One of the most valuable investments a company can make is in its talent and human resources. And there is no better time than now to undertake this task.

Talent mapping is a useful way to ensure new talent supports your business strategy. Talent mapping is also a clear way for the company to attract (and keep) the right talent. This is especially true during growth periods. 

Ensuring New Talent Supports Business Strategy 

Effective talent mapping starts with a clear business strategy. The talent a business wants to attract depends on where your business sees its future going.

Identifying gaps in the strategy process will allow the business to fill the strategic need. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Identify new roles that will be necessary to fulfill the evolving company strategy. This is part of the annualized strategic process, or shortly thereafter.
  2. For each new role, identify the candidate attributes necessary to performing the key job functions or, "define your talents." Ensure these attributes are a good fit for the new strategy. Do not reflect a prior company strategic plan.
  3. Communicate strategic goals in job postings. Also, use informational interviews and formal business candidate selections. Equipping the talent management team with knowledge of the strategy is preferable.

The volume of candidates needed stems from your business strategy. It is an important fact to consider when moving on to the next step: attracting talent to your company. 

The amount of candidates impacts supply and demand statistics for particular job titles. Volume also informs salary expectations, scarcity or over-supply of candidates. Finally, volume informs the candidate profile and targeting strategies your company undertakes. 

Attracting Talent to Your Company

Building a viable candidate pool is a key aspect of talent mapping. There are several top investments a company will want to make as part of the talent mapping process, as outlined below.

  1. Use analytics and market intelligence. This is also known as talent market mapping. Also, use data to identify other key attributes of your intended candidate pool. What experience is necessary to perform job duties essential to the company's strategic direction? Where do candidates that have this experience come from? Further, what experience are candidates hoping to get from working with your company?
  2. Identify pipelines that can feed into the business' annual staffing cycles. You may want to consider candidates that apply for more than one job posting, for example. Further investigation may uncover where the candidate most wants to be within the company, and where the strategic fit lies.
  3. Thoughtfully plan ways to support talent mapping recruitment and the hiring process. Finding the right candidate takes time, investment, and most importantly, patience. A company that invests in its human resources will naturally gain an edge over the competition. 

Once you have cultivated your talent pool, you may be inclined to think the hard work is finished. Yet, the work has just begun! Now the most important piece of effective talent mapping takes center stage.


Maintaining Attrition Through Career Development

An effective talent mapping system requires an ongoing talent retention effort. The company drives this attrition effort. This attrition process happens via relationship-building with a variety of emphases, outlined below.

  1. Building a supportive culture is easily the most important aspect of retaining talent. This is especially key to your evolving company strategy. Unfortunately, it is also where many efforts to move the business into the future come up against roadblocks. Pro tip: put an experienced professional at the helm and watch your company culture flourish!
  2. Provide opportunities for talent to engage with strategy and provide feedback. Inclusive environments lead to better teams and increased long-term attrition. This also has the added benefit of creating a stronger strategy—the more voices incorporated in this process, the better off the company will be.
  3. The best way to cultivate strategy evangelists is to incorporate these important voices early on in the process. One of the most difficult obstacles to strategy implementation is employee buy-in. It's also one of the easiest ways to lose that hard-earned talent the company just acquired!
  4. Identify potential leavers early and work with them to find a better fit within the company. Often, businesses do not have clear warning signs of employee exits. That is unless check-ins or progress reports are an integrated part of the company process and feedback loop.
  5. Provide employees with a clear advancement schedule and career plan. This cannot be understated. Employees want to garner skills they will need to develop in the long-term. They also want to feel that they are building towards their future. 

Talent mapping also requires one final key process: succession planning. This process is iterative. It requires agile flexibility as business positions are a moving target and change with frequency. 


Your Business - Revamped

The process of building a strong human resources capability at your business is a lengthy and oftentimes trying one. There are several key outcomes you can look forward to as your strategy and talent acquisition become aligned:

  1. Key talent acquisition infrastructure. Once in place, becomes easier to manage. It takes time and a steep initial effort to establish a talent mapping system. Then, talent acquisition shifts to maintaining and improving upon the existing one.
  2. A better-engaged workforce creates a variety of competitive advantages for your company. This includes less time recruiting and more time developing talent.
  3. Less attrition means that time and energy spent developing key talent stays within the company. That is, talent stays with you, rather than leaving for a competitor. 


Next Steps

Talent mapping is not a one-time process. It should instead be part of your company's annual strategic cycle. It should also be evaluated for effectiveness at least quarterly.

Talent mapping capabilities will only become more necessary for the modern, evolving business. This is because human resources is a key strength for any growing company.
Contact Brunel for issues facing recruiting specialists and making sure one has a steady, skilled workforce.

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