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Talent Mapping; What is it and what is it for?

Strategic planning is one of the essential keys for companies to achieve success. Organizations must be able to manage their resources in the best possible way and, to do this, it is advisable to evaluate what they have available and decide through detailed planning how they are going to use them.

Hired personnel are one of the most important resources for any company. Not in vain, we call the workforce Human Resources. Therefore, it is necessary to correct organization and use of the workforce, something we can achieve through talent mapping

Although it may seem like a recent concept, we should not let the use of Anglo-Saxon terms confuse us and lead us to think that we are dealing with something modern, because that is not really the case. For decades, organizations have been aware that they need Identify the potential of your workers to get the most out of it.

Let's see in more detail what we are talking about when referring to talent mapping, talent map or talent map, and what benefits it can have for the company to be aware of the skills and capabilities of its employees.

Table of Contents

What is talent mapping and what is it for?

The talent map is a essential tool within the strategic planning of Human Resources. Through it, it is possible to identify the potential and skills of the staff members and, at the same time, detect the skills and abilities that are not present and that would be convenient to add to the work teams, either through new employees or by training those already hired.

Talent mapping helps companies manage their employees, allowing to identify hiring needs. Furthermore, the information obtained makes it possible to evaluate the performance and evolution of staff members, as well as define personalized training programs and more effective.

What is sought is know the hard and soft skills of each employee and determine how these can be beneficial to the organization. Thus, it is easier to assign each worker tasks and responsibilities in accordance with their training, experience and abilities, thereby improving productivity and making everyone feel more comfortable with their role within the company.

Advantages of talent mapping

Developing a talent map requires investing time, money and effort, but entities that dare to take the step quickly see the benefits of knowing in depth the talent that already exists within them and detecting certain shortcomings. 

Among the many advantages that the talent map provides, we can highlight the following:

  • Helps identify internal talent. By knowing the specific skills and abilities of each employee, it is easier to assign roles and responsibilities that promote adequate personal and professional development.
  • Allows planning the succession of leaders. More and more companies are opting to replace departing leaders with people who are already part of them. In this sense, the talent map facilitates the identification of employees who have the best capabilities to face a Internal promotion.
  • Reduces hiring costs. Companies know what skills and abilities they need in their new employees, which facilitates the selection process and makes it more agile and less expensive.
  • Enhances skill development. Aware that there are always shortcomings even in the most talented employees, companies can take advantage of talent mapping to provide personalized training and improve the professional skills of their workers.
  • Provides greater flexibility. A company interested in talent mapping is a company that wants to have diverse and well-prepared teams, which will allow it to be better prepared to respond quickly and effectively to changes that may occur in the market.
  • Improves decision making. With verified information and objective data about employee talent, managers can make strategic and informed decisions about personnel management.

Boosts motivation. For employees, the fact that their employer cares about their skills and improving them is a sign that their contribution is valued and their professional growth is sought, which produces very positive effects on motivation.

How to create a talent map in the company

Each talent map will be different, because it depends largely on what the organization is looking for, but there are a series of steps that are essential whenever you are going to use this tool.

Determine the objectives

The first thing that must be clear is what the objectives of the talent map are, because this It will make it easier to choose the tools to use and the type of information that is necessary.

Among the most common objectives are:

  • Know the skills and competencies that are key in the company.
  • Detect gaps regarding skills necessary for the business.
  • Identify areas in which it would be advisable to train employees.

Identify key skills and competencies

Once the purpose of the talent map is known, it is time to define the essential skills that it is considered that employees should have based on the different jobs that exist in the company.

At this point we must refer to both hard and soft skills, because talent is made up of specific technical capabilities and more social and psychological skills such as resistance to stress or the ability to communicate.

For each job position, the hard skills and soft skills that would be desirable in the people who occupy it will be defined.. Of course, it is always a good idea to be objective and realistic, not demanding more than necessary, since in that case this tool would not be effective.

Assess capabilities

The next step involves doing a detailed analysis of the competencies of the staff members. For this you can resort to different techniques such as tests or competency tests, evaluation by superiors, information provided by colleagues, etc.

The objective is create a profile that is as objective as possible of each person, determining their strengths and also their weaknesses.

Analyze profiles

Talent mapping gives us a lot of information, but it is useless if it is not analyzed properly.

Once the profiles of each employee have been prepared, it is time to compare them with the skills and abilities that have been previously defined for the position occupied. This allows us to detect if there are deficiencies that can be filled with adequate training, or even if we are in the presence of a person who could be promoted to a position higher than the one they currently occupy.

Design the actions

With the results on the table, the next step is to define the actions that will be carried out to reduce the weaknesses detected in employees and enhance their strengths.

To achieve this, personalized training plans can be established, offer global training for a group of workers, make adjustments in departments at a vertical and horizontal level so that each person is in the most suitable job for them, and even make layoffs if It has been discovered that someone does not meet the minimum talent standards to assume the position they are occupying within the organization.

Find the missing talent

It is difficult for a company to realize that it has within its staff all the necessary talent to continue moving towards its objectives. The most common thing is that you discover through talent mapping that you have certain shortcomings, and you must work to solve them.

Some of these gaps can be filled by training staff, but others will require new hires. In the latter case, recruiters must be aware of the essential skills and abilities they are looking for in new employees, in order to design a selection procedure that is as effective as possible.

How often is a talent map made?

The talent map is not something that is done once in a lifetime and that companies can forget about later, because Human talent management is something very dynamic.

Skills that are essential today may not be essential in the short term. Because change employee profile, the market, and the ways of working, and you have to adapt. Precisely for this reason, the talent map can never be static. Has to evolve and feed back of what has been learned in human capital management.

There is no specific periodicity with which a new talent map must be created; this is something that depends on both the company itself and the sector in which it operates and the social, labor, economic and even political circumstances. What is recommended is review every three or six months if the talent map that is in force is still really effective. If many deficiencies begin to be noticed, then it will be necessary to develop a new one.

Talent mapping is a source of competitive advantage for companies, and an important tool when it comes to improving employee motivation, which is why it must be given the recognition it deserves within Human Resources management.

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