Build Your Talent Pipeline With Market Mapping

Build Your Talent Pipeline With Market Mapping

Strengthen talent acquisition capabilities by evaluating and tracking active and passive talent in local and global markets.


Sourcing executive talent is a challenge for companies worldwide. Locating interested and qualified candidates who have the right skills and experience to lead a team or an entire organization can be a time-consuming and complicated process.

The traditional ways of finding executive talent may not be suitable for many of today’s organizations, particularly those that are actively expanding and entering new markets. To ensure business continuity and leverage opportunities, there is a need for agility to find and place executives quickly.

As a result, market mapping is emerging as an increasingly value-added service to help organizations identify and track potential candidates in order to quickly hire talent when needs arise.

What is Market Mapping?

Also referred to as talent mapping or talent pipelining, market mapping helps organizations strengthen their talent acquisition capabilities by evaluating and tracking active and passive talent in local and global markets. Market mapping uses research and resourcing methods to diagram competitors’ organizational structures.

This step helps companies analyze their current and future staffing needs, identify skills gaps in leadership, create recruitment, development, and succession planning strategies, and monitor progress so they can make adjustments and improvements for future hires.

Market mapping can be used to track up to three levels of management, which can include:

  • Managing Director/C-Suite
  • Heads of Business
  • One level below Heads of Business (usually Sales and Marketing focused)

By understanding the talent ecosystem at these three management levels, companies can define future roles for candidates and build a succession planning strategy based on the talent pool available to them, both internally and externally.

Analyzing across multiple levels gives companies a thorough view of their competitors’ organizational structures, functions, and reporting systems. They can then use this data to identify and target critical skills and core competencies for their internal teams.

Additionally, market mapping can track individuals across organizations with unique, specialty, or in-demand skills that would benefit the company. From there, companies can decide how they want to develop leaders, whether by upskilling existing talent, searching for outside talent, or taking a hybrid approach by developing their current workforce while continuing to source and bring new talent into their business.

By tracking individuals with the skills an organization needs to define its future, companies can gain valuable insight into a candidate’s career progress and work to design roles based on the existing talent in the market instead of the other way around.

Companies can employ market mapping for the short or long term to source talent and diversify into new business sectors. This process can be done as a standalone service or a pre-search service to help organizations have a much clearer understanding of what type of talent they need.

Market mapping can help organizations develop their talent pipeline, move into new markets, and develop succession planning strategies. Here are a few examples of how market mapping has benefitted global businesses looking to enhance their workforce and leadership development pipeline.

Case Studies

Case Study 1 – Succession Planning

A French group in the defense industry retained Progress to map and evaluate talent both internally and externally. Driven by their Board of Directors, the client sought to ensure a robust pipeline for the future across all C-suite functions.

To do so, they requested that Progress map the talent in the market and benchmark it against internal candidates. This helped to create a strategic succession plan for the organization. Every six months, the client would review the information presented and decide which individuals they were interested in meeting.

This process ensured a constant tracking of key executives in the industry and enabled the client to develop relationships with prospective candidates prior to a role being available.

Case Study 2 – Critical Role Planning

A global leader specialized in the design and manufacture of assembly solutions sought to map the market for one of its critical roles, Director of Plant Operations. While the client often promoted talent, they recognized the need to supplement their internal pipeline with an external one.

The majority of the client’s manufacturing facilities are located outside of metropolitan cities, in more rural areas, where it is difficult to attract talent, and the profiles they are seeking are in high demand.

Having an understanding of the active talent available was critical to ensure continuity in case an employee needed to be replaced, or there was a need to add to the team to help the company grow.

Knowing talent that might be willing to move to certain locations was fundamental to ensuring a quicker search process once an assignment was activated. Having a talent pipeline helped to decrease the time to place a candidate and contributed to a trusted, long-term partnership with the client.

Case Study 3 – Building Talent Pipelines

A private equity-backed distribution company of pet food and pet supplies retained Pearson Partners to conduct traditional executive searches for key roles in its C-suite and also to partner with the newly promoted CMO and build a talent pipeline for the data and analytics team.

