August 20, 2019
Succession Planning 18 January 2019
Introducing Pathways: Recruiting Meets Succession Planning
Gisel Malek
pathways, succession planning, hiring

Introducing Pathways...

Does the walker choose the path or the path choose the walker? Everyone wants to be on a path, but most importantly when it comes to a professional environment being on a path signifies heading towards something

Pathways combine the benefits of succession planning into your organization's hiring process and organizational development strategy to create a continual performance process for each role in your company. 

In this article, we will be covering some of the benefits that will come from establishing career pathways for your employees.


Determine Career Trajectory for Employees

From the minute a candidate comes onto your radar you should be thinking about what the next 5 years will be like for that candidate. Creating a timeline of success will help paint a better picture of what you should be looking for in that candidate for that particular career. 

The feeling Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz when she found the yellow brick road is what young professionals are looking for. They want certainty, longevity and a sense of direction. In spite of what many people think, millennials and young professionals will not generally be inclined to leave your company or “job hop” if there was a reason to stay. They want to grow in your organization, learn new skills, do meaningful work, and make decisions that will drive the company

Survey results show that more than 75% of Gen Z members believe they should be promoted in their first year on the job. From the employer's perspective, new hires need to be performing at a certain level and bringing a certain benefit to the company before a promotion can be given.

By incorporating pathways into the onboarding process, you are able to shape the expectations of new hires from the moment they are hired. You can coordinate their goals and milestones with your company's growth and hand out titles, bonuses, promotions, or pay raises that coincide with the level of your organization's development. Both sides are clear on what is needed and everybody progresses together.

Ultimately, this will help to reduce turnover and increase loyalty by clarifying available growth opportunities and requirements. Employees know what skills they need to develop, have a clear set of goals that need to be reached, and also know the timeline in which they can expect advancement if milestones are hit. This will also prevent them from constantly asking for raises that they haven't earned.

Improved Internal Hiring

According to the American Management Association, more than half of all companies don't look to their current employees to fill open positions. When there is a need for strategic changes in an organization, usually the first thing companies want to do is bring professionals with experience from the outside to help things run more efficiently. It's also worth noting that more than 50% of companies report that they lose employee engagement and loyalty after 5 years. 

Employees will be loyal to companies that invest in their future. Outside hiring can have a negative effect on your employees and your organizational climate. For instance, if you have a cashier working for you for two years, but then hire someone from outside the company to manage that cashier without giving him/her the opportunity to advance, it leaves them looking for other companies that will invest in them. 

Employees want to be in roles that make a difference and don't want to be stuck doing the same old thing. They also want to develop their personal skills, to be challenged, and to gain recognition for their contributions. With Pathways, you are using principles of succession planning to train your employees and help them gain the skills and experience necessary to progress up the ranks in your company. 

You can structure pathways in such a way that every employee is working toward a higher position, and each position has an employee being trained to take over their responsibilities. This way, you will be able to hire internally to fill vital upper management roles with experienced employees and limit outside hiring to more entry-level positions.

Cultural Fit

Cultural Fit is more than about ping-pong tables and socializing events. As more and more millennials are stepping into managerial roles, it is important to consider how company culture plays a huge role in the success of your company. When you consider the overall culture of your company, you need to step back and ask yourself some really important questions.

1. What is the mission of our company? Is that mission expressed and shared amongst everyone? In every successful company, there are special qualities that make up the unique personality of the company. Find out what those things are to you and expand on it.

2. What do all of our employees have in common? No, we are not suggesting for you to hire the same people because diversity is important and brings value to your organization. What we mean is that in order for each department to run successfully, it should be comprised of people that all have a strong work ethic and have the right skill sets. Figure out what kind of attributes your employees should have in common.

3. Are there effective channels of communication? Communication is more than about getting the right people on the right screen. It is about active listening, creating a safe environment to express opinions and have them considered. Most importantly it’s about understanding what the other person has to say and why it matters. The people that listen with the intent to respond usually miss the mark on what is happening in their company. 

So, you are probably wondering how pathways fit in with company culture. The answer is simple. Finding the right people that make your organization better are hard to find. When you find them, you want to hold on to them, but will they hang on to you if you do not invest in them? 

Train them to become all they can be so they can develop into the leader your company needs. They already understand what the company vision is and know the policies, procedures and more. They may not have the experience right away, but try putting them in roles that will allow them to gain that experience instead of bringing someone in from the outside to manage them.


Imagine being able to plan a pathway from the beginning. From the minute you come into contact with a candidate, you can determine where they will fit in the pipeline and how long it will take them to get into a leadership role at your company. 

"Pathway" is a feature of ProSky product but more than that, it's a mindset about the future of onboarding new candidates and HR in general. 

You can watch the succession of each individual employee as time goes by, giving you a better gauge of what it looks like to get someone in that position from the beginning and also keeping your employees happy by giving them the opportunity to grow and advance their own skill sets. 

Sign up for a free demo to learn how changing your hiring process can help you retain the best people and lower cost!