Could Today's Apprentices be the Leaders of Tomorrow?
Staff turnover is one of the realities of running any business, whether it’s junior members of the team moving on, or those in more senior or executive roles. And although it can be a challenge to deal with someone leaving the company for new pastures, particularly when they’re higher up the ladder, it opens the door for others to take the lead.
How you handle this need to fill senior positions can have a huge impact on performance as a whole. Many companies look externally for someone to take on the responsibility, seeking out industry experience and expertise they might not see in their own teams. However, with the right talent pipelines and succession plans in place, you could nurture the skills of your existing employees and promote star leaders from within your own ranks.
Whether they’re already at managerial level or are still learning the ropes as an apprentice, spotting potential in today’s employees can help you create a long-term plan that will pay dividends in the future. Having a plan in place means having a ready-made replacement ready to slot into the role when the time comes, affording you a seamless transition and less turbulence.
The benefits of succession plans
The benefits of creating a succession plan are plentiful. When there is movement in high-level roles, the team may experience a transition period as the new candidate settles in and becomes familiar with their new job processes.
A succession plan works in the background to ease this period of uncertainty. By training and preparing selected employees ahead of time to take on additional roles and responsibilities, you have a plan ready to put in place when a senior team member leaves. So, there is minimal disruption to the operational efficiency of the company.
Pipelines are also a powerful way to retain top talent through the years. It shows your employees in very clear terms the progression opportunities available to them within the company. For apprentices and other junior team members, this provides a fiery incentive to work hard, prove their capabilities and seize those opportunities. When you combine this with training, perks and a good working environment, you may just find the key to retaining top talent.
The benefits of apprentices
Hiring an apprentice has so many benefits. These fresh-faced professionals are a blank canvas for you to train. Over the years, your apprentices will learn new skills, absorb the values of the company and develop deep-rooted loyalty to the firm – the makings of a future leader.
Consider apprenticeship training courses to nurture their natural abilities and help them develop. When more senior members of the team go on holiday, give your succession plan a trial run and distribute responsibilities to apprentices with leadership potential. This gives them a chance to display their management credentials.
If you successfully retain an apprentice throughout their career and capitalise on the unique opportunities this method of recruitment offers, you could nurture a future leader with huge potential for the company.
How to spot a leader of tomorrow
Hiring an apprentice is an exciting opportunity to spot early sparks of greatness. Soft skills are particularly insightful when interviewing potential hires at this stage in their career. From confidence to determination, these natural abilities can be a clear indication of the potential of the person sitting in front of you.
According to our recent research, strong communication is one of the most sought-after traits in a potential hire. Other soft skills include determination and the ability to work well as part of a team.
Succession plans and similar long-term strategies can help you unlock the full potential of your team and strengthen the future of your company. While external recruitment is sometimes the best option, investing time and money into apprentices and other juniors can offer much greater benefits in the long-run.