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10 min read

Talent Mapping: What It is and How to Use It to Your Advantage

Among companies today, you’d notice a shift from hiring with a “just-in-time” approach to hiring for future goals and needs. Companies that adopt this model understand that as their business evolves, they will need employees whose skills will evolve alongside and be useful to propel their success. This is where talent mapping comes in. 

By successfully mapping the flow of talent within your organization, you can plan and accurately project your readiness for future developments. In doing this, you can identify candidates and employees whose skill development paths align with those of your company.

Of course, talent mapping isn’t always a walk in the park, especially if you’re implementing it for the first time. Luckily, this article provides all the information you need about talent mapping and how to use it to your advantage. 

What is talent mapping?

Talent mapping is a workforce or organizational management strategy that involves assessing your company’s internal skills and how well they align with future goals. This approach includes evaluating your current employees to see if their growth path corresponds with your goals and hiring people who align with your plans.

Ultimately, talent mapping aims to identify your company’s specific needs, especially regarding talent, and implement strategies to meet them. The talent mapping process incorporates hiring, employee retention, and succession planning, directed by a goal of always having the assets to meet company needs at any time.

This strategy helps ensure a constant supply of talented individuals within your company or team who can work to propel your company even further toward long-term goals.

There are two types of talent maps, both named according to their point of focus in organizational management:

  1. Talent gap mapping: This type of talent mapping focuses on identifying talent gaps within your organization and filling them effectively. In talent gap mapping, you assess employee performance and the time it takes to achieve goals to discover weak spots in your workforce and rectify them. This form of talent mapping inclines towardpromoting existing employees or hiring new talent to address the gaps. 
  1. Talent succession mapping: This type of talent mapping works by grooming and upskilling your staff. Here, you monitor and predict internal movements within your company, identifying those who would fit into a key company position and training them to occupy it in due time. For example, you can train the head of your marketing team to become the Chief Marketing Officer in a few years.

From choosing the type of talent map you want to create to implementing it and seeing results, you must perform each step of this process with utmost care. As a result, you can harness all of its benefits and avoid errors in your talent map, positively influencing your organization’s future.

How can talent mapping help you assemble a formidable team?

A team in a meeting

The whole point of a talent map is to accurately project your company’s future talent needs and provide lasting solutions to those needs. A significant part of this solution lies in building formidable teams that have all the talent they need to achieve their team and company goals together.

This structure also allows you to monitor your talent on a more granular level so you can make any company adjustments that are required in due time. Here’s how talent mapping can help you build and manage effective teams:

  • Identification of skill gaps: Talent mapping involves assessing your team’s skills and comparing them with the skills you need to achieve your set goals. This enables you to identify the skills your team needs and areas that need improvement. Once you’ve located the problem, you can find solutions by filling in those skill gaps, either by promoting existing teammates or hiring new ones.
  • Targeted recruitment: Drafting a comprehensive skill map allows you to focus your recruitment on identifying and hiring people with the exact skills you need. In turn, these new hires can fill in your identified gaps to foster better collaboration and team productivity.
  • Future planning: Talent mapping makes it much easier to picture your team and organization at large in future scenarios and predict their performance. This allows you to plan better for future goals by ensuring your team has all the skills it needs to maintain a productive atmosphere.
  • Implementation of retention strategies: Excellent talent mapping includes strategies to prevent employees and teammates from losing their motivation shortly after joining the team. This ensures that no new skill gaps emerge while trying to fill in other lapses within your team. It also encourages team collaboration to achieve their goals.

A step-by-step guide on how to map talent

A manager briefing his teammates on a business strategy

Talent mapping is a strategic process comprising various steps from workforce assessment to hiring and onboarding employees. Below, we will discuss these steps and how to carry them out to draft your talent map effectively.

Step 1: Define the purpose of your talent map

The purpose of your talent map determines what type of mapping you would implement and the strategies you would apply to track talent. For example, if your talent mapping aims to develop a succession system for your organization, this implies that you’d apply the talent succession type of mapping.

After defining what you want to achieve with your talent map, you can check how the objective aligns with your business’s already existing goals. To do this, you should paint a good picture of how your talent mapping will support your business’s goals. 

Step 2: Identify key roles and skills in your talent map

For every effective business goal, there are key positions that play important roles in bringing it to life. So, once you’ve defined the purpose of your talent map and how this purpose aligns with your business goals, you can list key roles that are integral to implementing your plans.

For example, if you want to build a succession system for key roles in your organization, you can list the roles to which the succession would apply. This could include managerial, team leadership, and executive offices within your company.

