Market Mapping – Global Talent Management

Market Mapping – Global Talent Management

Market Mapping – Global Talent Management

Market Mapping

Market Mapping, also referred to as talent mapping, evaluates and tracks both active and passive talent in local and global candidate markets and helps organisations to strengthen talent acquisition capabilities. It is a strategy that companies employ for long or short-term talent sourcing needs and when diversifying into new business sectors. This is an emerging value-added service being offered by executive search firms across the globe.

Mapping The Talent Market

Market Mapping uses traditional researching and resourcing methods to diagram and map competitor’s organisational structures. Market Mapping involves tracking up to three levels of management. These leadership levels may include:

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

In addition, often unique, specialty or in-demand skill sets may be identified, and individuals holding these roles may also be tracked through a market mapping process.

Analysis of these divisions provides a detailed overview of organisational structures, reporting systems and insight into competitor functions. Using this data, organisations can identify key competitors, target skills and compile core competencies to enhance their own internal teams. Market Mapping provides insight into a candidate’s career succession, which enables companies to better design roles based upon existing talent in the market. Understanding the talent ecosystem at these three levels of management helps define future roles for candidates and enhance a company’s succession planning strategy.


A South African Blue Chip Conglomerate in the Industrial sector sought to digitalize and transform its business processes, systems and the way the business transacted and interacted with its clients. The challenge involved an immature knowledge of digital transformation in South Africa and a scarcity of skills. The company engaged Executive Headlines in South Africa to understand the digital transformation talent pool, map the market of available talent across South Africa and identify specific leadership capabilities the role would require.

Executive Headlines comprehensively mapped over 30 South African Corporations and Management Consulting firms, and 124 potential candidates. The Market Map outlined direct reporting structures and confirmed that digital transformation talent pools were largely dominated by management consulting firms with South Africa. Several core competencies were identified for the role:

    • A strong digital and business background with a track record of delivery
    • Commercial and strategic expertise with the ability to monetize digital efforts
    • Strong leadership, influencing capability and emotional intelligence to work with multiple teams across the organisation
    • Excellent change management skills

As a result of the market mapping, the company retained Executive Headlines to appoint a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), to support the Divisional CEO. The CDO appointed by Executive Headlines had an equally strong background in business and digitisation, and now oversees the implementation of digital transformation strategy by regional teams.

Data Validation and Efficacy

Market Mapping data is verified through internal and external authentication. By conducting extensive research, executive search consultants are able to confirm information produced by a Market Mapping assignment.

Once chartered, a Market Map’s data accuracy can be valid for up to 6 months. Within these initial 6 months, the report is constantly refreshed with up-to-date information, tracking candidate mobility, career progression, internal restructurings and direct report changes. Once the initial 6 months have lapsed, companies may work with an executive search firm to ensure the data integrity and continue to monitor talent within niche markets over an extended period of time. This includes:

    • Tracking specific candidates and talent groups in a niche role or unique market
    • Engaging candidates regularly to ensure relationships are active even without an immediate talent need or available placement
    • Real-time access to competitive market intelligence and talent landscapes

In traditional hiring solutions, both cost and length of the entire hiring cycle grow significantly as the time of a search extends. With Market Mapping, the approach of continuous sourcing and data mining decreases the length of the hiring cycle when a talent need arises.


One of the world’s leading service providers in the Life Sciences sector needed to identify extremely niche skill sets to develop future roles and identify the right talent. The company partnered with Athena Executive Search & Consulting in New Delhi to map the Indian talent market, identify key skills and develop a candidate database. By Market Mapping both direct and indirect competitors, Athena Executive Search & Consulting identified target skills and core competencies necessary to succeed and charted the spread of talent at leading pharmaceutical and life sciences companies across India.

Within 6 months, Athena Executive Search & Consulting built a skills repository database of over 400 qualified, available and interested candidates. The company retained Athena Executive Search & Consulting to continue managing and updating the Market Map to ensure real-time availability of talent for current and future hiring needs. Over the next two years, the company hired 100 of these candidates identified by Market Mapping.

Comprehensive Succession Planning

Companies also employ Market Mapping services to gain a more objective point of view for their own succession planning efforts. Many companies limit their succession planning prospects to internal talent pools and candidates, failing to expand a focus beyond these pipelines. Market Mapping yields alternative external candidates that may be equally or better suited to a role. Utilizing Market Mapping enhances a succession plan by providing a more comprehensive and holistic view of all talent available in the marketplace.


A Fortune 100 technology company was presented with an unexpected succession planning challenge for a Chief Audit Executive position.  While the company had two very strong potential successors, it wanted to explore further talent options with a particular focus on diversity. In order to gain a full understanding of the available talent, the company engaged Salveson Stetson Group in Philadelphia to map the market for senior audit professionals within the Fortune 250.

Salveson Stetson Group researched and identified potential candidates within the Fortune 250 who met the criteria established for the role and engaged these candidates to:

    • Assess their career aspirations and objectives
    • Evaluate functional and leadership strengths and potential fit
    • Determine interest in leaving current employer for another opportunity
    • Gauge willingness to pursue exploratory conversations
    • Assess ability to relocate
    • Identify compensation requirements

In the end, the company promoted an internal candidate into the role but was confident they had made an informed decision based upon the data and insights gathered from Market Mapping activities by Salveson Stetson Group.


A Tier-1 US Investment Bank requested a detailed comparison of the Interest Rates Trading division for emerging markets, in order to make an informed decision to expand their own capabilities within that region.

The Bank partnered with Holtrop Ravesloot, located in Amsterdam, to produce a detailed market map of the Interest Rates Trading desk and talent pools within the London market, focusing on all Tier-1 and Tier-2 Investment Banks and their respective Traders.

After a series of comprehensive face-to-face interviews with all individuals involved, Holtrop Ravesloot delivered a complete map of relevant Interest Rates Traders, their geographical coverage, individual profit and loss (P&L) and team P&L, including their reporting structures within these competitor banks. The Market Map summarized the following market research and information:

    • Group organisational structure, reporting configurations, revenue generation, group culture
    • Talent compensation summaries
    • Individual talent profiles detailing career progression, executive mobility, experience, commentary on group and employer culture, revenue generation statistics and more.

The result was an inclusive solution illustrating subjective and objective information on prospective candidates. The Market Map also provided the Banks’ outlook on rates trading environments across Europe including perspectives on market activity specific to London.

An Opportunity to Vet New Search Firms

Market Mapping provides companies an opportunity to trial run working with a new executive search firm and lays the foundations for building a long-term relationship. Market Mapping is offered as a stand-alone service, a pre-search service or can be credited towards a new search. Market Mapping can be done as a confidential exercise and is an ideal solution to enable organisations to always be “business ready”. It circumvents the high cost commitment of reactive and preemptive hiring, decreases the business risks associated with traditional hiring and can shorten the time period to hire a new employee. Market Mapping reduces leadership gaps, cost, risk and the time cycle necessary to manage these risks.