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Talent Mapping is a Best Practice

Talent mapping is an executive search best practice.  Talent mapping goes a step beyond simply identifying and profiling potential candidates at a target company for an executive search engagement. The recruiting research also determines the direct superior of each person. That additional piece of information enables sourcers to build org charts to determine where each individual is seated at a company.  It is a powerful way to bulletproof your executive search to ensure you don’t miss the perfect hire.

Mapping target company teams where prospective candidates work is empowering. It enables companies to find rock star candidates that others miss. You do that by making sure you don’t have holes in your research. When you see that you have only 2 prospective candidates reporting to the head of a team, chances are there are another 3 or more executives out there waiting to be discovered.

Not Missing Viable Candidates

In other words, executive talent mapping and building org charts of target companies help you raise your game. It helps you make sure that you don’t miss executives that should be included on your list of potential candidates to recruit.

However, despite that benefit, executive recruiting and candidate sourcing teams regularly skip the org charting step and, as a result, regularly fail to discover A-players. Ironically, that recruiting short cut frequently causes searches to drag on for far too long. In fact, failing to map talent at top target companies is a major cause of searches that fail to deliver a hire.  Without candidate mapping, search firms and internal executive teams regularly miss candidates who would have been perfect for the job.

Talent Mapping beyond LinkedIn

How does executive mapping or org charting surface talent others miss? Sourcing teams that rely exclusively on LinkedIn are limited by LinkedIn’s uneven data. LinkedIn is only as good as the data users choose to enter. As a result, LinkedIn profiles lack the information you need to determine whether a candidate is qualified. In many cases, LinkedIn profiles are out-of-date. LinkedIn often shows that a member is working at a former employer in a former role, giving you the impression that the person is not qualified. Without further research, you would never know the person is now an ideal candidate, working at a target company.  That kind of lapse is common in sourcing research.

Some Avoid LinkedIn Entirely

In addition, there is still a sizable chunk of people who have not gone social due to concerns about privacy, data security, identity theft, or because they don’t want to appear as though they are looking for a job. The more powerful the executive, often more elusive they become on social networks. For instance, I’ve noticed that powerful Hollywood executives either avoid social networks entirely — cultivating an elite image by making themselves “unlisted” online — or they prefer Facebook to LinkedIn. Networking is easier to do “behind closed doors” with select Facebook friends, much like a back room at a nightclub that admits only VIPs.

Map Talent at Top Target Companies

When does it make sense to map talent?  It makes sense to map target companies out of which you regularly recruit, and to refresh that candidate sourcing data on a regular basis. Candidate mapping makes sense for senior-level executive searches whenever the aim is to hire the best talent the market has to offer.

Map Talent When an Executive Search Take Too Long

Talent mapping makes sense whenever you have an important search that has hit the wall. Intellerati is regularly called on to rescue ailing search efforts for openings that prior search firms and recruiting teams have struggled without success to fill. Every time we’ve been brought in to help, the client makes it a point to advise us not to look for candidates that live within recruiting distance because they’ve “already seen everybody” over the course of the 9 months or year that they’ve been looking.  However, in every instance, we’ve come back with a robust list of prospective local talent.

Missing Candidates Are Pretty Easy to Find

While I’d like to say that identifying those missed candidates was hard — we are capable of doing real investigative research — in most cases, the candidates were pretty easy to find. However, those individuals were overlooked because prior efforts had not gone to the trouble of mapping relevant teams at all of the target companies.

Map Talent for Due Diligence

Talent mapping turns candidate chaos into order as they lay down serious due diligence. The org charts tell you where the talent is and where it is not. It documents where you’ve been and where you’ve still have left to go. It is the only way to answer the hiring executive’s question, “Do we have everyone?”  For executive search and mission-critical openings, executive mapping offers you a road map to never getting lost.

For everything you want to know about how to obtain org charts on other companies, check out The Definitive Guide to Org Charts.

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