Step 3: Gather data and create talent profiles

At this stage, you can review your current employees’ performance records and evaluate how their skills have evolved since joining your company. You can also research industry skill trends and existing skill inventories to gather your data.

Once you have all the data you need, develop profiles for the key roles in your talent mapping plan. These profiles should include the core skills, experience, qualifications, and personal attributes required for the posts. While doing this, it’s always important to consider the role’s current performance and anticipate future developments as well.

Step 4: Map internal talent

Here, you match your current employees against the talent profiles you’ve created to find out who fits best into each position. After doing this, you can highlight where your current workforce falls short in skill and numbers.

Mapping your internal talent helps you develop an inventory of the skills you have and those you need to achieve your company goals. It also enables you to identify weak spots to focus on improving, either by hiring new employees or reshuffling your current workforce.

Step 5: Implement hiring strategies

After identifying any skill gaps within your company, you can outline the positions you need to hire to fill the gaps. One thing to note, however, is that your hiring strategies should align with the level of proficiency the positions require. Hence, it is always best to apply hiring strategies that extensively test for the proficiency level you need rather than generic ones.

For instance, you can apply skills-based pre-employment tests tailored to specific roles, detailed job descriptions, and targeted interviews to your hiring. Building a strong employer brand is also important so candidates understand your goals and can better align with them.

Step 6: Leverage technology

Various tools can make your talent mapping process much easier, from your hiring process to onboarding and workforce tracking. For example, you can use Vervoe, our pre-employment testing platform, to implement tailored skill assessments and detailed company branding in your recruitment. Vervoe also has numerous hiring and workforce management resources that can help you create your talent map effectively.

In addition, you can apply HR software and analytics tools like Rippling and Gusto to streamline your employee data management and analysis after hiring.

Vervoe product summary

Vervoe’s homepage

Creating an effective talent map requires more than assessing your workforce using only traditional recruitment processes such as questionnaires and surveys. Plus, if you’re trying to fill a skill gap in your company, you’ll need more than resume scanning. Luckily, Vervoe provides a solution to both scenarios, combining modern skill evaluation practices with intuitive AI to ensure accuracy in your skill evaluation.

Vervoe, our pre-employment testing platform, helps businesses and teams of all sizes to manage their recruitment and hiring challenges. This tool stands out because, beyond pre-employment tests, its assessments can be applied to evaluate and track workforce skills. Using Vervoe, you can accurately map your internal talent and plan for future developments. 

Here’s how Vervoe assesses both existing and potential employees for the skills you need to achieve your long-term goals:

  • Job simulations: Vervoe uses questions crafted based on real-life scenarios to evaluate how well candidates would handle a particular situation. These job simulations enable you to predict how your candidates can apply their skills to real-world challenges if they get the post.
  • Role-specific skill tests: Our platform has a library of 300+ skill tests, each tailored to access the skills peculiar to a particular role. This role-specific testing approach allows you to thoroughly evaluate the key skills you’re looking for.
  • Personalized grading: Vervoe uses its intuitive AI to grade candidates on a more personalized scale. You can train the system to grade your candidates like you would, thus allowing you to identify the best on your own terms.
  • Detailed analytics: Vervoe ranks all the candidates based on performance at the end of your skill assessment process. The system also provides a detailed breakdown of the candidates’ performances across all the tests you administer.
  • Customization options: With Vervoe, you can customize your skill assessments to look exactly how you want them to. Our customization features allow you to add your brand colors, logo, and description to your tests. This gives the candidates a great first experience with your company’s brand, even before any further screening procedures.

Future-proof your business with Vervoe

Beyond making plans for the future, talent mapping can pave the path for your company to thrive both in present and future endeavors. Effective talent mapping can take your business growth strategy from good to excellent, and it starts with proper skill evaluation — both internally and externally. 

The good news is that with Vervoe, you have everything you need to evaluate both your existing and potential employees. The results from this evaluation can also help you accurately predict their growth path and how well it will align with your company’s goals. 
Vervoe’s features and resources make it the perfect place to start building your talent map with ease. Simply register for free to get started today!

Raji Oluwaniyi

Raji Oluwaniyi

Raji Oluwaniyi is a seasoned Technical Content Writer at Vervoe with a rich background of over five years in the intersection of HR technology, consumer data protection, and SaaS. He has garnered significant recognition and has worked with industry stalwarts like TestGorilla, Brightlio, MakeUseOf, and Careerkarma. Oluwaniyi has a continuous drive to evolve and keep himself up to trend with the latest technology trends and best practices in writing. Beyond his professional pursuits, he is a genuine soccer fan and profoundly values his quality time with his close friends.

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