What is Talent Mapping in Recruitment?

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In the fast-paced, competitive world of recruitment, being proactive is the name of the game. One strategy that has gained traction in recent years for its forward-thinking approach is talent mapping. But what exactly is talent mapping, and why is it a crucial tool in the recruitment arsenal?

In this blog post I’lll shed light on the concept of talent mapping, its role and importance in recruitment, and how it can be leveraged to fuel growth and success, especially in fast-growing companies and those that have secured investments. From HR managers at service stations to CEOs planning for business expansion, understanding talent mapping can significantly enhance your recruitment strategy .

To better serve your future hiring needs, I will skillfully guide you through each detail. Together, we will unravel talent mapping’s efficiency in identifying skill gaps and harmonizing talent with business requirements, which will be  invaluable to your organization’s growth and success.

Table of Contents

Unraveling Talent Mapping

At its core, talent mapping is a proactive approach to recruitment. Unlike traditional recruitment methods that are reactive – kicking into gear when a vacancy arises – talent mapping involves identifying potential candidates for future roles well in advance. It’s a strategic move, aiming to understand the talent landscape and be prepared when hiring needs emerge.

Talent mapping isn’t just about filling roles; it’s about strategically planning ahead. It necessitates a deep understanding of the company’s short-term and long-term goals, the skills and competencies required to achieve these goals, and an awareness of where to find such talent. In my experience, this foresight allows businesses to stay ahead of their hiring needs and avoid scrambling to fill positions at the last minute.  So what makes talent mapping so important? 

The Importance of Talent Mapping

In today’s fiercely competitive job market, waiting until a position becomes vacant to start scouting for suitable candidates can put companies on the back foot. This is where the true value of talent mapping shines through.

By creating a talent pipeline, companies can drastically cut down the time-to-hire, ensuring business continuity and reducing the costs associated with lengthy recruitment processes and vacant positions. This approach allows companies to build relationships with potential candidates early, fostering a sense of familiarity and engagement that could facilitate future recruitment.

For rapidly growing companies or those flush with investment funds, talent mapping can be particularly beneficial. Such businesses often need to scale their operations quickly, and having a ready pool of qualified candidates can expedite the hiring process, ensuring they have the manpower to maintain momentum.

Professional staff augmentation companies like TurnKey Labs, a well-established and highly-regarded Silicon Valley tech staffing company, swear by talent mapping.   In fact TurnKey has been using the process for years to ensure a large pool of pre-vetted talent is waiting in the wings for their client’s needs.   Here’s an overview of the process:

The Process of Talent Mapping

Talent mapping may seem like a daunting task, but it can be broken down into four key steps:

  • Understanding Business Objectives: Before you start mapping out potential talent, you need to have a clear understanding of your company’s objectives. What are your short-term and long-term goals? What milestones are you aiming to achieve in the next few months or years?
  • Identifying Key Roles: With a firm grasp of your business objectives, you can now identify the roles that are critical to achieving these targets. What skills and experience are required for these roles? How do these roles contribute to your overall objectives?
  • Researching the Talent Market: Armed with the knowledge of your key roles, you can begin exploring the talent market. Where can you find potential candidates who fit the profile for these roles? What channels or platforms can you leverage to reach out to them?
  • Building Relationships: Talent mapping isn’t just about identifying potential candidates; it’s also about engaging with them. Start building relationships with potential candidates, keeping them engaged and interested in your company.

Here’s a simple table for quick reference. 



Understanding Business Objectives

Define short-term and long-term objectives

Identifying Key Roles

Determine roles critical to achieving objectives

Researching the Talent Market

Identify potential candidates for key roles

Building Relationships

Engage with potential candidates

Implementing Talent Mapping

Successfully implementing talent mapping in your recruitment strategy requires careful planning and execution. It’s not something you do one time to find people who can do the job; it’s about finding the right people who align with your company culture and values, and can contribute to your business objectives. As with any strategic strategy, be sure to build a timeline that allows you the time to implement the steps above as the foundation to your new system. 

