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Talent Mapping: Processes, Techniques and Tips

Talent Mapping Processes, Techniques And Tips

To stay competitive as a recruitment business, it helps to know which direction to go. Talent mapping is one way to chart your course.

Talent mapping lets you find gaps on your client’s teams and identify potential high-quality candidates. With that information in hand, it gets much easier to stay ahead of the competition.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of talent mapping for recruiters. We’ll also go through some practical techniques to evaluate the talent landscape and tips to improve your process. 

Read on to learn how talent mapping can put your agency ahead of rivals.

What is talent mapping, and how does it help recruiters?

Talent mapping is the process of analyzing current and potential talent pools. It’s a long-term strategy to help clients fill critical roles, and can take more data points into consideration than traditional recruitment. This means researching the job market and identifying industry trends, nurturing top candidates, and pitching those candidates to your clients.

Talent mapping can be a great investment for recruiters:

  • It helps home in on the best talent in the field, making it easier for a consultant to approach a candidate when the right role is open. This saves on time during the recruitment process, since recruiters can be confident they’re connecting with qualified, high-value candidates.
  • It also offers insight into what’s happening in the job market. Recruiters will need this info to anticipate changes and create strategies to keep attracting talent. By staying ahead of recruitment trends, consultants will be in a good position to offer the right services at the right time.
  • Talent mapping also lets recruiters make more informed decisions around sourcing candidates. With the best information available about how a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and experience stack up, they can be sure they’re recommending the right person for the role.


What are some talent mapping strategies for recruiters?

For recruiters, talent mapping usually starts with market research, competitor analysis, and data mining.

  • Market research: The best way to find more about current hiring trends and potential candidates is with some research. Try looking at job postings in your niche, reading up on salary trends, and investigating other data points to understand the local labor market.
  • Competitor analysis: Researching updates and news from your competitors can be helpful, especially if it informs your strategy in reaching out to the same candidates they might be targeting.
  • Data mining: Looking into your ATS can be useful for talent mapping as well. Try evaluating patterns between candidate skills and placement outcomes. Knowing what led to past success will help you create a more targeted approach to recruitment in the future.
  • Networking: And the old-fashioned way to set strategy is to just talk. Use social media and industry connections to gather info about what’s happening in your niche.


What you need before talent mapping for a client

Now you’ve got a client who wants you to find the best candidates with talent mapping.

In order to find the answers they’ll need, you’ll have to sort out a few things first.

  • Get a clear understanding of the client’s requirements. This will help you source the right candidates later.
  • Ask your client about their company’s hiring policies and procedures. Use this info to set timelines and expectations on all sides.
  • Set up systems to capture data that will help in the talent mapping process. For example: candidate NPS surveys, an analysis of your agency’s past time-to-hire metrics, or any other information that will give you insight into current hiring trends.
  • Ensure access to tools and resources that make talent mapping and hiring easier. This includes recruitment software like ATS and CRM platforms, among other tech tools.


Step-by-step talent mapping

Write an ICP (Ideal Candidate Persona)

Step one is to define your ideal candidate. An ICP is a description of a true unicorn candidate, written in collaboration with your client.

Create a candidate profile with the educational background, past job titles, skills, and experience that best match what your client is looking for.

Boost Your Talent Pipeline

With the ICP in hand, you can start focusing on researching the talent market.

Use online and offline resources: personal and industry social media accounts, networking events, connecting with alumni of your client’s company, and re-examining your database to find passive candidates.

Starting early is a big help for this stage, as it could take months to build up the right talent pool. Regular communication with high-potential people is key.

Identify Key Client Competitors

If your client has a few main competitors, they’ll be racing against each other to reach the same candidates.

Learn from what your client’s competitors are doing to strengthen your approach to talent. You’ll need info about competitor tactics to know how to offer the right deal.

Find what you can from the outside: the job ads that the competitor is putting up, reviewing content on their site and social media accounts, and listening in to any updates about the company.

Build a Talent Pool

At this point, you should have enough insights to start working on a list of candidates.

Reference your list of passive candidates from earlier stages of research, and add to this list the active jobseekers who could be a good fit.

Proactive recruitment plays an important role at this stage. Leveraging relationships and data about the talent you have access to helps you connect faster.

Choose Recruitment Tools to Help Your Workflow

It’s difficult to stay organized as a recruiter, so using tech to help is a lifesaver.

Recruitment technology like ATS platforms will automate collecting and sorting data on job applicants. A strong search function lets you instantly track down candidates who meet a client’s criteria.

Other popular recruitment tools include job boards, video interviewing platforms and social media job posting functions. These and other tools are useful to streamline recruitment operations.

Gather and Analyze Data

Knowing your metrics helps perfect your recruitment process. 

Keep tabs on things like job posting performance, job application completion rate, and the most effective sourcing channels to see where there’s room for improvement.


Extra talent mapping tips

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your talent mapping:

  • Build relationships with potential candidates early. Pre-existing relationships can be a big help when it’s time to build your pipeline.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. If your client is invested in a long-term strategic move like talent mapping, there should be more time spent on finding the perfect fit.
  • Take advantage of social media. It’s not always easy to locate the best candidates. But increasing your reach with social media is a great way to connect and stay top-of-mind.
  • Keep track of progress. Automating tracking and communications with each candidate ensures that no one slips through the cracks.
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends. The recruitment landscape is constantly changing, so stay aware of industry changes to stay in first place.


Final thoughts

For clients that want to think long term, talent mapping can help make investing in top talent easier.

On the recruiter’s side, considering budget, resources, and potential ROI will all play into how and how much you invest into the talent mapping process.

Gathering and analyzing data, building talent pipelines over time, continuously working on relationships and knowing all the latest recruitment trends will help out your process.

With these steps and tips, you can be on your way to effective talent mapping – and to finding the right candidates for your clients.

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