People are the driving force behind any business, be it a small mom-and-pop shop or a multinational tech corporation. And ‘people’ isn’t a stand-in for customers here (although they’re invaluable, too). Your employees are the make-it-or-break-it factor for your business.

And just like in your private social life, it’s all about finding the right people to drive your business forward. After all, if you’ve been in the business for long enough, you know how costly a bad hire can turn out to be.

But how do you avoid that bad-hire scenario, exactly? If you want to maximize your recruitment efforts’ efficiency, talent mapping is the answer. Let’s break this concept down and take a look at 5 reasons why it’s a worthy investment of your resources.

First Things First: What Is Talent Mapping?

Talent mapping might sound like a new fancy concept, but it’s been around for decades. Simply put, it includes these 5 processes:

  • Assessing your current workforce: each and every employee’s competencies, performance, promotion potential, and flight risk;
  • Analyzing which skill sets you’ll need to meet your business growth strategy goals and when;
  • Narrowing down the talent pool to the specialists with the needed skill sets and developing talent pipelines;
  • Planning for succession scenarios to find replacements fast or even in advance;
  • Doing a fair share of research on your competitors: their approach to recruitment, management, and employer branding.

Now, Onto the Benefits!

Talent mapping isn’t so much of a rocket science now, is it? Yet, few companies commit to harnessing its full potential – and manage to do so. And that’s their loss: here are 5 benefits they’re missing out on.

You’ll Understand Your Current Workforce Better

Before you turn your thoughts to the future of your business, you need to understand the current lay of the land:

  • How well do your employees work?
  • Are they productive? Are they satisfied? Why or why not?
  • What talent needs have you already got covered?
  • What is your turnover situation? What drives people to leave you as an employer?

Once you answer all those (and many other) questions, you’ll wield the knowledge to:

  • Maximize your current employees’ productivity. All this knowledge will help see who lost their motivation, who deserves a promotion, and who could fit better in a different role.
  • Develop in-house talent. High-performing and high-potential employees are invaluable. Mapping will reveal them. So, you won’t miss out on their potential and will be able to micro-target your in-house promotion efforts.
  • Meet certain needs with the current workforce. Sometimes, shuffling responsibilities between several positions and/or additional training can be enough to close the gap.
  • Understand who your ideal candidate is. Candidates aren’t just lists of skills. They’re people – people who can either fit right into your corporate culture or not. So, ask yourself: What do your longest-staying workers have in common?

You Minimize the Risks of Reactive Hiring

Reactive hiring means you need someone to take up a certain role right now (or worse, yesterday). That position remains vacant during your search. In the meantime, you should expect a dip in productivity at best – and missed deadlines and stalled work at worst.

Reactive hiring isn’t that great for several reasons:

  • Recruitment will take time. If you’re dead set on waiting for an ideal candidate, the hiring process can last for months.
  • You will lose productivity. In the meantime, your other employees will have to juggle their responsibilities and some of the duties that come with that vacant position.
  • You’re more likely to compromise. If it’s urgent to fill in a certain opening, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for the right person.
  • It’ll cost you. A lot. First, a bad hire means recruitment costs times two – because you’ll inevitably need to find someone better. Second, a dip in productivity means you’re getting less for the same fixed labor costs.

With talent mapping, you won’t be caught off guard with a vacant position. You’ll anticipate those recruitment needs before they even have a chance to cause any harm.

You’ll Have the Best to Choose From

When you map recruitment efforts of any kind, it’s not just the people actively seeking employment you should consider. Talent mapping, when done right, involves scouting for every specialist with the right skillset – even if they are currently employed elsewhere.

A larger talent pool means you have more specialists to choose from. That translates into better hires. You won’t have to compromise on the least terrible option simply because there’s no one better in the job market.

Think about it this way: the best of the best don’t usually sit around waiting for too long. And if you want them to join your team, you’ll just have to offer them a better deal than what they already have.

You’ll Get Insight into Attracting & Retaining Talent

There’s a reason why competitor analysis is a part of talent mapping. Think of it this way: you don’t compete with them only for customers. You’re also rivals when it comes to hooking the specialists.

This is where your brand as an employer comes in. You have to make sure people – the right kind of people, of course – will want to work at your company, not your competitor’s.

Once you analyze what your competitors have to offer, there are two things you can do with that information:

  • Use their best practices in your recruitment and talent management strategy;
  • Find your competitive advantage, i.e. what you can offer to your candidates that others can’t.

You’ll Get the Best Match Possible, Fast

Combine a larger talent pool with more time for recruitment and decision-making and a better understanding of who your ideal candidates are – and this is what you’ll get, the best match possible. In essence, you’ll maximize your chances to find the right person to join your team.

Yes, quality talent mapping will take a lot of time with all of its analysis and planning (unless you outsource it, of course). But all of that effort will save you time in the long run.

How does it cut time to hire? It’s simple: you’ll anticipate your hiring needs. So, you can make sure the position doesn’t remain vacant for a day and the transition is seamless.

Plus, talent mapping typically involves keeping in touch with the specialists that you don’t need yet. That means you already have potential candidates to choose from. All you’ll have to do is let them know there’s an opening at your company in the works.

Bottom Line: You Minimize Costs While Maximizing Performance

All of this boils down to one no-brainer conclusion. Talent mapping means cutting costs per hire while maximizing your workforce’s productivity. And having the right people doing their best for your business leads to better results.

Yes, this isn’t a one-day project. It’ll take time – and other resources – to get it done right. But at the end of the day, you’ll have a powerful driving force behind your business.

And, most importantly, you’ll be able to keep the company running like a well-oiled machine, all thanks to establishing a set of highly efficient recruitment processes.