Be sure to spend the time to develop a clear picture of the skills and experience required for your key roles. Use tools like competency frameworks and detailed job descriptions to define these requirements.

Next, research the talent market using various sources, including professional social networks like LinkedIn, specialized job boards, industry events, and more. Look for individuals who match the profile for your key roles, and start building relationships with them.

Remember, talent mapping is not just about filling immediate vacancies. It’s about building a talent pipeline for the future. It’s about being prepared so that when a role does open up, you’re not starting from scratch; instead, you already have a pool of potential candidates you can tap into.

If you are still wondering how effective talent mapping is as a long term strategy, let me share a shining example of how talent mapping helped this TurnKey Labs client set up a R&D innovation center at lightning fast speed.   

Headspace is a pre-IPO company with a large US-based development team. Headspace was running into challenges attracting more top development talent at a fair price locally. They chose TurnKey to build out an R&D innovation center of excellence in Mexico.

The first round of hires for the innovation center of excellence in Mexico were made within 30 days of signing the contract and onboarded began soon thereafter.  Initial plans for the center have been expanded based on early success.

See how effective this approach can be? 

Access the best talent availabile on the market

The Role of Technology in Talent Mapping

In the digital age, technology plays a significant role in facilitating talent mapping. Various tools and platforms are available today that can help companies identify and track potential candidates, manage their talent pipeline, and analyze their recruitment data to make informed decisions.

Leveraging technology can make the talent mapping process more efficient and effective. It can provide valuable insights into the talent market, help identify trends and patterns, and enable companies to make data-driven recruitment decisions.

While I’ve no doubt piqued your interest in the concept of talent mapping by now, it would be wrong of me to not also guide you through the potential challenges you may encounter along this journey.  Here are the two biggest challenges I see. 

The Challenges of Talent Mapping

While talent mapping can be highly advantageous, it’s not without its challenges. One of the key challenges is keeping the talent pipeline updated. The talent market is dynamic, with individuals changing jobs, acquiring new skills, and so on. Therefore, it’s important to regularly review and update the talent pipeline to ensure it remains relevant.

Another challenge is engaging with potential candidates. Building relationships with individuals who may not be actively looking for a job can be tricky. It requires a delicate balance of maintaining contact without being intrusive. This is where relationship-building skills come into play.

Talent Mapping: A Key Component of Strategic Recruitment

Talent mapping should not be seen as a standalone activity. Instead, it should be integrated into the overall recruitment strategy. It can complement other recruitment methods, providing a proactive approach that can help companies stay ahead in the talent game.

In addition to improving the efficiency of the recruitment process, talent mapping can also contribute to diversity and inclusion efforts by enabling companies to identify and engage with a broad range of candidates.

Key Takeaways

Talent mapping is a strategic approach to recruitment that involves identifying and analyzing potential candidates for future roles. It offers numerous benefits, including shorter time-to-hire, reduced recruitment costs, and improved business continuity. Implementing talent mapping involves understanding business objectives, identifying key roles, researching the talent market, and building relationships with potential candidates.

While talent mapping can be challenging, particularly in terms of keeping the talent pipeline updated and engaging with potential candidates, it can be a powerful tool for companies looking to gain an edge in the competitive talent market. Companies like TurnKey Labs can assist in finding the right talent for your specific business needs, ensuring a perfect match every time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is talent mapping in recruitment?

Talent mapping is a proactive approach to recruitment that involves identifying and analyzing potential candidates for future roles, even before a vacancy arises.

How does talent mapping benefit companies?

Talent mapping can shorten the time-to-hire, reduce recruitment costs, improve business continuity, and aid in diversity and inclusion efforts.

How is talent mapping implemented?

Implementing talent mapping involves understanding business objectives, identifying key roles, researching the talent market, and building relationships with potential candidates.

What are the challenges in talent mapping?

Some of the key challenges include keeping the talent pipeline updated and engaging with potential candidates who may not be actively looking for a job.

June 1, 2023

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