How to Use Talent Market Mapping to Identify More Right-fit Candidates

Many of the best companies use talent market mapping to identify pools of potential “right-fit” candidate for a particular job.

Studies show that having a ready pipeline of top quality candidates in place (before you need it) helps to improve quality-of-hire and speed-of-hire, and can even cut cost-per-hire. Mapping out your pools of talent and targeting potential right-fit candidates ahead of time can help to focus your team on the right search criteria.

Defining your competitive landscape and candidate profile ahead of time – and then introducing yourself – opens you up to candidates who might have seen the role but for whatever reason didn’t apply. Mapping and profiling ahead of time allows you to quickly introduce yourself and start a conversation with all the right people. It moves you from being proactive – instead of reactive. And it can help to shorten your hiring process to days or weeks, not months.

Taking the time to map out your potential talent pools and right-fit candidates ahead of time can save you time and money. And since every candidate you target matches the profile, your chances of making a good hire improves substantially. Mapping the market and creating a candidate profile – and not taking a shotgun approach – can make or break your ability to attract and hire the right people into your organization on time and in budget.

It’s time to create your right-fit profile, map pools of talent, and build an organic list of viable candidates.

First, create your “ideal” candidate profile. Make a list of all the skills and capabilities you need to bring into the organization. Look back over some of your best hires to help interpret successful themes, trends and profiles that worked in the past, across: level of education, employee tenure, career track, past employers, and more. Use that list to help build out a complete profile of your ideal candidate. This is not a “job description”. What you want to create is a profile of the ideal candidate that you would want to hire into the company. Open a new workbook inside Excel or Google Drive and use one worksheet to build out and contain the candidate profile.

Next, use your new candidate profile to identify a list of companies that actually employ people with those skills and capabilities you want or need. Use a second worksheet (right next to your candidate profile worksheet) and start building out a list of these companies. This worksheet will be your competition in your war for talent, and you can keep adding/removing companies to the list over time.

Once you have a clear candidate profile and growing list of target companies, it’s time to open a third worksheet and start collecting prospective candidate’s market information. If it makes more sense to upload them into an applicant tracking system, then do that instead. The objective is to accumulate a pool of ALL the potential candidates that might fit your description. Then, as your list of viable candidates grows longer, tag the ones that stand out to you. By doing it this way, you begin to build up a pool of all potential candidates – including your tagged “right-fit” ones – that you (at some point) want to bring into the organization.

Remember, the reason you want all potential candidates included is because while some might not look like right-fit today, they might in 2-3 years. You should want to communicate now, not only on the day you start to think about hiring. By then, it could be too late, and you might have missed a great opportunity to build a relationship.

Make sure to chart the following KPI’s as you move this project forward:

  1. Percentage of suspect profiles that convert to viable/potential prospects
  2. Percentage of potential prospects that become right-fit candidates
  3. Percentage of right-fit candidates who become new hires
  4. Cost per hire (external cost PLUS internal cost DIVIDED by the total number of hires in a period)

By incorporating talent market mapping into your talent acquisition function and in-house recruiting efforts, you should soon begin to see improvements in quality-of-hire and speed-of-hire, and a reduction in cost-per-hire.

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