The objective was to understand how targeted companies in the fast-moving consumer goods segment were structuring the data and analytics functional responsibilities and to identify high-potential talent who might be willing to entertain a new role.

The Pearson team developed an innovative approach to this project, combining market mapping techniques with customized research and a confidential prospect outreach campaign. The end result was a thorough overview of how the targeted companies were approaching data and analytics, the level and placement of the roles in the organization’s hierarchy, and a talent pipeline of up-and-coming executives who might be receptive to a career opportunity.

Case Study 4 – ​​Driving Transformation

Claricent Partners embarked on a transformative journey with a leading entity in the Indian textile industry back in 2017, recognizing the necessity for fresh perspectives and new leadership talent. Entrusted with this pivotal task, Claricent Partners devised a strategic market intelligence approach to identify individuals capable of driving the client’s transformation agenda.

An exhaustive analysis of the client’s competitors, allied businesses, and complimenting industries was conducted. After identifying key target organizations, talent across multiple hierarchical levels (up to n-3 levels) was meticulously mapped. Conversations with potential candidates were held discreetly to maintain confidentiality.

The result was a comprehensive mapping dataset of talent profiles and organizational structures. This data served as a strategic blueprint for the client’s talent acquisition initiatives, facilitating informed decision-making and targeted outreach. Claricent Partners’ detailed approach enabled the curation of a pool of candidates distinguished not only by their technical, functional, and business acumen but also by their alignment with the client’s culture and strategic vision.

Over the subsequent three years, the partnership between Claricent Partners and the client witnessed remarkable success, marked by the engagement in 10-15 leadership roles facilitated by the Claricent team. By assisting the client in navigating the complex talent landscape, they were able to acquire the required talent to drive innovation and foster a culture of continuous improvement. As a result, the client enhanced its competitiveness, strengthened its market position, and positioned itself for sustained growth and success in the evolving landscape of the textile industry.

Key Applications of Market Mapping

Succession Planning

Benchmark internal and external talent to build robust succession plans and enable proactive engagement with potential hires.

Critical Role Planning

Ensure operational continuity, reduce recruitment times and deliver long-term growth by using market mapping for critical roles.

Competitive Intelligence

Identify and attract high-potential candidates supported by insights from competitors’ organizational structures.

Driving Transformation

Enable transformation programs by evaluating complex leadership requirements and quickly identifying available talent for multiple roles.

Market Mapping for Organizations

Many organizations limit their succession planning strategy to only include their internal talent pool. This narrow view can restrict an organization’s ability to grow and achieve its vision for the future.

Market mapping can identify potential successors and help organizations feel confident in their final decision, even if they end up placing internal talent in the role. Additionally, when provided as a standalone service, market mapping offers companies a chance to do a trial run with an executive search firm and lays the foundation for a long-term relationship.

In summary, market mapping is a powerful tool to develop your short- and long-term talent pipeline. It is a vital process to discover skill gaps in your organization and identify the unique skills and attributes candidates need to be successful in their roles.

The key outcomes are fewer leadership gaps along with significant reductions in the cost, risk, and time to identify and hire top executive talent. These benefits are amplified during times of transformation or when building new teams or business units, allowing organizations to quickly tap into available talent for multiple positions.

If you are interested in discovering how market mapping can benefit your organization, please contact your nearest IIC Partners office for more information.

IIC Partners: 40 Global Offices >>

Authors: Case Study Contributors
Industrial Practice Group

The dynamic forces of innovation, technological advancements, evolving labor trends, and government regulations have significantly reshaped manufacturing, supply chains, operations, and logistics. These shifts demand a new profile of leaders capable of driving growth in complex environments.

We work with clients to analyze essential competencies and skill sets, accurately identify pivotal roles, and accelerate the development of internal and external succession plans, ensuring organizations are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern industrial landscape.

Coverage areas include:

  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Raw Materials
  • Transportation
  • Agribusiness
  • Infrastructure
  • Mobility

IIC Partners: Industrial Practice group >>

About IIC Partners

IIC Partners is a leading provider of executive search and leadership consulting services. Our expert consultants, connected across 40 offices worldwide, partner with senior executives and board directors to transform businesses and solve complex leadership challenges.

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