Talent Mapping – it’s not just for filling jobs!

I recently saw someone define talent mapping as “the systematic identification and qualification of a potential pool of candidates for future opportunities” and it got me thinking that there is more to talent mapping that just filling jobs. While I do agree with the first part of the statement that ‘talent mapping is the systematic identification and qualification of a potential pool of candidates’, I consider the ‘for future opportunities’ part to be just one of the benefits of building a comprehensive talent map.

Talent mapping is readily used in the identification of potential talent for a business. Talent mapping is recognised and adopted by many businesses for this purpose, however there are other valuable uses that business can and should consider. Talent mapping is a great way to benchmark who is in the market, it can work as a competitive analysis tool, it can be used for employer branding purposes and it can support development of a talent community.

Consider you have an internal or preferred candidate for a critical role in your business. You may be relatively confident that this is the right individual for the job, but what if there is someone out there that could be better for the business?
In the same way that you would make a decision in buying a new home, talent mapping provides the means to evaluate, compare and benchmark your preferred candidate against the talent in a market or industry. The majority of executives would agree that for a critical role it is essential that they get the right person for the role. Utilising talent mapping is the solution that businesses should consider in these circumstances.

Another valuable use of a talent map is the development of a talent community. You may be an organisation looking to engage with individuals in a particular field or with a particular skill set. The best way to develop this community is to know who you need to engage with. Rather than blindly go in search of people to invite into your community, utilse talent mapping a build a qualified list of people who you can confidently engage with to build your community.

Yes, talent mapping can provide faster, cost effective solutions for finding candidates for your business but don’t just look at the short term solution. Talent mapping is a tool with broad benefits  that businesses can and should adopt for the ongoing development and success of their resourcing strategy.

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