Improve Your Recruitment Process with Talent Mapping [5 Templates]

Are you trying to improve your hiring process via talent mapping? Want to know how it works?

Talent mapping is a modern solution used by hiring managers to optimize the hiring process and efficiently get the best mind on board.

In this article, you will learn about talent mapping, its role in recruitment, its benefits and challenges, and some of the best talent mapping templates you can use. 

Let’s dive in.

What is Talent Mapping in Recruitment? 

Talent mapping is a powerful recruitment strategy used by modern-day recruitment teams to ensure they don’t sacrifice their top-tier talents just to fill a role quickly.

what is talent mapping

It involves finding the right talent, assigning them the right role, and retaining top talents. Talent mapping bridges the gap between a company’s recruitment strategy and business goals.

However, talent mapping is based on a long-term approach and requires iterations as the company grows.

But for the most part, it helps your business stay at the front by allowing your recruitment team to proactively approach prospects rather than waiting for them to approach you. 

Benefits of Talent Mapping

When you leverage talent mapping correctly, it can give your HRs several benefits. Let’s see what those are.

#1. Create the Right Pool of candidates

Talent mapping helps you identify active and passive candidates with relevant skill sets and experience. Therefore, allowing companies to create a pool of pre-qualified and interested candidates can help secure top talent before competitors.

#2. Utilize Top Talents Within the Organization

Talent mapping is not only about external recruitment strategy. It’s also about what talent treasure hides within your organization.

Before outreaching external candidates, talent mapping identifies top-performing employees within your organization. Just so you can develop their skill set in the future for any similar leadership position.

Doing this saves your company time and money and relishes a positive inbound work culture.

#3. Diversify Your Talent Hunt

Talent mapping ensures diversity and inclusiveness in your recruitment strategy. It gathers valuable insights into gender, age, and ethnicity demographics within your targeted skills.

Once you have the insights, you can perform an extensive outreach for qualified candidates from every segment of the society.

#4. Improve Workforce Planning

Talent mapping can help you make data-driven decisions for better allocation of available resources.

The available resources include hiring new employees, conducting talent and development drives, promoting top talents within your organization, and much more.

Basically, it ensures that you have the right people in the right roles and at the right time.

Talent Mapping Challenges 

Talent mapping is no rocket science, but it does have some challenges.

#1. Time-Consuming And Expensive

Analyzing tons of data can be overwhelming, making it difficult to predict future talent needs. 

time consuming and expensive

You need to look proactively for talents and assess your existing talent by collecting data in many ways like 360-degree feedback, self-evaluation, tracking KPIs and KRAs, or a combination of these.

However, you can use skill assessment tools to identify skill gaps quickly. But anyhow, you need to put your brains into the data pool to refine top talents.

#2. Struggle In Collecting Reliable Data

Data collection is an integral part of talent mapping and the most challenging part.

tough to collect reliable data

You need an accurate and reliable database to create an actionable framework for talent acquisitions.

A lack of reliable data on your existing talent and data needs can lead to:

  • Costly hiring mistakes or wrong hiring
  • Incorrect predictions about talent needs
  • Inability to hire top talents before your competitors

Given the importance of data in talent mapping, you must have a collection of KPIs and KRAs to make data-driven decisions.

#3. Dynamic Business Environment

Let’s face it; the market is dynamic and uncertain on any given day. And so, your long-term analysis and predictions might take a blow. Hence, it’s difficult to determine a long-term recruitment strategy. But it’s not impossible.

Let’s find out how you can build a reliable and sustainable talent mapping strategy for your organization.

How to Map Talent: A Step-by-Step Guide

Although the execution may differ for every company, here’s a step-by-step guide to how talent mapping generally works.

#1. Identify Your Organizational Goals and Talent Needs

To begin with, align your company’s top-level executives to learn more about the company’s vision. Try to get the following questions answered from them:

  • What are your expectations from the company in the next five, ten, or twenty years?
  • What talents do you need on board to support these goals?
  • Is your leadership willing to invest more in your workforce?

And then follow up with the leaders of every department to get a closer look at the talent needs. 

Get answers to questions such as:

  • What are the bottlenecks of every department?
  • How do you see the department structure changing?
  • Is the available workforce capable of achieving the targets you set?

Once you’ve identified your organizational goals and talent needs, it’s time to define key data points. 

#2. Define Data Points

Your data points generally depend on your talent needs. However, there are a few important data points you require to commence your data mapping journey.

  • Job Description: They highlight the responsibilities attached to a role – the required skills, knowledge, and experience. So, create job descriptions for new job openings while updating the older ones.
  • Skills Inventory: Skills inventory lists all your existing workforce’s skills, knowledge, and qualifications. It comprises hard skills, soft skills, and relevant certifications or degrees. 
  • Employee Review and Feedback: Employee reviews and survey forms can bring in a lot of constructive data. They tell you about your team’s strengths and weaknesses. 

#2. Assess Current Employees’ Performance

After identifying the key data points, you’re all set to assess your internal team performance.

Now, there are several ways to do this, such as:

  • Self-evaluation
  • 360-degree feedback
  • Skills test

We recommended doing a 9-box-talent mapping

What is it?

9 Box talent mapping is an easy-to-use talent mapping tool that uses a holistic approach to talent appraisal. 

The tool uses a 9-box grid chart in which employees are divided into 9 groups based on their performance and potential. 

9 box grid

You can use this technique to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current employees. What’s more, you can segment them based on low, moderate, and high performance.

