Why Talent Mapping Automation?


“Referable networks” are what all talent maps and referral programs seek to access, yet they so often flawed with many points of failure.”

Common Problems

In its weakest form, an Employee Referral Program is just an email sent out every so often from a recruiter in hope that someone across the company is engaged enough to pass on a few names of people they know.

More likely, a recruiter responsible for the Employee Referral Program will encourage the team to upload their 1st degree connections from LinkedIn, and any other contacts that come to mind when prompted into the ATS or a referral management system. Even better is an automation of some kind within the ATS.

Regardless of the method used, the problem is that usually few contacts do come to mind, and not every employee is connected to their former peers and colleagues on social media at 1st degree level.


Making up for the shortfall in applicants coming from the Employee Referral Program or job postings, recruiters may be required to conduct direct sourcing activity, where they will sift through thousands of “Long List” prospects to build a “Short List” of potential candidates. They will then contact those potential candidates to qualify them based on criteria that help confirm their suitability to existing or future job openings.

Manual talent mapping in the age of automation is a fool’s game.

Talent Mapping

Few recruiters know all the talent in their space, and so they may seek to engage employees to take a short cut to qualify prospects. By sitting down with employees and having them look over the Long Lists, the recruiter may be able to fast track their attention to the high probability prospects. This is usually done manually through what we often call a Talent Map, whether by showing LinkedIn on a screen, or sharing LinkedIn Projects with the team.

The obvious problem is that inviting productive people to view lists of prospects they may know sucks up a lot of time. Even if we take just 30 minutes from 100 people engaged enough to take their time, we have 50 hours of productivity being sidetracked.

This makes collaboration somewhat awkward for anyone not drinking the Cool Aid, or for those who are just extremely busy. There needs to be a faster, more efficient way to do this.

Spreadsheet Hell

Manual talent mapping is an old kind of Hell usually involving a huge spreadsheet. Just adding the data is a slow, laborious process, prone to error; we end up with version control issues; data and links go out of date; we have sharing and collaboration issues; filtering errors; and worse, when the owner of the sheet and the project leaves the company, everything just dies out.

The same is true even if we delegate these tasks to the most junior member of the team, or if we do this within LinkedIn or an ATS or CRM. When ownership goes, so does momentum. All that intellectual property is most likely lost, and much of that productivity goes to waste.

The Recruiter Value-Add

Manual talent mapping in the age of automation is a fool’s game. It is a total waste of a good recruiters time, as they would be better utilized in the value added roles of selling the opportunity to high potential candidates, interview facilitation, negotiation, and closing candidates on the opportunity over competing interests.

The goal of Referable is to make the talent mapping and collaboration process simple and automatic, so recruiters can scale qualifying prospect lists down to short lists of high quality probability candidates vetted by the team. Many of these candidates could go straight to interview, and fast track through the process, thus saving significant time and ensuring great applicants are not lost due to inefficient processing.

Benefits of Automation

Talent Mapping Automation gives us a range of potential benefits:

  • Simple collaboration via a private URL shared by the recruiter to the employee
  • Rapid filtering out of low probability candidates – less false positives!
  • Rapid short listing of (high probability) recommended and referral candidates
  • Prioritization of high probability candidates to avoid losing them over slow interview processing
  • Automatic maintenance of data integrity, including comments, recommendations, and who provided what, when
  • Visibility into employee engagement around who the collaborators are

Strategic Engagement

Automated talent mapping enables recruiters to be strategic: they can work with the team on engagement strategies around the high probability talent – approaching some leads through employees as referrals, and others through direct scouting; while leaving the “unknown” prospects to agencies to screen.

Something I used to educate my RPO teams on in the past was that it makes absolutely no sense for an in-house recruiter to be paying an external agency to hire a candidate that essentially has a full CV posted on LinkedIn, and/or is known to existing employees. This provides no value to our client (the one paying the agency fees).


So much value can come from interactions where employees collaborate with recruiters on talent. Knowing who you ought to or ought not to hire is extremely useful, and talent mapping automation is a means to that end.

Referable AI not only makes that collaboration piece simple, but it stores everything so that if your recruiter takes a better offer somewhere else, your intellectual property doesn’t go with them!

Referable AI’s goals are to make your hiring faster, better, and cheaper. Talk to us to learn more.

Scroll to Top