It is generally accepted that the key to long-standing business achievement is to invest in staff. Yet many companies will wait to start their retail executive search only when a vacancy becomes available. We take a look at why this is a short-sighted approach, and why talent-mapping might help you avoid it in the future.

What is talent mapping?

Talent mapping is a scientific approach often used by recruiters to understand the current hiring market. It is a way to ‘map out’ what future posts might need to be filled, and which employees might be looking to move into those posts. At it’s best, it is a way to anticipate future hiring needs and plan for it with knowledge of current staff and their talents. Furthermore, it is fast becoming a tool that companies use to help them map out the talent within their company.

So how can your company use it?

Start by looking at your long-term plans. For instance, what markets are you looking to head into? Are there any big technological changes imminent? What capabilities does your business need to prioritise to succeed? Once you have a clear direction for the next 5-10 years, step back and ask yourself what skills and competencies will you need in your teams to achieve these goals. This will allow you to show a clear link between the skills you are aiming to develop as a company, and the goals you have to develop your company.

Prioritise your business development needs

Not only does this list of necessary competencies allow you to design future training around your needs, it can also be used to give you an idea of what posts you may need to fill in the future. Once you have a clear idea of this, you can start looking at where those staff are going to come from.

Know your staff, and your competitors

Lastly, take the time to map out where those skills are currently held by your employees – look at which teams have already developed these skills and which might be able to do so in the future. Look at individuals – their training, as well as their motivation, career goals and salary expectations. Don’t forget to map out your competitor’s teams too – many staff will consider moving companies for a great job with plenty of training and a competitive salary!