Deciphering the Landscape: Market Mapping vs. Candidate Mapping


Using comments from a Facebook post on the SourceCon group as a prompt, I asked ChatGPT4 to write the following blog post. Nothing has been edited, but I have added a few notes here and there with the goal being to separate ‘Market Mapping’ from ‘Candidate Mapping’. Enjoy.

[Note: Shout out to sourcing guru Irina Shamaeva for the assist on definitions!]

Over to ChatGPT4:

In the realm of candidate sourcing, two terms often surface that, while interconnected, serve distinct purposes: Market Mapping and Candidate Mapping. Both are pivotal in shaping a recruiter’s approach to talent acquisition, particularly when leveraging advanced tools like Referable. However, understanding their differences can vastly enhance one’s recruitment strategy.

Market Mapping: The Bird’s-Eye Perspective

Imagine soaring high above an intricate maze of industries, roles, and competitors, equipped with a bird’s-eye view that captures the vast expanse below. This is the essence of market mapping. It provides an aerial perspective of a specific industry sector, allowing companies to understand the key players, their positioning, and the broader dynamics at play.

[Note: Soaring high above sounds a bit wishy-washy but “birds eye view” makes sense. Looking at the industry from above we can see where the skills and experience is, how much of it there is and where it is. There are a lot of solutions out there that provide these kinds of insights, often with incredible detail, but also at a restrictive price point.]

When we talk about market mapping in the context of our app, Referable, it’s about gaining insight into the broader talent landscape. With this approach, companies can discern where they stand in comparison to their competitors and identify gaps or potential opportunities for growth and collaboration. It’s like constructing a comprehensive roadmap of an industry’s talent pool.

[Note: Originally, Referable began with a market mapping feature on our dashboard, which received positive feedback from talent acquisition leaders. However, we chose to concentrate on candidate mapping, as it offers immediate value to recruiters who are focused on identifying the right candidates to fill their requisitions rather than strategic insights.]

Rather than build the candidate map manually, Referable does it automatically while also making collaboration easy.

Candidate Mapping: Zooming into the Details

Shifting from the macro to the micro, candidate mapping hones in on specific individuals. Rather than an expansive overview, this approach is akin to zooming in on individual landmarks (or in this case, potential candidates) within our industry maze.

Candidate mapping, especially when facilitated by Referable, allows recruiters to identify potential candidates for particular roles. This is especially crucial for niche areas or specialized roles where the ideal candidate might not actively be in the job market but could be open to the right opportunity. By understanding where these individuals are and what they bring to the table, recruiters can more effectively approach and engage them.

In Summary

While both market and candidate mapping are centered on understanding the talent landscape, their scopes differ. With market mapping, it’s about the broader industry perspective, while candidate mapping is about individual potential hires. Leveraging tools like Referable, companies and recruiters can seamlessly transition between these perspectives, ensuring they have both a comprehensive view of the market and a targeted approach to candidate sourcing.

[Note: Once again ChatGPT makes it a little “fluffy”. I would argue that ‘Market Mapping’ is a tool used by talent acquisition to plan talent sourcing strategy by identifying where skills and experience are to be found across a market; whereas ‘Candidate Mapping’ is a tool used by recruiters to identify the individuals with those skills and experience (i.e. what I call “high probability” candidates) so they can be prioritized in engagement and attraction.]

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