Are you cultivating the talent today that your business will need tomorrow? Talent mapping can play an important role in your organization's larger talent management initiatives. It is a process that works to help determine future talent needs, assess the viability of your current staff to meet those needs, source high-potential players in your field for future recruitment, and develop a strategic plan to fill identified skills and talent gaps. Here's a closer look at how talent management can help you meet your staffing goals.
Understanding Future Needs
The value of talent mapping is directly linked to its ability to help you project future human resources needs. For example, an engineering firm might need to build its capacity to work with certain target technologies or a software firm might want to hire programmers who are familiar with specific languages. Where are your field and your company headed in the next five, ten, or twenty years? What skills will be needed—by level, department, and job function—to thrive in that changing business environment? Start the talent mapping process by determining your growth path and then working backward to the skills, expertise, and education your team needs to make that happen.
Assessing Current Performance
Talent mapping uses a specific formula to evaluate the readiness and performance of your current workforce against the changes ahead. The goal is to identify high-potential employees whose future development aligns with your strategic priorities. For example, if one of your biggest needs is developing mid-level sales managers for field offices, which employees have the fundamental skills and interest to pursue that career path? During a talent mapping exercise, you're looking for a mix of current performance and future growth potential that indicates a long-term match.
Developing a Plan to Fill Gaps
Once you've determined your staffing objectives and taken stock of your current team, it's important to develop a plan for future recruitment. One important outcome of talent planning can be the creation of ideal team member descriptions to guide future hiring processes. Another can be the development of training paths and leadership development programs to help mold your current staff into the employees you'll need tomorrow. Finally, talent mapping may include using research and business intelligence to identify key candidates from your competitors who could fill important positions. The goal is to ensure that you have a plan in place to recruit the staff needed to achieve your business objectives before you struggle to recruit the best employees.
Overall, talent mapping allows businesses to create a roadmap for succession planning, future recruiting, and employee development initiatives. By understanding what talent is needed to achieve future business growth, it's possible to invest in the right activities today to make that vision a reality tomorrow.