Talent Mapping: How Your Business Can Benefit

January 7, 2021
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Author: Mara Zemicael

What exactly is talent mapping? It’s the strategy behind talent management. It includes the entire talent acquisition process and extends into employee retention. For any business set on longevity and business growth, having a well-thought-out talent strategy is a necessity.

Talent mapping can benefit companies in multiple ways.

Why Businesses Need Talent Mapping

During budgeting season, most businesses assess their headcount planning needs, which requires leadership and departmental teams to think about what roles are needed to scale and meet annual revenue and company goals. While headcount planning is a must, it focuses only on current workforce needs. Talent mapping, on the other hand, goes deeper.

Like headcount planning, talent mapping identifies current and future skills gaps and what new positions are needed. Talent mapping helps human resources and leadership teams to align current employees’ career paths with current and future organizational needs. When used together, headcount planning and talent mapping help companies design a thorough workforce strategy.

What skills need to be recruited for?

Though talent mapping can be time-consuming, it helps the talent acquisition team finesse job descriptions and desired skills. It gives insight into availability of talent and if the needed skills exist in the market, will have to be garnered through upskilling or if they exist within other, perhaps nearby, job markets. Through collaboration with hiring managers, recruiters can determine what other traits to look for in new hires to aid in winning top-performing candidates who may be interested in their career trajectory with an employer.

Career paths for current employees

For fast-growing companies, high employee turnover can drastically reduce productivity and revenue. According to a 2019 survey by The Harris Poll and Instructure, the majority of people surveyed cited a lack of career growth, second to low pay, as a major reason for leaving a job. So, as you build out your talent strategy, create ways to offer current employees opportunities to gain new skills and stretch their responsibilities and contributions. Not only will employees feel more invested in their work, but offering career paths adds value to your organization in both the near and long term.

Succession planning at all levels

Organizations use talent mapping to identify current and future skills gaps and to figure out how to use the skills of current employees to create career paths that best serve the organization. These steps lay a foundation that is useful in determining which employees may have leadership potential and what skills and training are required to fill leadership roles.

Why does this matter? Whether it’s a director or the C-suite, leadership vacancies can slow down productivity and leave teams without direction. Pinpointing future leaders is important in succession planning, which ensures qualified candidates are ready to take over integral leadership roles as employees retire or leave the organization.

While a succession can take up to two years, talent mapping provides the necessary team members with a roadmap of the required skills and priorities the successor will need to be successful. If you’ve identified potential replacements, then you can ensure a smooth transition through training and mentoring future leaders. Creating opportunities for existing employees to continually develop their skills is good for retention and engagement. It’s also good for business, as current employees will already be a cultural fit and possess institutional knowledge. And if you aren’t able to identify current employees who are a good fit, then you now have an accurate job description and desired skills to search for a suitable successor.

Successful Workforce Planning & Talent Mapping

Whether you’re determining your hiring needs or preparing headcount budgets, mapping out your current and future talent needs must be a part of the conversation. Knowing whether you have enough talent to support your revenue projections and required productivity levels is a winning strategy.

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy reports, forecasts and advises on employment conditions and the impact to jobs, industries and businesses across all U.S. cities.