7 Reasons Why Now Is the Right Time for a Talent Audit

Many business leaders have had to make some difficult decisions recently, from restructuring to sadly having to let go of talented people. Other businesses are currently thriving and are having to expand on a rapid scale to meet a surge in demand that they weren’t prepared for. Whatever your business situation, it’s undeniable that there is a change in the air and business strategies are having to adapt at a speed no one could have predicted. Now the main question has become; what’s next and how can businesses prepare?

Planning ahead when the future remains so uncertain is not an easy task. With threats of a second wave of COVID-19, localised lockdowns and an extraordinary change in consumer behaviour, the future for many businesses is becoming increasingly hard to predict. This means recruitment strategies; business plans and targets are even harder to prepare for. However, in times of significant change, business leaders must remain level-headed and look at their overall strategy.

We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, but there are certain actions which leaders can take to gain a better perspective of their current situation, helping them to prepare for life beyond COVID-19.  One of the most valuable actions to take is talent mapping or a talent audit. When a business strategy changes, so do the roles which are critical to the organisation and the skills needed to succeed. This is why it’s critical for business leaders to have a clear understanding of business goals and awareness of the people and talent which already lies within their organisation.

Through talent mapping, or conducting a talent audit a business can prepare for inevitable changes, plan for future hires and can allow leaders to ask critical questions about the future.

So, what is a talent audit and why is now the perfect time to conduct one?

What is a talent audit?

The purpose of a talent audit is to gain a clear picture of your current employees, their skills and abilities to evaluate whether they have the capability to drive your business forward. A talent audit aligns your people with your business strategy, identifying skills gaps and any changes that are needed both imminently and in the future. In a talent audit, the entire business is evaluated including all locations and departments, this is the only way that your findings will be truly valuable to your organisation. In many talent audits, companies will also take the time to evaluate their recruitment processes, improving each step.

Why is emerging from a pandemic a good time to conduct a talent audit?

1. React to Industry Changes

The world is changing more rapidly than anyone could have imagined, so it’s likely that your industry is following suit. Whether you’re preparing to embrace digitisation to meet changing consumer behaviours or need to alter your offering to suit ever-changing cultural attitudes, the only way you can ensure you have the talent you need is by creating a strategy. By conducting an in-depth talent audit across your business, you’ll be able to identify skills gaps which must be filled to succeed in the new normal. By conducting competitor research and gaining industry insights, you’ll be able to gain a better perspective of what you need and plan ahead, so that your business is in a stronger position entering a post-COVID landscape.

2. Prepare for Impending Restructure

If like many businesses you’ve had to sadly reduce your staff numbers or you see a restructure in your future to keep up with the changes brought by the COVID-19 crisis, a talent audit could help you to gain some new perspective. Having a clear picture of what you already have will make preparing for change in your company structure a lot easier. It can help your business to pave the way for a new way of operating by making any skills-gaps or inequalities very clear.

3. Improve Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

A talent audit is a great way to ensure your business is prioritising diversity and inclusion. You can take the time to evaluate each of your teams across all departments and identify all the require improvement. However, if you study the candidate and employee experience, you’ll be able to gain a significant understanding of why people are dropping out of your recruitment process or leaving. By identifying pain points, you may be able to make real changes that will positively impact diversity within your business.

4. See the Talent on the Market

A talent audit of your people will help your business to assess areas of improvement, but to really drive your business forward, you should assess the talent that is on the market. Outsourcing your recruitment research will help you to identify where the talent you need is based and the best ways to reach them. With remote working becoming a possibility for many businesses, you’ll be able to expand your recruitment efforts to wider areas and attract a larger pool of skilled candidates for when you’re ready to hire. You may also consider plans for expansion and having an idea of where talent is located is the first step in scaling up your business. Having a wider picture of the ideal candidates you need to reach means that you’ll be able to tailor your employer brand messaging and EVP to appeal to them.

5. Chance to Update Technology

A good talent audit will not only analyse the people within your business and the technology that they use. Emerging from this crisis, when we’re all going through periods of transition and change, it may be a good idea to update your technology and software. Consider how you can make a smoother candidate experience and how you can make your recruitment process easier for your team. This may involve automating elements of your recruitment process such as responses to emails or even overhauling your whole recruitment process. Auditing technology provides you with a chance to update outdated processes and refine your candidate experience. Improving all aspects of your recruitment process will have positive implications on your overall employer brand.

6. Build a Talent Pool

Mapping talent and creating an audit will also create opportunities for you to build a talent pool. Talent pools are a great way to speed up future hires, ensure you’re getting the best quality of candidate and also reduce your future recruitment costs. During your audit you may identify roles which your company will need at some point but not immediately. Once you know that this is the role you need to take your business forward, you can start recruitment marketing campaigns to raise your brand awareness and build a pool of talent for when you’re ready to hire. Then when budgets allow or the time is right, you’ll be able to pick from a selection of engaged candidates.

7. Help with Employee Development

One thing that will not only improve your employer brand and reputation going forward but will improve employee loyalty is if you invest in their development. By talent mapping and conducting an in-depth audit, you will be able to identify areas of improvement that could benefit both your organisation and your team. If you notice an obvious skills gap and have the time to upskill a member of your team instead of recruiting, it could be very advantageous to your business. Firstly, you’ll reduce your recruitment costs but secondly, you’ll build up a relationship with this employee; showing you care about their future in your business and have faith in their abilities. Talent mapping can be used to identify future leaders, helping with future succession planning if your current leadership team are likely to leave or retire in the near future.

If you’d like to begin talent mapping for your business and would like some guidance from recruitment experts, our team is ready to help. With experience in market research for recruitment, our brand and insight team can conduct in-depth audits within your business, analyse the competition and give you a better understanding of your business goals and the talent available to help you achieve them. Start your conversation today and prepare your business for the new normal.