How Talent Mapping Can Help You Get Ahead After the Pandemic

23 July 2020

It’s hard to predict what will happen in the future, now more than ever. Emerging from the pandemic, businesses are finding it hard to know where they’ll be in a few weeks, never mind a few years. Talent Mapping is often regarded as a plan for businesses who are looking to grow and move forward, right now many are simply trying to stay afloat. However, talent mapping can be just as useful in uncertain times as it is when businesses are at their peak. Having an idea of the talent within your organisation and on the market, helps you to prepare for every eventuality leaving HR teams with fewer surprises and more control over the future of their business.

Creating a rough roadmap and getting a deeper understanding of the direction your business should go and the talent available to help you achieve this can give that all-important competitive edge when recovering from this pandemic. It means that you will be able to think tactically about the future of your talent strategy and make changes now that will help you to reduce future costs but also attract top talent quickly and easily.

Internal and external talent mapping can cover short-term and long-term talent acquisition plans, helping businesses to identify their internal capabilities and potential as well as preparing a growth strategy. In times as uncertain as this, plans can change at the drop of a hat, but looking at the more comprehensive picture can certainly help steer you in the right direction.

Plus, talent mapping comes with many benefits to a business that will help you remain one step ahead of the competition, including:

Engaging Existing Employees

Like most aspects of a good recruitment strategy; talent mapping begins with research. Conducting internal research can help to engage your existing employees as it provides an opportunity to talk to every employee individually about their career aspirations and goals. These talks must be inclusive, as this is the only way to gain an accurate picture of your entire organisation. You’ll understand their specific skills, how they feel about you as an employer and individual ambitions which could be used to your advantage when looking for the leaders of tomorrow.

Through surveys and interviews, you’ll be able to understand everyone within your organisation’s potential. This will likely excite employees that the prospect of promotion or greater responsibility is on the horizon, thus restoring faith in you as an employer.

We’re living in a time of high unemployment and many people are fearful of the future. More than ever, employees are more willing to learn new skills to prove how valuable they are to a company. So, talking to them and providing opportunities internally will help employee engagement.

Begin Succession Planning

By talking to your employees on a one-to-one basis or even asking them to fill out a survey, you’ll be able to identify any negative feelings towards you as an employer. This can be a positive step; it will help you to instigate changes within your business but also identify anyone likely to leave you. Not all of your employees will stay with you forever; it’s perfectly normal for your staff to want a new challenge, fresh start or crave responsibilities that you can’t offer. Plus, some may be heading towards retirement.

Circumstances can change. However, if you can identify the signs that they may leave as part of your talent mapping research, you can minimise the consequences of them leaving.

Research shows that a decrease in productivity, lack of enthusiasm and a negative attitude are all signs people want to leave their job; all of which can be identified by analysing and talking to your workforce. Although you can’t strip away all responsibility away from someone you suspect may be thinking of leaving you can begin to prepare yourselves for their departure.

Identify Potential Leaders

In the same way, you can identify any leavers; talent mapping also allows you to identify any future leaders. In surveying skills and talking to your team, you’ll be able to identify those who are passionate about the business, have abilities that could be critical to your progression and have the qualities you look for in a potential leader. This is particularly useful when emerging from a time of such significant change as your critical skills and roles going forward may be completely different from what you had in mind months ago.

Establishing future leaders means you can create pathways and opportunities for them to progress. From online learning and on the job training to mentoring schemes, once you have identified individuals, the possibilities are endless. Plus, by talking to everyone in your business, you’re opening progression opportunities to a broader audience, some of whom could have previously been overlooked. This company-wide approach could help you to improve diversity and inclusion within your workplace as well as reinstate employee confidence in you.

Discover Skills Shortages

Through analysing your talent and their specific skills, talent mapping allows you to identify any skills that your business is lacking. By setting yourself business goals, you’ll be able to gain a better perspective of the skills required to meet them as you prepare for business in the new normal. For example, in April 2020, it was reported that the five most in-demand hard-skills were: Blockchain, cloud computing, analytical reasoning, artificial intelligence and UX design. With digital transformations being accelerated by COVID-19, it’s unsurprising that businesses are searching for digital skills to address their shortages. Addressing skills gaps could mean upskilling staff or recruiting new team members depending on your business needs.

Talent mapping can also help you identify if any specific departments of your business have looming skills gaps. This creates an opportunity for internal movements and collaborations, ensuring staff are reaching their full potential in your company. It guarantees your people are in the right roles; and if they could benefit from greater responsibilities or a chance to reskill, gives a golden opportunity that will reduce recruitment costs.

Reduces Time to Hire

By taking the time to map out the talent in your business, you’ll be able to identify your ideal candidate persona – someone who has the specific skills and experience that will fill your skills gaps and help your business progress post-COVID. This knowledge will help you to understand who to engage with when searching for talent. External talent mapping can help you to build a pipeline of engaged talent and build relationships with committed candidates.

By spending time searching for candidates who are the right fit for your organisation and speaking with them regularly, you can reduce your time to hire and cost per hire. As the relationships between candidate and recruiter are already built, they’ll know about your organisation and will have expressed a desire to work there before the role arises. This means that when a position becomes available, you have interested candidates already who you know are excellent quality and will contribute to future growth.

Match Up to the Competition

External talent mapping and in-depth research will allow you to not only match what your competitors are doing but beat them at their own game. You’ll be able to gain an understanding of their company structures, compensation and benefits as well as the training opportunities they offer their team. This competitive intelligence will allow you to craft better job descriptions, with job titles that are relevant to people in your industry and meet the expectations of the talent you may need to attract when it’s time to hire. It will also help you to plan for the future of your business, as you’ll be able to see any departments or individuals that your company is missing. The only way to stay competitive is to stay on top!

Gather Market Intelligence

It’s not just competitor research that will help to give you an advantage when talent mapping. Looking at the external landscape of your industry will help you to paint a more detailed picture of the talent available; what skills do they have? Where do they live? What do they crave in an employer? By conducting in-depth research and using big data to leverage your talent mapping, you can gain a real insight into your market and industry. This may help you consider remote working opportunities to connect with top talent, or it may help you decide to open a hub somewhere new. You’ll be able to understand where graduates with relevant qualifications are or where businesses like yours are located. Creative research methods and focus groups will also help you to get to grips with candidate motivations and drivers, which can help when evaluating your EVP and offering to employees.

Improve Your Employer Brand

With all of this insight and research generated throughout the talent mapping process, you’ll be able to refine your employer brand. You’ll have a greater understanding of the candidates out there and the skills you need which means you’ll be able to segment your messaging to appeal to the right individuals, targeting digital attraction campaigns towards them.

You’ll also be investing in your employees, offering them opportunities to grow and develop, which will help your employer brand from an internal perspective. Taking the time to talk to your employees will engage them, show you’re serious about the future of the company and create a more positive employee experience, which will reflect well on your employer brand.

Talent mapping isn’t only planning for your future hires; it can have many advantages that will leave you in a stronger position when it comes to talent attraction and retaining employees in the new normal. To find out how our team can help you initiate a talent mapping strategy which can be used to refine your EVP and form the basis of your future talent strategies, please get in touch.