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Aug 19, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Similar to a map of the world, talent maps are a visual guide to help us understand our competition by drawing out their landscape. It can be defined as a form of competitive intelligence that combines both an aspect of sourcing and pipelining. Talent mapping serves as proactive scouting of candidates within a particular industry sector and for us to understand what talent is the best of the best.

In a new age of recruitment, the good ole days of post and pray no longer exists. Over the last several years, talent mapping has evolved as a way to stay ahead of the game.


Identify gaps:  A complete assessment of current talent pool within the organization. It is important to see where gaps may exist prior to mapping. Also in consideration should be succession planning and what gap this will present in the future. Once these gaps are identified, sourcers can hone in on the desired and targeted skill sets early on. What are the key elements of the organization’s long-term goals and business strategy?


Create your World Map:  Talent mapping will visually show us side by side comparisons of competitor employees within an organization or particular functional group and how they are connected within their teams. After identifying competitors that have a similar role within the particular industry and particular functional group, you begin piecing your map together. For example a detailed talent map for a vice president of managed services within the human resources consulting space would list the VP’s name but then build his organization out levels deep to include the directors and managers within his team. Additionally, salary and geographic location would be included. Additional insights on industry trends or information on any specific benefits offered that may incentivize them would be listed.


Use Your Map: Research studies have shown that mapping helps to improve candidate quality and how quickly jobs can be filled. Mapping begins prior to recruitment, defining the best talent within the industry so that once there is an active role, engagement can begin immediately. Instead of being in reactive mode, mapping gives us all of the information at our fingertips. Reaching out and engaging with “right fit” candidates at the inception of a search will speed up the process of getting a hire which in turn leads to organizational cost savings. Your map can also be used to as a visual to demonstrate to hiring leaders the talent climate within the industry.



Linkedin: This is of course the obvious.  There is much to be found by simply following competitor pages such as recent promotions, new hires and those that have left.

Glassdoor: This is a great tool to research jobs and understand salaries at a competitor.

Twitter:  Provides great insights on industry trends and news about what changes are happening at competitors.

Slideshare:  Who within competitor is presenting.

Owler: Create lists to receive automatic emails and information on competitor that you are keeping your eye on.


I challenge you, on your next executive role, develop a talent map and see how priceless this information is. Use your visual map to show your managers what exists and what doesn’t. Stay ahead of the game and have your top industry candidates ready for engagement as soon as your roles are opened for active recruitment.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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