While 88 per cent of global executives say their organizations use succession planning, 74 per cent report their organizations often or always hire external candidates for leadership roles as opposed to promoting from within, according to a new survey by Ceridian HCM Inc.

The survey, which polled 2,000 global leaders, found a third (35 per cent) of executives said they hire externally for leadership roles to gain a fresh perspective and 27 per cent said it gives their organizations a competitive edge.

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However, two-fifths (43 per cent) of respondents said key leadership roles go unfilled for four months or longer. Nearly all (95 per cent) respondents said their organizations are seeking ‘boomerang talent’ — former employees — to fill job vacancies amid a labour shortage.

Most respondents said they hire external candidates for leadership roles based on what they bring to the table, as opposed to issues with internal candidates like a lack of necessary job skills (14 per cent), managerial skills (13 per cent) or interest in leadership roles (11 per cent). Half (52 per cent) of respondents said they currently use technology to map talent or identify leaders.

When asked which types of roles are included in their succession planning strategy, 73 per cent of executives indicated senior leadership roles, followed by critical technical experts (62 per cent), subject matter experts (58 per cent) and people leaders (49 per cent).

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