Talent Mapping: How to Build a Strong Sourcing Strategy


Imagine when your recruitment budget is approved, goals are set, roles are defined, and you only have to start sourcing for them. But how and where do you start your search to find the best possible candidates?

What are the best platforms and resources? Where to find unicorns? Who is your ideal candidate?

If you don’t have answers to these questions, you must build a sourcing strategy. Talent mapping is a technique that helps you to do it. 

Talent mapping goes beyond simply identifying and profiling potential candidates at a target company. It helps you to build a sourcing strategy and understand the internal and external competitive landscape. 

In this article, we guide you on:

  • Why do you need talent mapping
  • Where to start and how to build your sourcing strategy
  • What tools will help you in your talent market research

This article has been created in collaboration with John Rose, the strategic advisor at Resourceful.

Why Do You Need Talent Mapping?

Talent Mapping delves into the exact needs and wants of the company to build a very specific persona of the ideal candidate to fulfill the hiring KPIs. This is difficult, as you must continuously monitor, check, and validate. Most importantly, you need to get into the habit of doing this regularly.

  • Find the right talent faster. Talent mapping helps to plan the necessary resources for a role before the vacancy even exists
  • Take advantage of top talent within your level. With the help of talent mapping, you can identify your star employees. You can develop their skills for leadership positions that match your business goals.
  • Save your hiring resources. Talent mapping is about strategic hiring. Instead of wasting a lot of time and money on unnecessary hires, you will be able to prioritize your open requisitions. This will help you bring on board people who will impact your company’s growth. 

Where Should You Start Talent Mapping? 

Step 1. It starts with WHO

Look around. You have YOUR people (this could not only be your company’s employees). Take a look at the contractors you partner with as well. Do the research in your ATS or CRM to answer these questions: 

  • Where are they coming from? What companies did they work in before? 
  • What education do they have? What universities did they study at? 
  • Find out where they are operating: what platforms, websites, and/or social networks are they using

Your competitors are a great guide. Make sure you analyze 

  • Who are your competitors?
  • What do their employees look like?
  • Where do they come from?

Look at what companies they are hiring from, do they prefer to hire fresh grads or target their search to more senior profiles? Don’t forget to draw comparisons between your company and your competitors. Do you share similar values? This will help you identify a pool of companies where you can find people that will match your business requirements. Another purpose of this exercise is to strategically analyze how your competitors are growing and their plans for the future and potentially highlight a role, department, or skillset you’re missing.

Return to the past. Analyze profiles of your ex-employees: where they came from, how long they stayed with your company, and where they went after. And what is important here – is to learn whether there is a chance for a boomerang. There are some great cases when people leave the company to gain more knowledge, work in a different sphere or work with another technology stack. Eventually, people gladly returned to the company with more experience and knowledge! 

Analyze your talent lake. Talent lake – is a pool of candidates you somehow interacted with. Those are all your previous candidates, people following your company page on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. The talent pool (part of a talent lake) – is a pool of people you’ve identified specifically against roles or functions within your business. 

Step 2. It continues with WHAT!

And here it comes to Skills: Define essential hard and soft skills for your roles. That is crucially important to validate your profiles of the “right people.” You also need to make sure you know how to assess these skills. Do the market research on the best testing tools that can be used within your organization

Social Footprint. Analyze the different social media profiles of the person. What does the individual post, what groups is he or she in, and what conferences, meetups, or shows does he/she visit? Do a proper mapping of these. Having this information will help you find a proper fit. Analyzing sources is very useful for you, remember that!

Pay attention to a person’s interests. Who does he/she prefer to spend free hours with? What are the individual’s contributions? It is always important to learn about a person’s interests, contributions, and activities – that is usually a source of intelligence. 

Step 3. And HOW is here!

Talent mapping requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work, but that doesn’t mean it has to live in the shadows. When people don’t understand a process or reasoning behind a decision, they make their assumptions—and not always the right ones.

Follow this logic before you start to dig data from internal databases and external resources:

  1. What data about the market of candidates do I need to find?
  2. Where did we get information before / what information is missing?
  3. What information I have internally and external resources can help me get data I miss to build a complete picture?
  4. How can I pull external data, and is it possible to automate the data extraction and data preparation?

The best way to structure and present your data is to create a visual dashboard. The information is much better perceived by external people, managers, the director, and the board. The information you present helps them understand what is happening on the market these days and gives you a lot of opportunities to manage your manager’s or hiring manager’s expectations.

What Tools Do You Need for Talent Mapping

As we already learned, your goal is to build a pool of candidates with appropriate skill sets to improve the overall recruiting process. It isn’t an easy task; it requires time, knowledge, and a bit of automation. Below are several tools that can help you to do proper talent mapping:


This is a multi-data tool for searching Twitter. Tweetbeaver has 14 tools, all of which are free and can be used to extract data from Twitter to a CSV file. What is particularly useful is the ability to download an account’s followers, which the site returns along with information such as location, bio, and any links associated with their profile. 


DataMiner is an extraction tool for HTML pages. In other words, a scraper. DataMiner helps you extract data that you see in your browser and save it into a spreadsheet file. It does this by automatically looking at HTML elements on a web page. And it does it fast. The best part about Data Miner are the thousands of recipes you can use that have already been created.


Finding multiple occurrences of words. If you have hundreds of tabs open in your browser, this tool will be extremely helpful. It saves around 60 seconds per page while scrolling through to find the right keywords. Honestly, this tool alone could help save you 20-30 minutes of your day. Isn’t that cool?


Intch is a free app that conveniently highlights candidate searches. Here, you can find employees from all over the world from different industries and chat with them. Also, on Intch, you can create a request to search for a specific type of employee, and its AI will match you with the right profiles.

LinkedIn Talent Insights

This tool gives you access to real-time data on talent pools and companies around the world. It connects the best talent and provides everyone with the right recommendations. It’s easy to find candidates quickly with LTI. The system also suggests candidates that you might not notice.

How you choose to organize your talent mapping process is up to you. Whether you use an excel sheet or invest in a high-tech platform—it’s important to regularly revisit and revise your plans. It’s a continuous process that directly impacts your recruitment and sourcing results. If you do it right, you will have the right people in the team who will build and strengthen your culture and drive your business strategy and growth.

Article by:
CEO and Co-founder of Matchr
CEO and Co-founder of Matchr
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