This helps you figure out your employees’ potential and leverage them instead of hiring externally. 

Business Insider Tip: Consider how you can build existing talent rather than buy new talent.

Thus, it’s important to document your employee’s performance, and 9-box talent mapping is the industry’s favorite way to do so.

#4. Peek Into Your Competitor’s Talent Hiring Strategies

Next, take a sneak peek into your biggest competitors’ talent-hiring strategy. Get an idea of what positions, skills, or departments you lack in comparison. 

We are not asking you to copy their strategy, but it’s always good to know what your competitors are up to.

After all, they belong to the same industry, and if they are doing better than you, then you need to figure out how.

You can gather this information by researching your competitors’ talent plans, recruitment tools, job openings, employee retention strategies, and more.

Understanding your competition gives you an upper hand in deriving a lean and effective talent mapping strategy.

#5. Create a Database of Passive Candidates

Now that you have identified the potential talent gaps, it’s time to fill in the talent pool with passive candidates.

Passive candidates are those who are not actively looking for a job. To our surprise, passive talent makes up 70% of the global workforce.

Gone are the days of the response-based recruitment style where you only start searching for potential candidates when the need arises. 

So, creating a pool of such talent is crucial for a powerful talent mapping strategy.

You must keep a proactive approach to quickly and easily onboard perfect candidates. 

#6. Develop a Talent Management Strategy

So, until now, you have a clear understanding of:

  • What do you expect from your employees?
  • Where does your talent lie?
  • What are the skills or talent gaps?
  • How can you attract, retain and align that talent with your organizational goals?

It’s time to develop a talent-management strategy based on your talent map data.

Your talent-management strategy must be clear on three talent-mapping plans: acquisition, development, and retention.

In Fact, according to a survey by McKinsey & Company, the ability to outperform competitors is closely related to the effectiveness of companies’ talent-management strategies.

Now that you have a deep understanding of what talent mapping is let’s look at some best talent mapping templates in the market.


Smartsheet is SaaS software offering a rich set of views, workflows, and reports to track project progress and manage workflows across the organization.

Smartsheet’s software helps you in talent mapping with its three major sets of templates:

30 Days – New Employee Onboarding Set

smartsheet new employee onboarding

The new employment onboarding set includes:

  • Employee onboarding dashboard to track the activities of new employee onboarding process under one dashboard
  • Real-time tracking of tasks that are in progress or have surpassed the due date

Employee Contact List Set

smartsheet employee contact list set

The employee contact list set includes:

  • All-in-one dashboard containing an overall summary of employees’ data
  • Department-wise data reporting and data segmentation
  • A comprehensive sheet of employee database with required data fields such as picture, name, date of hire, address, department, contact no. etc.

Corporate Hub Setup

And at last, the powerhouse or the hub of the templates mentioned above. With the Corporate hub template, you can get inter-linked to all your smartsheet resources under one dashboard.

smartsheet corporate hub setup

Moreover, if you wish to analyze your talent-mapping strategy deeply, you can use its department hub dashboard to view department-specific resources.

Smartsheets offer a 30-day free trial. So, you have ample time to test the template’s superiority yourselves.


Creately is the world’s #1 work management platform with diagramming and design capabilities.



  • The tool has many professionally designed templates for organizational charts, skill inventories, nine-box grids, etc., with an easy drag and drop functionality.
  • You can migrate employee data from external sources or create custom databases. Plus, it has a two-way sync, so you won’t have to update your data twice.
  • Integrated multi-user collaboration and video conferencing tools to ease remote working and effectively conduct mass workshops and sessions.

Creately is trusted by 8 Million users and 1000s of teams ranging from Intel, Netflix, and Facebook to build their talent mapping strategy.


Venngage is a freemium design tool that helps corporates visualize their boring data with attractive, personalized, and professionally designed visual aids.



  • An extensive library for shapes, fonts, and color palettes to personalize your experience.
  • For enterprises, it has a dedicated brand kit to avoid repeating work while editing other templates (only available with the paid version). 

Unlike Creately, the talent mapping template by Venngage offers fewer customizations. However, it’s a great tool with much to do with its freemium version.


Visme is a web-based data visualization tool that helps enterprises create board-room-ready presentations, flow charts, and personalized visual designs.



  • You get access to millions of free designs with multiple editing tools and widgets on the vertical sidebar enabling complete customizations with a few clicks.
  • It offers personalized visualization with interactive elements like animation, hover effects, pop-ups, and links.
  • The visuals are easily downloadable in multiple formats.

Undoubtedly, Visme’s talent mapping template has far better customization options than other tools. Or else, It’s not easy to gain the trust of 11.5 million customers.


Pipefy is a powerful freemium tool that designs and automates enterprise workflows within minutes.



  • Even beginners can create advanced processes within minutes
  • The drag and drop functionality offers a seamless customization experience
  • It’s fully integrated with CRMs, ERPs, and other existing tools

We feel Pipefy has the upper hand in delivering your comfort with the required expertise and easy processing.

Wrapping Up

This article has shown you why talent mapping is integral to any recruitment strategy. Whether you’re a recruiter, an HR professional, or a talent acquisition specialist, Talent Mapping should be on your agenda. 

However, not every business has the adequate resources and time to map talents.

If you are among those, we suggest hiring an external talent mapping service. But, only after being self-knowledgeable about what it is and how it’s strategized to align with your company’s long-term goals.

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