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Mapping the Future: Why Talent Mapping is Critical for Consumer Businesses

23rd Apr 2024

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, finding and retaining top talent has become a significant challenge for companies across all industries, especially in the dynamic consumer sector. As consumer preferences and behaviours shift, organisations must adapt quickly, and having the right talent in place is crucial for their success. This is where talent mapping comes into play – a strategic approach that can help businesses identify, develop, and retain the best individuals for critical roles, both now and in the future.

Talent mapping is a proactive process that involves analysing an organisation’s current workforce, identifying key roles and skills required for future success, and aligning internal talent pipelines with business goals. By embracing this approach, consumer businesses can gain a competitive edge and position themselves for long-term growth.

Here’s our view of the 5 benefits of talent mapping your organisation:

1- Proactive Succession Planning

One of the primary benefits of talent mapping is that it enables proactive succession planning. By identifying potential successors for key roles and developing them through targeted training and development programs, businesses can ensure a smooth transition when leadership changes occur. This not only minimises disruption but also fosters a culture of continuous learning and growth within the organization.

For example, Coca-Cola has a robust talent mapping program called “People Planning” that identifies and develops future leaders’ years in advance. They assess employees’ skills, potential, and career aspirations, creating tailored development plans. This strategy has enabled Coca-Cola to fill over 90% of senior leadership roles internally, ensuring a steady pipeline of prepared successors.

2 – Improved Workforce Agility

In the consumer sector, agility is paramount. Consumer preferences can shift rapidly, and businesses must be able to respond quickly to changing market dynamics. Talent mapping helps organisations identify employees with the necessary skills and competencies to pivot and adapt to new challenges, enabling a more agile and responsive workforce.

For example, when Nike recognised the growing importance of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales, they utilised their talent mapping data to identify employees with relevant digital and customer experience skills. These individuals were then trained and transitioned into roles supporting Nike’s digital transformation, allowing the company to capitalise on the changing retail landscape.

3 – Enhanced Employee Engagement and Retention

By investing in talent mapping and providing clear career paths for employees, businesses can foster a sense of purpose and engagement within their workforce. When employees see opportunities for growth and development, they are more likely to remain loyal to the organisation, reducing costly turnover and preserving institutional knowledge.

4 – Diversity and Inclusion

Talent mapping can also support diversity and inclusion efforts by helping organisations identify and nurture talent from underrepresented groups. By actively seeking out diverse perspectives and experiences, businesses can foster innovation, better understand their diverse consumer base, and create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

5 – Competitive Advantage

Ultimately, effective talent mapping can provide consumer businesses with a significant competitive advantage. By having the right people in the right roles at the right time, this strategic alignment of talent with business needs drives innovation, improves decision-making and organisations can find themselves ahead of the competition when it comes to recruiting or attracting scarce skills and resources.  Having future visibility of the skills likely to come into significant demand in the future, allows an organisation to be one step ahead in the candidate recruitment market.

At HW Global, our approach to talent mapping also enables us to bring the market to life for our clients.  Our network of senior candidates is very open to talking about the journey they are on,  and our clients tend to be happy to talk about their strategic plans and where they are considering moving directionally,   For both parties, using the conversation to build their network, relationships and understanding of how others are addressing certain strategic or commercial needs or skill gaps, allows each party to feel far more educated, and able to have strategic conversations internally with the other senior leaders in the business about potential opportunities.

If you’d like some support in developing or enhancing your talent mapping processes, please do get in touch.  With over 25 years of experience in the global consumer market, we can help.


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