Professional development and succession planning

By Steve Johnson

The standard rejection letter claims “We’ll keep your resume on file.” But do you really?

Statistics on job tenure seem to be all over the map. Generally, high-tech workers seem to stay in the jobs for approximately 4 years. The median employee tenure at Google is just more than one year, according to the payroll consultancy PayScale. Executives in sales tell me they expect to replace sales people every 18-24 months. And with all the changes in marketing technology, you’ll need to re-train or re-staff to get skills in the areas of content marketing, marketing automation, mobile, and so on.

So you’re going to hire new people. Whatcha gonna do?

Every VP should have a “resumes” folder with people who are already (at least somewhat) vetted.

Think about the last time you recruited. Were there some standout candidates who didn’t make the cut? How about the folks you met at a conference? They should be in your “go to” folder for when you’re looking next time.

I attended a productcamp last year that was sponsored in part by a hiring manager. She figured the sponsorship fee was a fraction of what she’d pay a recruiter. And she’d have the chance to meet dozens of applicants in a single day.

As others have said, Dig the well before you’re thirsty.

In general, I don’t find that companies do a very good job of succession planning. How can you get promoted unless you have someone in the wings ready to take your spot?

If you’re a product manager or product marketing manager, you should be networking now for the job you want next year. If you’re a hiring manager, you should be building a database (or file folder) of people you can reach to fill a job quickly.

Both employees and employers should be networking. And a good place to do that in the tech biz is productcamp.