity to your process, it also gives you time to focus your attention where it’s needed most. However, finding a consultant that’s right for your organization can be a challenge.

Today we’re going to talk about some of the things you should look for and questions you should ask when picking a succession planning consultant.

Do They Have a Clear Process?

First, you want to have a good understanding of that process. Look for things like – Do they have a formal succession plan that clearly outlines the process? Can they provide you with estimated timelines for each step? Do they use scientifically validated assessments and do they customize the plan to your organization’s unique needs? You want to make sure your consultant uses both a strong foundation but can remain flexible to accommodate the needs of your organization.

What Support Services Do They Offer?

Next look into the support services they offer. Do they provide guidance throughout the implementation of your plan, executive coaching services, templates or workbooks that are easy for you to use or a library of resources that you can consult if you have questions about specific issues? These may seem like nice-to-have extras but the support and resources your consultant is able to offer can make a big difference in the success of your plan.

Do They Have Adequate Experience?

Last, look for a consultant with experience, and this means more than how long they’ve been in business. Consider details such as whether or not they’re an authority on the topic. Do they avidly write about succession, post resources or present to various stakeholders? Do they have experience working with companies of different sizes or those in your industry? And what are the qualifications of their team? Do they have members who are formally trained in the use of scientifically validated assessments? What about those with demonstrated abilities in executive coaching?

These are just some of the questions you should be asking when looking to hire an external succession planning consultant. For a complete list, visit sigmasuccession.com and download our Selecting a Succession Planning Consultant checklist. This free resource will help to ensure you ask the right questions so that you can find the consultant that is right for your organization.

Nine Ways You Can Save Time By Working With a Consultant


Nine ways you save time when working with a succession planning consultant 

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Succession Planning Consultant Checklist

The succession planning consultant checklist is a free resource to help you find the right succession planning consultant for your organization. Selecting a succession planning consultant can be difficult. This resource will make evaluating potential consultants a little easier.


Succession Planning Consultant Checklist
Succession Planning Consultant Checklist


How SIGMA Can Help

At SIGMA, we make succession planning easy. Visit our Launch Series page to see how we can offer your company a custom succession plan in just 4 to 6 weeks. For more resources, check out our Template Library, download our free Succession Planning Guide, or contact us for more information.