What’s the Point of Candidate Mapping?

Let’s look at the value of candidate mapping and how Referable helps recruiters save time by working with high probability candidates. I wrote another post looking at separating definitions of ‘market’ and ‘candidate’ mapping, which you can read here.

What is Candidate Mapping?

A candidate map is exactly that: a map of candidates. When we speak of a candidate map in terms of recruitment of course we are talking about a map of talent, skills and quality of candidates across a recruiters market. For example, rather than pick up a search by screening hundreds of cold prospects, a recruiter armed with a candidate map can avoid time spent on low probability candidates by focusing solely on the ones that will not only get interviewed, but highly likely get hired. 

The key to any candidate map is curation. Recruiters need to take the time and invest their effort into identifying the talent and this is impossible to do on their own. For in-house recruiters that means leveraging the team to help verify which prospects have the skills and experience, values or competencies required, and which do not. For agency recruiters that usually means requesting the help of trusted advocates such as well known candidates. Either way, candidate mapping is a form of market intelligence that provides huge value to both the recruiter and the business.

What is the Value of Candidate Mapping?

Enormous amounts of time can be saved by investing into a candidate map. Based on user data I would estimate that only 1/3 of candidates are sent by Referable to Long Lists, and from there 1/2 go to Short Lists to be shared with collaborators. Every recruiter has different numbers, but generally speaking the average recruiter will get 1 referral for every 5 profiles shared. While Referable delivers the Long Lists automatically, what we see from a funnel of 100 prospects is that 30 will be Long Listed, of whom 15 are Short Listed and 3 will come back as “high probability” referrals or recommendations. This 100 – 30 – 15 – 3 ratio is a generalisation, but it illustrates how Referable recruiters can avoid 97% of the false positives and maximise efficiency by focusing on those 3 highly probable candidates. These candidates are what make recruiters look good!

The Ace Up Your Sleeve

The value of a candidate map is in the time saved by the recruiter and everyone in the hiring process. Imagine candidates as being playing cards in a deck and hiring managers will only be interested in the face cards (Jack, Queen, King) and Aces, but in reality it is only the Ace that will be hired. Rather than blindly pursing prospects across the whole deck and spending valuable time screening out the 1’s, 2’s and other numbered cards, what recruiter would not want to simply pick up their search working with the face cards? Perhaps those face cards are not right for the current search, but they are sufficiently high quality and will certainly be the right cards for another search for another search. We don’t condone cheating at poker, but knowing who your high probability players are is the same as playing with an Ace up your sleeve! 

Candidate mapping is a form of market intelligence that provides huge value to both the recruiter and the business.

Mapping for Corporate & RPO Recruiters

Recruiters want to maximise the probabilities of success and they do this by a) avoiding false positives (i.e. candidates that won’t get far in an interview process) and b) focusing on the ones that will. The best in-house recruiters do this by asking employees to come and vet candidates listed on spreadsheets or LinkedIn project folders. Some use tools like referral management systems that allow for 1st degree connections to be loaded into the system for confirmation on who is who. 

Referable enables any in-house sourcing team or recruiter to go beyond 1st degree connections who are already well known, and deeper into everyone they ever worked with in the past. Obviously not all these people are visible but a lot of them are and can be found through open web data – the very same data sources that back the best sourcing apps like HireEZ, Gem, and others. 

For high skill mid-career and executive roles the hunting ground is usually defined within a range of target companies. If we seek someone with strong SaaS sales experience then we need to look at SaaS companies, and the first place to start is by talking to our colleagues who came from these firms. The key is to make collaboration as easy as a few clicks and this one of the strengths of Referable.

Referable recruiters can avoid 97% of the false positives and maximise efficiency by focusing on those 3 highly probable candidates

Mapping for Agency Recruiters

For agency recruiters the concept is the same but we lack a captive audience of employees to collaborate with. Nevertheless there are many advocates out there who value a recruiter for their professionalism and are willing to support them if the need arises. The key is to make the collaboration as easy as possible. 

Rather than running off and screening hundreds of cold leads for a search, recruiters and their research teams can work with their advocates to map out which among those hundreds are the most likely to be hired. Referral gathering should be among of the expectations set out by recruiters when they talk to candidates, so that when the time comes and those candidates are deep in interviews or getting placed, they are more than likely to assist the recruiter to build that talent map. Even if one such advocate contributes just 3-4 recommendations, this is a plus. 

Mapping for Hiring Managers

Even more interesting is taking a candidate map to a hiring manager. Some of the million dollar billers I have worked with in the past would build their relationships with hiring managers to the point where they could simply get them to point out who to go and scout. Some managers are fearful of “non-scout” clauses in their previous employment contracts and are happy to have a recruiter do the work for them. As always, there is no harm in trying and if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Imagine walking into every client brief with a ready-to-go pre-qualified candidate map of candidates right for the job. That is what your client wants from their recruiter. Recruiters are essentially “service providers” after all, and that should require SLAs related to delivery and efficiency. 

Perfect for corporate and RPO recruiters as well as agency recruiters, if you or your team needs some fresh ideas on how to deliver on candidate mapping, drop us a line! 


Referable AI has been developed by a team experienced in executive search, RPO, in-house recruiting and HR tech to help both in-house and agency recruiters to solicit more referrals faster than ever. If you would like to learn more, drop us a line at hello(at)referable.ai

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