Organizational Change WalkMe TeamUpdated May 10, 2020

Business Continuity Jobs: A Quick Introduction

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Business Continuity Jobs: A Quick Introduction

This quick introduction to business continuity jobs will cover the basics of this profession, which has entered the spotlight and become more relevant than ever in today’s uncertain economy.

Among other things, we’ll learn:

  • Business continuity professionals’ key roles and responsibilities
  • Common job titles and keywords that can be found inside job descriptions
  • Qualities to look for when selecting candidates – or qualities to cultivate if one is seeking work in this area

To start off, let’s explore the basics of business continuity and how these professionals add value to the modern organization.

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What Business Continuity Professionals Do

Business continuity managers and other specialists in this field will perform a variety of duties that are designed to maximize organizational resilience and improve performance when organizations face disruptions to their business. 

Among other things, they will…

  • Perform business impact analyses. A business impact analysis predicts the effects that different types of disruptions will have on an organization. Naturally, not every type of disruption will have the same impact, which is why it is crucial to measure multiple scenarios and variables. The type, timing, and duration of a disruption, for instance, will all affect the business impact. This information is crucial to the effective development of business continuity plans.
  • Develop business continuity strategies and plans. Business continuity planning is one of the key responsibilities of professionals that work in this field. A business continuity plan lays out a course of action to undertake in the event of a disruption to business operations. Different types of plans will have different purposes and strategies. While business continuity plans are designed to protect and restore key business functions, there are other types of plans that should complement these continuity strategies. 
  • Mitigate and prevent risks associated with business disruptions. Risk mitigation and disaster prevention strategies are closely related to business continuity. In many cases, business continuity specialists will also be responsible for developing these plans, though their purpose will revolve around strategies designed to prevent disasters. Workplace accidents, for instance, can be reduced and even completely prevented with appropriate procedures and protocols.
  • Manage the implementation of business continuity efforts. Like most other business projects and processes, the successful execution of these plans will depend a great deal on how well they are managed. Business continuity managers will often play a key role in the management and execution of these plans, alongside other key business leaders and managers. 
  • Evaluate the performance of continuity plans. Once a business continuity plan has been implemented, its performance should be reviewed and analyzed. This will involve the collection of performance data, status reports, employee surveys, and other relevant information. That will then be used to assess the program’s performance, which information can, in turn, be used to improve plan design and future implementation.
  • Design and manage training and exercises that keep employees prepared. Training ensures that business continuity teams will be able to perform their duties competently when the time arrives. Live tests and exercises are just as important, since they allow employees to demonstrate their abilities and determine whether the proposed plan can actually accomplish its stated aims.
  • Create and implement other measures designed to maintain organizational resilience. There are a number of ways to improve an organization’s resilience and its ability to cope with disasters and disruptions to everyday business operations. A more digitally mature organization, for instance, will be better prepared for a wide variety of IT disruptions, such as cyber attacks. 

Each organization will have its own specific approach to business continuity, so it is useful to learn more about the specific job titles and keywords that businesses use when hiring these specialists.

Common Business Continuity Jobs and Titles

Not every organization will use the same terminology when referring to business continuity jobs. Though searches for “business continuity” on job websites or corporate job boards can often reveal the most relevant results, it pays to dig a bit deeper.

Here are a few key words to look for:

  • Business continuity
  • Disaster recovery
  • Crisis management
  • Emergency response
  • Risk management
  • Business resiliency

Also, as with most other professions, business continuity specialists can fall in multiple places on the organizational hierarchy. 

Job titles can include ranks such as…

  • Manager
  • Director
  • Lead
  • Specialist
  • Analyst

Naturally, each job role will have varying levels of responsibility, which will mostly depend on the organization’s needs. While larger businesses or specialized consultancies may have openings for support staff, positions in this field tend to require specialized knowledge and experience. As a result, most of these roles tend to fall higher up on the corporate ladder.

Required Qualifications, Education, and Experience

What does it take to become a business continuity professional?

Common requirements include:

  • A four-year degree in business or another relevant field
  • Multiple years of experience working in business continuity management, strategic planning, risk management, or change management
  • Experience developing and implementing business continuity plans
  • Certifications in change management, business continuity, FEMA course certifications, emergency management, and other relevant areas
  • Strong people skills and communication skills
  • The ability to manage complex projects, use relevant software, and understand data and analytics

Given the high levels of responsibility associated with this position, it is clear that success requires dedication and long-term commitment, as well as an appropriate mixture of education and experience.

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