Talent mapping: How to navigate your workforce

Talent mappingby Frew Murdoch

Talent mapping is a formalised process of aligning the talent on hand to the talent required to meet business strategy and goals. This means that it’s an excellent method of talent planning. Talent managers need to focus their efforts on aligning talent management with strategic planning to see increasingly greater value in talent mapping. However, creating a comprehensive and value-generating talent plan is not for the faint-hearted and requires a lot of research and smarts.

I recently spoke with Heidi Duvenhage, CEO and creator of SkillsMap – a solution which enables talent specialists to easily connect with candidates – about the steps, trends and selection of technology for talent mapping.

First, let’s look at the process of talent mapping.

3 Typical steps in talent mapping

1. Conceptualise your talent strategy

Identify your business and talent needs according to your business’ goals over the next three to five years.

Take into account what your organisation’s goals and plans are and what image you would like to portray. Rather than focusing on specific jobs that will be required in future, focus on the skills you need to achieve the business goals.

2. Assess and select from the talent you have on hand

Also include succession planning and individual development plans into your assessment. Consider the different methods of sourcing and use market and diversity mapping as well as talent monitoring.

3. Develop talent mapping methods and implement these

Implement talent mapping methods that create a talent pool for succession and sustainable growth.

Talent mapping has come a long way

As it has evolved, talent planning and talent mapping have embraced the digital revolution, resulting in the talent landscape now being littered with new technology solutions. These technology solutions can hinder you during the talent mapping process if you don’t pick a solution wisely.

“Today’s talent acquisition landscape is packed with an array of shiny new technology solutions, which is all well and very exciting but at the same time, it can be absolutely confounding,” says Heidi. “Recruiting technology, which is designed to make life easier, can actually make things more difficult.

In recent surveys of corporate recruiters, respondents reported the following thoughts about their current technology:

  • Nearly half (46%) of recruiters surveyed are dissatisfied with current technology,
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of recruiters say their current technology does little to help the frustration in their daily work, and
  • Forty-five percent of all recruiters feel they need better technology to achieve their goals effectively.”

“The recruiting world, by and large, is still seemingly locked into outdated, legacy solutions that only add to the daily frustration and stress. Instead of effectively doing their job – finding top talent – they spend nearly three working days per month wresting with their technology. It doesn’t have to be this way.

“When choosing technology for your talent sourcing, keep in mind that the technology should be simple and to the point, not add to the admin burden of the talent specialist,” says Heidi.

Heidi says that an effective talent mapping technology solution should:

  • Connect top talent with top brands and allows the talent specialist to connect with masses of candidates easily without the dreaded admin associated with this process,
  • Provide the business with access to one integrated solution from writing a job advertisement to advertising to a public community,
  • Use social media,
  • Set up job filters and questionnaires to help disqualify unsuitable candidates and then take the system-screened candidates through recruitment phases from applications to placement, and
  • Provide the business with their customised client career portal that uses the same technology as that of a public job board.

What is big in talent mapping in 2014?

Social media has become a goldmine for recruiters. A recent survey by American company Jobvite stated that:

  • Seventy six percent of social jobseekers found their current job through Facebook, and
  • Ninety four percent of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, whereas only 36% of job seekers are.

While most jobseekers flock to Facebook, recruiters prefer LinkedIn to search for candidates but this doesn’t mean you should discount Facebook as a sourcing tool – Facebook has a record breaking 1.23 billion subscribers and one in seven minutes on any given day are spent on Facebook by those subscribers.

This article first appeared onHR Pulse.

5 Terrific tips for talent mapping

  • Understand what skills and talent your business requires – now and later – to achieve business goals,
  • Focus less on future vacancies and more about the future skills required and how those skills will fit into your future organisation,
  • Use talent, market and diversity mapping services to help you set out clear guidelines on what skills are available in the market,
  • As technology is forever evolving, you need to be ready to change your talent strategy if need be, and
  • Embrace talent from the top down: make it an integral part of your business strategy.

Talent should not be treated as an afterthought

According to the survey conducted for The Talent Imperative, says Heidi, fewer than one in ten executives from mid-sized private companies say their talent strategies are intimately aligned with the company’s overall strategic planning. This can be a critical mistake as any strategic plan must be executed by people. So incorporating the views of HR – injecting talent mapping into strategic planning – has become essential for optimising overall performance.

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